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Transition from Non-Checking to Checking Division

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Old
02-25-2008, 10:37 AM
  #1
marcel snapshot
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Transition from Non-Checking to Checking Division

Aside from the first and most important commandmant -- Keep Your Head Up -- what advice would people give to a young player transitioning from non-checking to checking play (i.e., squirt to pee wee). Player is somewhat undersized but pretty strong on his skates.

In particular, I'd be interested in the 3 pieces of advice people might give regarding (i) giving a hit and (ii) taking a hit. Also interested in how to develop awareness/6th sense of what's happening behind you or outside of immediate visual range.

Thanks for any help

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02-25-2008, 11:28 AM
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Marc008
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I think the easyest thig is if your are a winger is to try and stay as close as the boards as possible when someone comes to check you that way the impact will not be as hard.But I remeber when I went form no contact to contact it was hard to get used to I was tall but I wasnt the best skater so alot of people came after me and the 1st few games were not alot of fun.Also I dont know how it works where you play but we had 2 years of pee wee so I was 1st year but there were players that had allready played 1 year of contact hockey so they would just kill us and at the start everybody was just running around trying to hit everyone we barely needed the puck lol.

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02-25-2008, 11:38 AM
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To give a hit keep your elbows done the refs will call it almost everytime, and keep your legs going and drive through the guy with your shoulder. also dont go out of your way just to hit someone it looks bad and 9 times out of 10 you take yourself right out of the play. theres no real way to take a hit becuase you never know if someone is going to hit you. when i played i was told dont worry about the hit worry about the play going on if dont you spend time wondering if your going to get hit instead of making a play, also never turn your back to a hit it makes everything worse. to be aware just keep your head up, read the play and anticipate where the play is heading. most great hockey players have this skill mastered and are always in the right spot at right times. but most of all just take in the first year you play and learn from what you did wrong and right.

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02-25-2008, 12:50 PM
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Gino 14
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If the player is going from squirt to PW, he will be in the same boat as every other player out there, they will all be learning as they go. Remind him that checks are designed to separate a player from the puck, not the player from his skates.

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02-25-2008, 01:48 PM
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When giving a hit, keep your elbows in. If they get up, or you put your hands into the other player's head/face, it's an easy penalty to call. Hand checking can be useful in some situations in open ice but as more of a push then an actual hit.

The best advice I've ever received on hitting is this: Remember that you're trying to separate player and puck, not kill a guy.


As for the receiving end; don't slow down near the boards. I see this a lot, kids slow down near the boards and the guy chasing them doesn't.
Also, learn to kick the puck to your stick if it's in your feet, looking down to get it can end badly.

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02-25-2008, 04:30 PM
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Hitting at this age is really no big deal it will seem intimidating and all the players will be like "oh im gonna destroy everyone ala scott stevens style" really no one can hit very good and most of the time if someone gets sat down its because of a more accidental collision.

As far as takeing hits being close to the boards is always good if your 2 feet away from the boards and then you get hit your gonna be hurt. Size isn't as big as a factor, its harder to hit smaller kids because there lower. They usually just get pushed over its not a big collision where they get plastered.

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02-25-2008, 05:08 PM
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Once you're keeping your head up, make sure you keep it on a swivel, too. Know where you are on the ice in relation to dangerous areas (ex. a few feet out from the boards, cutting across the middle, etc.) and know where the opposition players are. Be aware.

Aside from that, know you're going to get hit: it's inevitable, and once you take a couple solid checks, you'll realize that it's generally not a big deal. Don't try to duck when a guy is hitting you on the boards, becuase then you're getting into head-on-dasher territory. Don't turn at the last second, don't raise your arms to try to brace yourself, etc. etc. etc. Just keep yourself going and take it, as it's likely to hurt less just getting on the boards and absorbing. Don't play scared.

Keep your temper and know what you're doing out there. Don't get mad because a guy hit you earlier and run him from behind or try to take his head off. Not only is that dumb hockey, but it's also going to feel pretty awful afterwards if you seriously hurt a guy. Don't hit to hurt, instead hit to gain posession of the puck for your team.

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02-25-2008, 06:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Mojorisin View Post
Hitting at this age is really no big deal it will seem intimidating and all the players will be like "oh im gonna destroy everyone ala scott stevens style" really no one can hit very good and most of the time if someone gets sat down its because of a more accidental collision.

As far as takeing hits being close to the boards is always good if your 2 feet away from the boards and then you get hit your gonna be hurt. Size isn't as big as a factor, its harder to hit smaller kids because there lower. They usually just get pushed over its not a big collision where they get plastered.
What gives me a bigger headache: taking a head-down, full-speed hit or having to decipher your grammar?

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02-25-2008, 07:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marc008 View Post
I think the easyest thig is if your are a winger is to try and stay as close as the boards as possible when someone comes to check you that way the impact will not be as hard.But I remeber when I went form no contact to contact it was hard to get used to I was tall but I wasnt the best skater so alot of people came after me and the 1st few games were not alot of fun.Also I dont know how it works where you play but we had 2 years of pee wee so I was 1st year but there were players that had allready played 1 year of contact hockey so they would just kill us and at the start everybody was just running around trying to hit everyone we barely needed the puck lol.
just remember this: Their really isnt much checking in peewee. Dont worry that you'll be crushed your first shift

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02-26-2008, 12:23 AM
  #10
TheShoe82
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I'd say remind them that checking is a tool used to gain control of the puck for your team.

Also, remember that you hit with your shoulders, not with your hands. I see so many young kids going for a hit where they just get their hands up to push the opposing player. Oftentimes the hands end up right to the face and they find themselves in the box for roughing.

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02-26-2008, 02:11 AM
  #11
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For peewee there is no need to worry. Most of the other kids are going through the same thing as you and will just be getting accustomed to hitting just like you. If your association is any good they will usually give you some body checking skills lessons. These will help you get used to using the body.

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02-26-2008, 04:38 AM
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marcel snapshot View Post
Aside from the first and most important commandmant -- Keep Your Head Up -- what advice would people give to a young player transitioning from non-checking to checking play (i.e., squirt to pee wee). Player is somewhat undersized but pretty strong on his skates.

In particular, I'd be interested in the 3 pieces of advice people might give regarding (i) giving a hit and (ii) taking a hit. Also interested in how to develop awareness/6th sense of what's happening behind you or outside of immediate visual range.

Thanks for any help
Big change for any parent that loves watching their son play. Suddenly, someone can just take their head off. Understandable!

1st of all... be thankful that your province has done it at a younger age. Kids are still developing and there is less chance of someone getting seriously hurt.

As mentioned prior to my post... kids will be going for the hit all the time. Run around like nuts. This is more likely to happen when kids are 1st intoduced to hitting in their junior drafts years (bantams aged 14-15). Some boys have become very big compared to others...Players unaware of how to take hits and don't know when it's coming.

He will have to develop a comfort level. Learn how long he has/doesn't have with the puck.Kids may start to treat the puck like a hot potato. He will hopefully learn that he has a lot more time than he thinks with the puck.

The best thing for him may be to actually get hit hard. As humans... we tend to learn from our mistakes..especially when they hurt our bodies. Getting his bell rung will teach him to take a look up before he receives passes. If he's a smart hockey player, he will begin to learn about lanes/areas that are commonly open, the "danger zones" and how to effectively pivot to stay open for passes.

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02-26-2008, 08:28 AM
  #13
yakitate304
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My coach, who I was with for both squirt and peewee, told us in our transitional year to "keep your feet moving", rather than "keep your head up", which I always thought was more practical advice. Most people with common sense will keep their head up (except for Tim Connolly), but a lot of kids get flattened when they stop moving their feet and start drifting. It's ten times harder to hit a moving target, even when that target is moving relatively towards you, because you (as the checker) are no longer in control of the pace.

As for advice...

Giving a hit: Emphasize that the stick shouldn't be up, the elbow should be relatively against the body, and that the knee should not be out. Crazy enough, when I was in my only year of peewee, there was a kid in the league playing his 2nd year of peewee who had a habit of knee-to-knee hits, and he apparently was never told by anyone that they're illegal until about halfway through the season. Psychologically, make sure that he doesn't expect to be killing someone with every hit - sometimes the most important hits are just little bumps that are more accurate at the price of power.

Taking a hit: First off, don't develop the "omg you hit me" mentality. Hockey's a physical game and nobody is exempt from being hit. If it happens, shake it off and get back in the play or go to the bench. Of course, if it's an injury, that's a different case. As for the hit itself, try to stay as compact as possible without balling up. A lot of people try to avoid the hit at the last second and end up getting decked even harder because they stretch themselves out and make their body easier to line up.

Vision: Get to know your position and your teammates/linemates. Having a decent idea as to where a teammate might be before receiving a pass can give a player the fraction of a second that the defense can't make up. Talk to linemates on the bench after shifts, without being annoying. Make sure he knows whatever breakout the coach is running, not that many peewee players follow that, but some do.

Other advice to pass on: Defensive positioning is more important than the big hit.




I was going to say something else, but droller already touched on it. "The best thing for him may be to actually get hit hard." I've always thought that the best players have a healthy fear of getting lit up, but aren't afraid of the check. Part of the lesson of getting drilled is that you shouldn't go to location X with your head down, but there's also a lesson to be learned in that you live even when you get decked - don't be so afraid of the hit that you stop going to those areas altogether. Just do it more intelligently next time. Also, make sure that he's skating without the puck. This is something that I find helps develop vision, because the player is able to put into perspective what the rink looks like from various situations, lanes and angles. On top of that, you can't be static in the neutral zone.

So I've rambled a bit... But I hope some of this was useful.

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02-26-2008, 10:00 AM
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A ton of good advice and input here -- all very much appreciated.

Key takeaways seem to be (i) hit to make a hockey play (i.e., move the player off the puck) rather than to "send a message" (more likely, especially at the PW age, to just throw player off balance and out of position) and (ii) keep feet moving when receiving a hit (instead of freezing up in anticipation of impact.

Any additional advice that is specific to smaller players.

Again thanks for all the thoughtful posts here.

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02-26-2008, 07:27 PM
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You have to use your body to go around people instead of stickhandling through them. That was the biggest thing I had to learn when I went from no hitting street hockey to ice hockey.

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02-28-2008, 09:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marcel snapshot View Post
A ton of good advice and input here -- all very much appreciated.

Key takeaways seem to be (i) hit to make a hockey play (i.e., move the player off the puck) rather than to "send a message" (more likely, especially at the PW age, to just throw player off balance and out of position) and (ii) keep feet moving when receiving a hit (instead of freezing up in anticipation of impact.

Any additional advice that is specific to smaller players.

Again thanks for all the thoughtful posts here.
Smaller players, especially ones that are strong on their skates, are often times much harder to hit than bigger guys. Less of a target, you know? I'm relatively big, 6'0", and I was a pretty good hitter when I played in checking leagues, but I would say that 90% of my good hits came against guys right around my size. Assuming this kid has speed, let him know that quickness and smart skating will trump a big goonie hitter every single time.

On the other hand, smaller guys can often benefit from non-traditional checks, most notably the hip check. Use that lower center of gravity to up-end bigger guys that probably aren't expecting it. The hip check is tough to master though, really hard to get the timing down.

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03-01-2008, 12:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marcel snapshot View Post
A ton of good advice and input here -- all very much appreciated.

Key takeaways seem to be (i) hit to make a hockey play (i.e., move the player off the puck) rather than to "send a message" (more likely, especially at the PW age, to just throw player off balance and out of position) and (ii) keep feet moving when receiving a hit (instead of freezing up in anticipation of impact.

Any additional advice that is specific to smaller players.

Again thanks for all the thoughtful posts here.
Protect the tailbone!!

I played as a small, light guy so I was on the receiving end of alot of open ice checks that sent me on my ass. It was a problem area for me. I developed a growth on the tailbone, a bone chip maybe, that I attribute to those hits.

Though I believe this applies to the player in high school where impacts are harder, faster, more frequent.

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03-02-2008, 06:44 PM
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i got smoked my first game in contact hahahaha never got hit like that again.

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03-05-2008, 12:24 AM
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Im at the college level so my tips might not be as useful but my coaches always preach a couple things:

1. Always have your head up
2. If youre going to get hit bend your knees and put your hands and stick up - it wont get called if youre the one getting hit and the opposing player is likely to soften the hit up.
3. DO NOT DUCK INTO THE PERSON HITTING- you can break your neck
4. Just use instinct - every player gets hit, the best players know when they need to take a hit to make a play and go about taking it accordingly.
5. if the puck is in your feet - learn to kick it out and know youre probably about to get nailed. Dont just look down and stop skating, youll end up on a stretcher.

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03-05-2008, 03:45 AM
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One of the most important things I learned in hockey was to never turn into the boards. I saw several concussions and a broken collarbone to players on my team because they turned to face the boards. We've seen it several times in the NHL this season where the puck is in the corner and a player turns into the boards to play the puck and they get plastered into the boards face-first. If you do need to turn into the boards, make sure you are as flat as possible so if someone does bump you from behind, you are already against the boards and don't go flying headfirst into the edge where the glass meets the boards.

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Old
03-05-2008, 01:26 PM
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One of the biggest things youre going to notice immediately, the difference needed in conditioning going from non checking to full contact. Youre going to tire physically much quicker.

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