Thread: Coaches: Mini Mites
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11-04-2013, 01:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Jive Time View Post

After three kids and three years of working with mini-mites, it's got to be about making it fun. Here's your opportunity to set the hook and keep them coming back for more.

DON'T yell at these kids. Laugh, smile and constantly compliment good play. Sometimes you will have to address kids that aren't playing nice and you can send them to the penalty box. Be consistent with these kids but when they do the right thing, make sure they hear about it with positive encouragement.

If you are a parent coach, enjoy every second and let them progress at their own speed; not yours. My daughter used to use her stick as a microphone in the middle of the ice doing her best Katy Perry impression. I used to get so irritated at this that she was not "taking hockey seriously". Today she is a solid defenceman and those goofy days are long past.

If you are a club coach, be nice to the parent coaches and let them participate in their child's development. It won't be long and parents will be back on the bench. It is truly a gift to be be a part of these early days of development.

Here are my favorites:

- 4-5" rubber balls: We use these for dodge ball and other games we could come up with. Kids LOVE these games and they will skate harder than ever when they are in play.

- Ringettes: 10 kids 5 ringettes. Kids turn their sticks upside down and and play keepaway. Teaches possession skills, heads up, body contact and the beginnings of stick checks. Again, kids love the rings.

- Obstacle courses: Take two cones and tape a stick to the top. Use that clear sock tape to keep the stick on because the kids will bang into the cones 7 times out of 10. Make them do a superman dive and then build up a race track for them to skate around with sticks to jump over. They will do this all day.

- Red Light Green light. From side to side. Like other posters have said, there are many games to do here that are widely documented.

- Play goalie with them and let them score 9 out of 10 times. For the better players, you can shut them down a little more often.

- Scrimmages: let them play. Don't worry so much about positioning. This is how it was on the pond. I would encourage you to try and balance the teams if possible. Scrimmage should be a part of every practice.

Yeah it can be a challenge at times and seem like you are herding cats but if you get into it and make sure you are keeping it fun, everyone will benefit.
One word,.. yep. Pretty much spot on!

A lot of these points will be debated by others, but IMO this is the approach you should take and it will keep them coming back for more.

Also, I reiterate ringette. It's really a great way for kids to learn to play heads up and lifting sticks at the same time. It lets them explore creativity without having to worry about puck control. That will come later.

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