November 17, 2006, Newsletter Issue #93: Off ice training for young players

Tip of the Week

At this early stage it is important to develop the entire athlete. I would play a lot of soccer football, handball and basketball with passing rules and good habits like facing the ball, give and go, everyone cover one opponent from the goal side etc. Then I would have them do a lot of gymnastics activities where they have to be coordinated, strong and agile to move their own body In various ways.
Hockey specific I would play a lot of ball and floor hockey and practice stickhandling with a ball and shooting about 50 shots per day for the very young and 100 per day for the 12 and up.

The players 11 and over can learn basic team play concepts after they understand how to do a proper 1-1 to 3-3 on offense and defense. So first work on developing general fitness, small situation skills,good playing habits and athleticism and then become more hockey specific after the onset of puberty.

The inline hockey is also a good idea. The skills are the same and a lot of the skating technique is the similar (but the centre of balance is different on the rollers)

Good luck,

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