Pictures from Sept 11 Rookie skate

Posted: September 15, 2014 in Uncategorized

Feel free to send me photos you would like to share of our Timbits. As long as we do not identify them we should be OK

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AT LAST….. OUR FIRST OFFICIAL TIMBITS IP1 PRACTICE Teams 9 – 18 !
For the parents and instructors reading this – Every week I will publish the outline for the practice with its goals, activities and rationale. The hope is that parents will see why we do what we do and instructors will get an advanced explanation so they can be prepared to work with the Timbits.
Practice 1 Sept 20 5 – 12 Merivale Arena IP1 (first year) (about 38 players) teams 9-18
You will notice that teams 1-8 are IP2 and the higher numbered teams are actually IP1

We will have 7 instructors and hopefully 2 parent reps on ice
50 minutes of ice time – we will clean between the hours

We saw most of these players at the sorts. Less than half required skating aids so it is safe to plan for 12 skating aid players and 26 players without them. We will still need to get them safely and confidently on ice. We will still need to check all their equipment but especially skates, sticks, neck guards and mouth guards.
MAJOR GOALS:
1.To evaluate the starting point for their skating skills
2.To show them the way a typical practice will be organized and the behaviour and safety issues that need to follow
3. To work on basic skating

WARM UP SKATE (Hopefully only 5 minutes but that will depend on how quickly we can get them all on the ice). Instructors it is always important for you to interact with the players so be upbeat, encouraging and personally engaging.

ALL IN AT CENTRE ICE (5 minutes)
Welcome and introductions
Equipment safety, what to do when they are hurt or tired or upset or thirsty
Review – What to do when they fall and how to get up

Orange buckets to one end and the rest to the other end
ALL IN ONE SIDE FROM BLUE LINE TO ICING LINE (15 minutes)– skate across the ice – orange buckets will be inside the blue line for the rest of the practice
2 x There and back as fast as they can
2 x There and back pushing with one foot …..SUPER IMPORTANT
2 x There and back – skate to half way then lift one foot then the other
2 x There and back skate to half way and glide to the boards on two feet
2 x There and back feet apart and together
2 x There and back as fast as you can

DIVIDE INTO THREE STATIONS (Rotate 1 to 2 to 3 to 1 etc) (about 8 – 9 per station)
5 minutes on task – so get organized!!
1. STOPPING inside the blue line
This is one of the most important foundational skills to teach so go slowly.
Players skate towards the boards and turn to stop and lift their back foot.
VOCAB: “I know some people think this is hard but I have a trick …skate forwards and then turn and lift your back foot. It doesn’t matter which way you turn just make sure you lift your back foot.”
2. TIRE PUSH across the ice between the blue and red lines
Partners – one pushes the tire across the ice with the blade of their stick in the centre (while partner follows) and their partner pushes it back.
VOCAB: “Push hard, Let me hear your skates dig in”
3. RINGETTE RINGS THROUGH THE PYLONS in the area between the bred and blue line
This is about finding out if players can turn both sides. Later we will add the fact that their arms help them turn.
Arrange the pylons in a wide serpentine path in three lines (6 pylons per line) This way three players can go at once making three right and three left turns with the ringette ring.
VOCAB: : “Turn your stick over so the butt end is in the ring, I want you to skate as fast as you can going around the pylons like a snake .
Don’t lose the ring PUSH DOWN ON IT. When you get to the other side wait.”
WRAP UP GAME: (5 minutes) FREEZE TAG Instructors are “it” first and if time the players will be “it”.
TUNNEL UP AND SAY GOODBYE – personal congrats to everyone!

ORANGE BUCKETS DAY 1 (inside the blue line) Both parent reps and 2 instructors
NOTE: It is important that they realize that they are having their own practice not just pushing buckets!
NO STICKS REQUIRED
We need to develop three things
1.Bending knees, staying low and turning their feet so the side of their blade digs in
2.Pushing harder on one side or the other to turn
3.Balance and confidence off the bucket
Activities:
1.Bucket march in place
Players lift one foot then another to the command right… left…right… left
VOCAB: “I want you to march like a soldier lift one foot then the other but do not push the bucket.”
2.Bucket merry go round
Players put one hand on the bucket and walk around it
VOCAB: “Now I know you can march I want you to hold on to the bucket with one hand and walk around it. Do it both ways.”
3.Bucket push
Push the buckets back and forth across the ice
VOCAB “Bend your knees, turn your feet to the outside and push hard!!”
4.Bucket soccer ( 1 ball per person)
VOCAB: “ Push your soccer ball all the way across the ice and back. Keep the ball on your bucket don’t hit it.”
5.Bucket circle push
VOCAB: “Push your bucket around the outside of the circle using your outside leg only.”
6.Bucket slalom through pylons
VOCAB: “ Push the bucket around the pylons .”
7.Buckets assemble or bucket push with some friends?
VOCAB: “This is like the Transformers … I want you to bring all your buckets together and push.”

At the end of this try to get them to skate at least a little without buckets.

For the parents and instructors reading this – Every week I will publish the outline for the practice with its goals, activities and rationale. The hope is that parents will see why we do what we do and instructors will get an advanced explanation so they can be prepared to work with the Timbits.
Practice 1 Sept 20 8 – 12 Merivale Arena IP2 (second year) (about 38 players) teams 1- 8
We will have 8 instructors and hopefully 2 parent reps on ice
50 minutes of ice time – we will clean between the hours

This is our first time with these skaters so getting them safely and confidently on ice will be important. We also will need to check all their equipment but especially skates, sticks, neck guards and mouth guards. Not sure if we have any beginning skaters … we will see!
MAJOR GOALS:
1.To evaluate the starting point for their skating skills
2.To show them the way a typical practice will be organized and the behaviour and safety issues that need to follow
3.To get them used to the fact that we will be using “different” things on the ice. Although we will only use a few – wiffle balls, tires and ringette rings – MUCH MORE TO COME

WARM UP SKATE with wiffle balls (Hopefully only 5 minutes but that will depend on how quickly we can get them all on the ice). This is the first time for instructors to interact with the players so be upbeat, encouraging and personally engaging.

ALL IN AT CENTRE ICE (5 minutes)
Welcome and introductions
Equipment safety, what to do when they are hurt or tired or upset or thirsty
What to do when they fall and how to get up

ALL IN ONE END (Let’s see them skate!) (15 minutes)
There and back as fast as they can
There and back pushing with one foot
There and back skate to blue – glide on two feet to blue, skate to the end
There and back feet together apart together apart
There and back hop over every line
There and back fall at every line on two knees
There and back as fast as they can

DIVIDE INTO FOUR STATIONS (Rotate 1 to 2 to 3 to 4 to 1 etc) (about 9 – 10 per station)
5 minutes on task – so get organized!!
1.SKATE AND SHOOT (2 nets) two lines of players just outside the faceoff circle on both sides come in on their net and take a one timer. This is more about skating than shooting. It is designed to teach them to skate to the puck and shoot. It is also designed to see if their stick is the right hand – some players are not sure if they shoot right or left. (one instructor and one parent)
VOCAB “Watch the puck, Skate hard to the puck, Don’t wait – just shoot at the net as hard as you can.. then go to the back of the line” Remember these players will all want to shoot a puck in their first practice – so have some fun)
2.TIRE PUSH across the ice between the blue and red lines
Partners – one pushes the tire across the ice with the blade of their stick in the centre (while partner follows) and their partner pushes it back.
VOCAB: “Push hard, Let me hear your skates dig in”
3. BACKWARD SKATING across the ice between the blue and red line
All players can go at once when they start coming back there is the danger of collisions – Be careful!
Teach C cuts and explain why they work.
This is one of the hardest foundational skills to teach so go slowly.
Let players keep their sticks for now – even if they tripod them – moving their feet is the focus for now.
VOCAB: “Skate backwards using a C cut, Go slowly and push hard, Stick your “tail” (NOT BUM!) out a little and keep your head up. Make sure you don’t bump into anyone else’s tail!”
4.RINGETTE RINGS THROUGH THE PYLONS in the area inside the ringette line
This is about finding out if players can turn both sides. Later we will add the fact that their arms help them turn.
Arrange the pylons in a wide serpentine path in four lines (6 pylons per line) This way four players can go at once making three right and three left turns with the ringette ring.
VOCAB: : “Turn your stick over so the butt end is in the ring, I want you to skate as fast as you can going around the pylons. Don’t lose the ring. When you get to the other side wait.”

WRAP UP GAME: (5 minutes) FREEZE TAG Instructors are “it” first and if time the players will be “it”.

TUNNEL UP AND SAY GOODBYE – personal congrats to everyone!

PARENT MEETING SEPT 11 WENT WELL

Posted: September 14, 2014 in Uncategorized

Thanks to all the parents who came out to the parent meeting.
A few things you should take out of the meeting:
1. My instructors and I are 100% committed to your Timbit both learning and loving hockey for the rest of their life. Our enthusiasm for our job will be obvious.
If you ever have a concern or question as ME not my instructors.
2. This will be a risk free encouraging and positive experience for everyone – and since everyone learns at different rates and in different ways individualized instruction and help is a given.
3. The Initiation Program is about learning through play and involves quite different activities sometimes… not just pucks and pylons!
4. Communication is super important so please follow this blog ( by clicking “follow” …. and feel free to talk to ME anytime.
5. I am excited to offer one parent per team the opportunity to come on ice and see what we do first hand.

LOOKING FORWARD TO A GREAT SEASON IN BOTH IP1 AND IP2

The three most obvious things everyone wants to see are:
1. Love of hockey and its culture
2. Understanding what it means to be part of a team
3. Commitment to improving skills by practice

So what skills do a Timbit really need to master ON THE ICE?
These are the top 10 things we will work on in both IP1 and IP2 this year:
1. Accelerate and skate hard
2. Change direction = understand their edges
3. Pivot in both directions
4. Protect the puck
5. Stop in both directions
6. Skate backwards in both directions
7. Skate with a puck while being aware of what is around them
8. Make and receive a pass
9. Take a forceful shot on net
10. Understand the 3 basic penalties:
i. Offside / icing
ii. Holding / hooking
iii. Contact

Everyone wants a player to be successful as soon as possible. Early success adds to confidence and confidence often dictates how willingly a player will engage in a new activity. As the old saying goes “Nothing achieves like success”. There is a hidden danger in this approach. Hockey Canada’s Long Term Player Development model is based on developing foundational skills in a sequence and adding new skills when the player is ready.

Everyone understands that earning most physical skills requires a good foundation to build on. This is especially true when it comes to teaching skating skills. The trick is to teach skills like they are layers of brick applied on top of each other. There is no point in teaching something “wrong” just because it results in early success. At some point the lower layers of the wall will have to be rebuilt in order for the wall to be solid. You need a foundation to build on. IP focuses on these “foundational skills”.

One classic example:
Initial skaters are often taught in Learn to Skate programs to extend their arms and waddle with the emphasis on not falling. Some parents even put bob skates with two blades on their boots. This is good because it gets them involved and on ice but does nothing to help a player learn to skate. In actual fact it impedes their development.
The problem with that start is that skating is not about maintaining a vertical balance point – it is about constantly recovering from being out of balance at some angle. In skating you are always “falling” either forwards backwards or to one side or the other and recovering. That is why so many of the activities we do in practice involve players turning or changing direction or pushing or pulling against a force.
If you teach a player that vertical balance is important then almost everything is different from what you want a player to ultimately achieve:
1.Stance is vertical with straight legs – not tilted forward (or backwards) with bent legs
2.Feet are oriented in a straight line not turned for edges to dig in
3.Limited ability to turn or stop and the stride is inefficient and has limited power
4.Head is not held up etc…

A better starting point is to use orange buckets which force players to bend their knees, dig their blades in and lift their heads. While orange buckets are helping maintain balance their real function is to force players into a position where they move forwards with more power. They are a reminder for the muscles and the skate edges of what the legs should be doing. This is the reason we will use orange buckets even with skaters who skate well in both IP1 and IP2. Another reason is that they are really fun if you push them to the limit. In the old days coaches told players that if they were skating the correct way their backs should be sore at the end of a game or practice. This is still true – and is a common comment after a hard practice…

The meeting tonight has a pretty simple agenda:
1. I want to welcome all the families to the NMHA Initiation program and outline the many ways in which parents can be involved
2. I want to outline the overall organization of the program – its goals and basic expectations
3. I want to outline the scope and sequence of skill development according to Hockey Canada’s LTPD (Long term player development model)
4. I want to explain some of the activities we will be doing and how they help develop the “essential” skills of hockey
5. I want to try to answer any questions families might have
See you there!
If you can not make the meeting then feel free to ask me to personally go over the content of the presentation with you – I take my coffee black !