Youth hockey coaches

Discussion of Minnesota Youth Hockey

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theref
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Re: post 9486

Post by theref » Thu Jan 17, 2008 8:03 am

elliott70 wrote:
boblee wrote:I am in my first season in the Moorhead Youth Organization. One thing I have learned, is you have to incoporate fun. I know that is probably a no brainer, but it is completely necessary. If the kids aren't having fun, something isn't working.
Great point, T.
Something coaches sometimes overlook...
not because they don't want it, but they get caught up in 'teaching the game'.
I'd like to add this from a refs perspective. A coach that knows the game of hockey, including the rules tends to be a better coach. It's very tough for kids to learn the game when the coach has no idea what's going on and is screaming at the officials because of it. This then causes the kids to see that it's okay to complain to officials any time a penalty is called. So few coaches actually take the time to explain rules (other than offsides or icing) and that makes it very frustrating.

Had a coach from a southern team last year at the Bantam level. Everytime a penalty was called against his team, he would throw his arms in the air. After about the third one, his players started doing it as well. That is a negative trickle-down effect if I've ever seen one. If a coach treats officials and other members of the game with respect, so will his players.

PanthersIn2011
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Re: post 9486

Post by PanthersIn2011 » Thu Jan 17, 2008 9:04 am

elliott70 wrote:
boblee wrote:I am in my first season in the Moorhead Youth Organization. One thing I have learned, is you have to incoporate fun. I know that is probably a no brainer, but it is completely necessary. If the kids aren't having fun, something isn't working.
Great point, T.
Something coaches sometimes overlook...
not because they don't want it, but they get caught up in 'teaching the game'.
boblee: Thanks for coaching. And great point. I'd like to add something.

For younger players (PWs and younger), I think it is not only important to have fun, but also to finish practice with something fun. Kids at this age need to step off the ice on a high note.

Coaches who bag skate their kids at the end of practice just make them hate the rink. You can take that same amount of practice time (10 minutes?) and play 3-v-3 or 4-v-4. If the kids play at game tempo and the coach keeps shifts to about 35-40 seconds, this provides a good interval workout and it actually helps their overall hockey game (exactly what part of a hockey game looks like a Herbie?). And it is fun.

I'm going to disagree slightly with Mark here in that I think you can have fun and teach the game at the same time. If you dedicate the last 10 mins to some kind of small area game, play for 5 minutes and observe. Then stop them and give them one or two teaching points (talk for 30 seconds or less!). Then start up again.

elliott70
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Re: post 9486

Post by elliott70 » Thu Jan 17, 2008 11:47 am

PanthersIn2011 wrote:

boblee: Thanks for coaching. And great point. I'd like to add something.

For younger players (PWs and younger), I think it is not only important to have fun, but also to finish practice with something fun. Kids at this age need to step off the ice on a high note.

Coaches who bag skate their kids at the end of practice just make them hate the rink. You can take that same amount of practice time (10 minutes?) and play 3-v-3 or 4-v-4. If the kids play at game tempo and the coach keeps shifts to about 35-40 seconds, this provides a good interval workout and it actually helps their overall hockey game (exactly what part of a hockey game looks like a Herbie?). And it is fun.

I'm going to disagree slightly with Mark here in that I think you can have fun and teach the game at the same time. If you dedicate the last 10 mins to some kind of small area game, play for 5 minutes and observe. Then stop them and give them one or two teaching points (talk for 30 seconds or less!). Then start up again.
You're 100% right.
My point, Not made very well, is that at times even the best coach gets caught up on 'this is how to do it, now do it' without giving reasons AND using a fun drill to teach it.

Thanks for stating it better than me. :D

cutanddrive
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Post by cutanddrive » Thu Jan 17, 2008 11:49 am

[quote="MoreCowBell"]I'm posting to show my disapproval of parents and the boards of hockey associations. My son who played college hockey is coaching for his second year of a A squirt team in a successful association and gets nothing but negetive feedback, and he's a great coach, never yells always trying to teach the kids, is consderate of all involved, being a non-parent (which is the ideal situation) he is always being pulled in opposite directions. The good players parents want him to play to win, and the lower level players parents want him to develope all the players, which he would respect, but they still expect to win. He gets no direction from the board. Based upon what he tells me he does not to go through this again. What a shame, to drive away quality coaches because every parent thinks their kid might miss out on a college scholarship. Herb Brooks said it best "if it wasn't for parents hockey would be a great sport".[/quote]

What does "play to win" mean at the squirt level?

PanthersIn2011
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Re: post 9486

Post by PanthersIn2011 » Thu Jan 17, 2008 12:10 pm

elliott70 wrote:Thanks for stating it better than me. :D
Hey, I did say "slightly". And, as the saying goes, even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while. :lol:

By the way, isn't this where you divulge your real secret to good coaching: owning a a thermos large enough to hold hot chocolate for the entire team?

pineline
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Post by pineline » Thu Jan 17, 2008 12:45 pm

At the first team meeting of the year, after the coaches lay out their expectations for the players, We usually ask the players what they expect from the coaches. We usually arrive at an answer of being treated fairly by the coaches. That's what I would expect. Does this happen at all levels of play? No!! Should it happen at all levels of youth hockey? I believe so...

Another theme that is brought up at the meeting with both the players and parents is the terms fun and enjoyable. As a coach I want the players to enjoy themselves, to look forward to coming to practice. I don't use the word fun because to the players this means something different to them then it does to me.

We have to remember that the game is for the players, not for the parents, not for the coaches, not for the referees. As soon as the parents, coaches and referees think that it is all about them it takes the enjoyment out of the game for the players.

Practices should be about getting the players out of their comfort zone by using the game to teach the game. Like what was said in an earlier post if the players are working hard in a SAG they don't know it and will get all the conditioning they need. What good does having a puckless practice do? Work on the areas they need to improve on if they have an off night. After all they are just kids.. Just my three cents worth...

MoreCowBell
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Post by MoreCowBell » Thu Jan 17, 2008 3:34 pm

cutanddrive wrote:
MoreCowBell wrote:I'm posting to show my disapproval of parents and the boards of hockey associations. My son who played college hockey is coaching for his second year of a A squirt team in a successful association and gets nothing but negetive feedback, and he's a great coach, never yells always trying to teach the kids, is consderate of all involved, being a non-parent (which is the ideal situation) he is always being pulled in opposite directions. The good players parents want him to play to win, and the lower level players parents want him to develope all the players, which he would respect, but they still expect to win. He gets no direction from the board. Based upon what he tells me he does not to go through this again. What a shame, to drive away quality coaches because every parent thinks their kid might miss out on a college scholarship. Herb Brooks said it best "if it wasn't for parents hockey would be a great sport".
What does "play to win" mean at the squirt level?
I don't know, ask the other coach that he's playing against!

nahc
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Youth Hockey Coaches

Post by nahc » Thu Jan 17, 2008 7:18 pm

Elliott, we'll leave all comments concerning refs to another day and topic since I'm sure there would be 10+ pages of responses.........would be an interesting topic though!!!!

On to coaches............

There have been a lot of really positive ideas put forward in the responses. On the whole, I think all coaches are worth their weight in gold for giving of their time and experience in teaching players from all ages. Having said this, our skater has not had the priveledge for playing with a quality coach as has been described within our association. Parent Head coaches (a lot of board members) are the norm up through Pee Wees. The kids play their hearts out but certainly not for the coaches.... and they develop so little during the regular season. Its truly amazing how much the skaters learn when they have non-association coaches for 3x3, Showcase, AAA, etc.. This is one huge reason, at least around here, that players leave.......it never gets better even into high school hockey. One also has to put up with the coaches son playing extended minutes, all power plays, being on the 1st line, etc, etc,. We as parents dare not say a word to the coaches or board members least our skater gets blackballed because of parents possibly not agreeing with the way things are going.......we've attempted to voice our opinions in private, during board meetings, etc and our skater has suffered the consequences.

Coaches spend so much time with our kids its not to much to expect that they truly teach, not constantly yell. Are respectful of all players and parents and are open communicators who seek input from us......believe it or not, we the parents do want the same thing, a hard working team with the drive and desire to excel. A team that gives its all and is well coached is always fun to watch and be a part of no matter how many games they win.......

I could stand on my soapbox for a while but will end here. The bottom line should be to look at all the great ideas and examples posted here and try to incorporate, if one is a coach......no matter how long ones has been coaching.......learning and being flexible with each family goes a long way in earning respect and loyalty.

cutanddrive
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Post by cutanddrive » Thu Jan 17, 2008 7:56 pm

MoreCowBell

You mean to say your coach is reacting to the other coaches? As in - matching lines? I may be a bit removed from this age level, maybe things have changed. You are talking about 9 and 10 year olds right?

DMom
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Post by DMom » Fri Jan 18, 2008 7:09 am

from what I have witnessed (and not MCB's son) it means playing the "good" players more and always in critical situations...I think that's shortening the bench. I don't believe good coaches shorten the bench, but I think they can manage their bench so that the "good" players are in at really critical times, but the "others" don't feel slighted. I don't think a face off in our zone constitutes a really critical time, especially at squirts.

GR3343
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Post by GR3343 » Fri Jan 18, 2008 11:47 am

I've seen good and bad come through this town. In my opinion, the qualities that define good coaching are ablility to teach, patience, realistic goals, personality. All coaches, no matter how high up the ladder they played, need to realize that these are kids. Kids, no matter what their age, are going to learn and develop at different rates. Players A & B may have the same hockey ability, but not necessarily the same sense of the game, therefore they'll develop different skills at different times. If a kid was in math class, you wouldn't dress him down in front of his peers because he didn't understand an equation, would you? That's where patience plays a key role. Make it fun and fair for everyone. By that, I don't mean every kid plays the same amount either. If superstar makes the same mistake as average joe, the same talking to should apply. Make the kids accountable for all their actions, both on and off the ice. If you have a superior team one night and should win by 5 goals, but only win by 2, don't humble your team by telling how bad they are. Remember, these are kids, and they've got a million other things going on in their lives. School, girls/boys, parents, siblings, friends...etc. Their main focus isn't always going to be hockey 100% of the time. Understand that there may be 20 kids on your roster, and all 20 may need to be treated differently. Player A may need to be left alone, player B may need to get screamed at regularly, player C may need to have his ego stroked a little. Every one of them needs something different. The coach that has these abilities will succeed because they'll have the support of the parents, the players, and the association. The coaches that aren't willing to know their players and be somewhat flexible, won't last long. You can demand excellence from your players without making them feel less than worthy. You can hold your players to a standard that makes them want to be there, while still making them understand, that failure and defeat is all part of success. This can be done all while maintaining your own standards. One of the greatest lines ever, and I feel that it pertains to all youth sports : Remember it's a game, and games are supposed to be fun.
Character is who you are when no one is watching

0904
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Post by 0904 » Sat Jan 19, 2008 12:45 pm

In the end a coach is only as good as his record. Like it or not a coach will only be judged by his wins.

GR3343
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Post by GR3343 » Sat Jan 19, 2008 5:17 pm

0904 wrote:In the end a coach is only as good as his record. Like it or not a coach will only be judged by his wins.
Very, very untrue :(
Character is who you are when no one is watching

WayOutWest
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Post by WayOutWest » Sun Jan 20, 2008 7:50 am

GR3343 wrote:
0904 wrote:In the end a coach is only as good as his record. Like it or not a coach will only be judged by his wins.
Very, very untrue :(
Well, I think "0904" was speaking for himself..........in which case he is undoubtedly correct. (and I am sure a percentage of other parents/kids/fans would agree.)

I would tend to think that wise folks judge the coach more on player development, at this stage, and how far the kids and the team progressed from the start of the season to the end. Some programs/teams just aren't destined to compete at the level of their opponents, but they are all capable of improvement..........given the right guidance.

Bearhockey13
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Post by Bearhockey13 » Tue Jan 22, 2008 11:28 am

Good coaches are good teachers, we are very fortunate in WBL to have NON PARENT Coaches from the A & B Bantams, Pee wees and A squirts, all of our coaches are phi nominal teachers, and great with the kids. There object is not to win every game, but to devolope the kids for play off time, if they are less 500 during the season, but make it to regions or state, they have done there job, and done it quite well.

Most problems that parents have with coaches is, not the coaches at all. It's the parents. If the parents would only realize that the odds of there kid making a nickel at hockey are slim to none, and let there kids have fun and play at the level they belong, life would be a lot easier for the coaches.

Sometimes you can't look at the team record, more importantly is YOUR KID being tought how to play the GAME of hockey.

tomASS
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Post by tomASS » Tue Jan 22, 2008 12:03 pm

GR3343 wrote:
0904 wrote:In the end a coach is only as good as his record. Like it or not a coach will only be judged by his wins.
Very, very untrue :(
It should not be the criteria for judging a coach's ability.

However, when parents talk to each other the question is, "how is your team doing?" and a majority of the responses are based on wins and loses of the team.

BoogeyMan
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Post by BoogeyMan » Tue Jan 22, 2008 9:42 pm

Who cares about wins and losses? The key to youth hockey is developing the kids. Let them have fun. But make sure they respect and listen to the coaches. It's really that simple.

If they want to play at a higher level. Great!

If they want to play with friends and have fun. Great!

It's really up to the parents and kids to see what best fits their situation. I for one wouldn't worry too much about someone elses kids.

To each his own!
Life's simple, but some insist on making it hard

tomASS
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Location: Chaska

Post by tomASS » Tue Jan 22, 2008 10:11 pm

BoogeyMan wrote:Who cares about wins and losses? The key to youth hockey is developing the kids. Let them have fun. !
Actually, you had a post a while back that stated it was all about winning and losing.

I'm glad to see the new prescription is working

DMom
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Post by DMom » Wed Jan 23, 2008 7:50 am

Who cares about wins and losses? The key to youth hockey is developing the kids. Let them have fun. But make sure they respect and listen to the coaches. It's really that simple.

If they want to play at a higher level. Great!

If they want to play with friends and have fun. Great!

It's really up to the parents and kids to see what best fits their situation. I for one wouldn't worry too much about someone elses kids.

To each his own!
BM do you even bother to read the subjects of the topics you post on. You recycle the same old post. Very predictable. you will have managed to take a post about good youth hockey coaches and turn it into something about the Mite Choice Program....and than three posts from now you will be whining because everyone is against MM.
THIS TOPIC IS NOT ABOUT MINNESOTA MADE.

oldram
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Post by oldram » Fri Jan 25, 2008 11:36 pm

The most effective coaches are the ones kids trust and believe. Whether they are being yelled at, grabbed by the front of the shirt, steel fingered or cuddled. If the kids believe in the coach they will learn.

Roseau had one Peewee coach for over 40 years. State titles, national runner up. He will be remembered for being a good teacher of the game. Not wins and losses. He didn't bow to parents or anybody else who thought they mattered. He was himself and take him or leave him.

A parent came to the back of the bench and complained about playing time for their son. He reached down and grabbed the kid and lifted him up into the stands and said, "Here you go." End of story.

He told a kid, "I have never seen anybody play that "BAD" in my life and then come out and score the winning goal in overtime.... You're damn lucky I like you. Or I wouldn't have believed in you." That was a hug coming from him. To this day he asks, "Do you remember that goal you scored against Warroad to win the District Championship?" That was 30 years ago.

The good coaches always find a way.

newsguy35
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Post by newsguy35 » Sat Jan 26, 2008 4:06 am

0904 wrote:In the end a coach is only as good as his record. Like it or not a coach will only be judged by his wins.
The sad part is this is what most associations look for and work towards. It is sad how developing players has slipped most board members heads, they have talked about winning district championships.A father of a kid who is supposed to be a squirt (moved up to the peewees as we dumped our squirt program due to lack of numbers) got mad because our peewee coach played the 3rd line against Roseau with 3 minutes left in the game. He called on "the behalf of the parents" and questioned/backed the coach into a corner.

I dont feel coaches really need that pressure, especially one of his calibre who have taken a group of peewees and squirts and has finely tuned their skills as best he can. I truly feel that this coach is probably the best thing that has happened to the area in the youth ranks in quite some time and while they may be winning a great amount of games and beating tough teams, it is not his record but the fact he has taught these kids the game and about life...

If only all coaches were so lucky to be thought of this way...

HockeyFan55
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One of the best

Post by HockeyFan55 » Sun Jan 27, 2008 3:00 pm

One of the best coaches I've ever seen comes from a traditionally non-winning association.

He teaches responsibility, team work and team involvement. He makes it fun for the kids, and I've never heard him say anthing negative. Everything is a learning experience. He's got a history of producing fine young men that work hard, show respect, and have fun.

If my kids played for him, and never won a game, they'd have a winning season.

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