If you have volunteered or have been volunteered to coach for the first time, it can be daunting to take training for the first time. That’s understandable, but remember every coach has gone through it and the majority have survived. And most of the players have returned for the next session! The link gives some simple pointers to help you through the first session. Enjoy!
This approach views individual skill development from a threshold perspective rather than matching skills against very specific ages, so that you would expect young players who have been playing hockey for 2 – 3 years to be able to do the skills listed by U13’s.
This focus is coaching the following skills to anyone beginning to play the games, irrespective of age, and to be the continued focus for developing players. In essence hockey is game played in a range of smaller contexts on the ground that shifts by the ball being run out of an area or passed using a hot or slap to another confined area.
The skills are;
All predicate on having a stick that is no longer than between your hip joint and hip. Teach hitting after they are comfortable with “touch”skills. Each session is about doing moving practice of skills in a range of different contexts, manipulating time, space & numbers to fit the skill level. Also play lots of small games, 2 v 2 (10 metres by 23 metres approximately, with 2 goals at each end to encourage decision-making about space on the filed. The reason I have avoided a too prescriptive model is that every boy under 12 can do the tomahawk even though it is supposed to be difficult to learn, but probably can’t do the core skills super well. It’s possible to show them jinks, tosses etc when that can manipulate the stick and ball, and let them muck around with it. Rather than restrict them I simply reinforce the “touch” core skills and let them experiment with the supposedly difficult skills that they tend to want to do because they are exciting.
The skills above have also been used in corporate training with adults who after 1.5 hours can play a rudimentary game of 2v2. With young developing players once they have a grasp of skills can play games in the first session then begin the mastery process over the season or seasons.
An interesting blog on www.thesportinmind.com written by Frank Heggebo, MSc Sport Psychology & Coaching, Norwegian School of Sport Science. (Need to download document)
These reflections have been written by Andrew McDonald, National Training Centre coach, Tasmanian Institute of Sport, at the recent World Cup The Hague, The Netherlands.
(Document will download)
Five leadership lessons from the transformation of British sport. Published by Tall Tree High Performance. (need to download document)
Filmed and edited by Greg Drake Smarter Sports.