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advice for coaching mite/novice?

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03-06-2012, 07:46 AM
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SteelCitySaviour
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advice for coaching mite/novice?

Hey guys,

I'm starting to help coach my gf's nephew (7ish) and his team today, but I've never coached anyone that young before. I've played HS and College hockey, but it is a whole new ballgame trying to remember how to teach the basics. Any advice?

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03-06-2012, 08:44 AM
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Eleven
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Skate, Skate, Skate! Next thing you know, you'll have AAA Peewees!

(Edit) - I just noticed you're in the 'Burgh, go check out a Select 98's or Hornets practice. Seriously, those kids skate their butts off. My kids coach focused on skating at that age, and up to peewee (back then of course, you could start checking at peewee) that was the most important part of the game.

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03-06-2012, 08:55 AM
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Stickmata
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Keep them moving and keep it fun. Multiple stations with a coach at each station. Check out USA hockey and other sites for ideas on good, fun drills.

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03-06-2012, 09:08 AM
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pelts35.com
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Is this an organized team or just a group of kids? If it's organized, you might want to talk with the rink because some rinks won't allow coaches on the ice that aren't registered with USA Hockey.

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03-06-2012, 10:19 AM
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Malreg
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A tip that I found very useful when I started coaching that level was always make sure you keep them busy in practice.

Be careful of which drills you use. If it's a drill where the kids are going to be standing in line too long, you're going to lose them. You have to keep them busy and moving, or else they will start fooling around and not paying attention.

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03-06-2012, 01:44 PM
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Steelhead16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elevener View Post
Skate, Skate, Skate! Next thing you know, you'll have AAA Peewees!

(Edit) - I just noticed you're in the 'Burgh, go check out a Select 98's or Hornets practice. Seriously, those kids skate their butts off. My kids coach focused on skating at that age, and up to peewee (back then of course, you could start checking at peewee) that was the most important part of the game.

The most important thing you can teach them is how to skate. Everything else is much much easier to learn if they know how to skate. Like was mentioned the USA Hockey site is a great place to go for drills. There are age related video drills and suggestions. I would suggest making it structured but also making it fun. Don't worry about positions, the kids skills will usually sort that out all by itself so let them all play offense and defense.

Make yourself a skill set list. (Skating forward, skating backwards, stickhandling, passing, shooting......etc) and then work through the list. Each week incorporate a new skill while still working on your previous skills from the past weeks.

One more thing I would suggest would be to talk to your girlfriend's nephew after each practice. (away from the rink if that's possible) Find out which drills were good, bad, fun, not fun. At that age the kids will give you feedback if you ask them. Let them have some input so you get their buy in, it will make your life much easier now as well as if you stick with this group as they get older and move up.

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03-07-2012, 01:14 PM
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letsgojackets
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stickmata View Post
Keep them moving and keep it fun. Multiple stations with a coach at each station. Check out USA hockey and other sites for ideas on good, fun drills.
This...

look for information on the USA hockey website about the american development model. There are detailed practice plans that can be tweaked based on the skill of the kids.

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03-07-2012, 01:31 PM
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BigDuke6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stickmata View Post
Keep them moving and keep it fun. Multiple stations with a coach at each station. Check out USA hockey and other sites for ideas on good, fun drills.

This!!!

When my son started as a Mite the coach didn't use stations and we had 30, 6-8 year olds waiting in line to do a drill. Fortunately a new coach took over and used the USA hockey model with stations and his emphasis is all on skating, especially at the Mite level.

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03-07-2012, 02:12 PM
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Stickmata
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One more thing, at that age, try to do mostly small ice drills, using small spaces. If you're working drills with pucks, you want the puck on their sticks a lot, without a lot of chasing and skating on big ice areas. They will develop skills faster that way.

Running large ice drills like break out drills and zone entry drills isn't a great way to teach them the fundamentals at that age.

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03-08-2012, 12:27 PM
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bigbadbruins1
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You have to have a good mixture of skating and shooting. I find coaching little kids its best to intergrate drills together. Kids are always willing to skate... as long as they get to shoot at the goalie. When I coached younger kids ( I do HS now) simple, basic drills like horseshoe, stop and start, cross overs, etc are all great and will get them going in the right direction.
Also be weary of the parents and what you say. Don't say anything about any one kid being better than another or so and so is a first line center, etc etc, because many parents have the "my kid is the best" mentality and will nag you and question you to no end if their kid doesn't get as much ice time or isn't playing on the first line. I've had it happen a few times and it makes coaching miserable.

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