Archive for September, 2012


IP Practice Oct 6, 2011 Merivale 10, 11, 12 and 1 focus areas

We will concentrate on avoidance skating (maneuverability, balance, edge control), speed and power in forward skating , pivoting forwards to backwards, the beginning of puck handling , as well as stopping.

Warm up Just skate with pucks (CLOCKWISE) 5 minutes

ALL IN   (10 minutes)  

1.       FAST AS YOU CAN SKATE there and back

2.       RABBIT SKATE hop over ALL the lines (ringette, blue, red, blue, ringette)

3.       FLAMINGO SKATE Skate to the blue line then glide on one foot to red line skate to blue line then glide on the other foot to the end

4.       SPINNING TOPS – Players spin to the blue line (one direction), then spin the other direction to the other  blue line then forwards to the end.

Stations (9 skaters per session – each station is about 6 minutes long )

  1. 1.          PLANET IN ORBIT SKATE  Divide group in 2 and use both circles. Players skate slowly inside the circle NOT ON THE LINE- the outside of the circle is a danger zone –   emphasizing leg over (tire in the middle for the sun will help) and keeping their weight on their inner skate. One circle is left, one is right. Emphasis is on stepping over NOT GLIDING.

Focus – inside edge control, stepping over

  1. 2.      RAPID SKATING (push the puck) Push (one hand – do not stickhandle!) the puck across the ice as FAST as possible. Repeat 4 times. Emphasis is on speed.

Focus: Rapid start, push the puck like it is on a shovel

  1. 3.         SHUTTLE RACE. Players start on boards and race to touch the lines defined by the 5 pylons. Players touch imaginary line defined by the pylon and then return to make a safe stop before the boards then go to the next furthest target.

Focus: Emphasis is on rapid start and stop – some conditioning

  1. 4.         SHARKS IN A TANK – just keep swimming like a shark has to do. Divide group in 2 – Skate randomly  inside the faceoff circles with their sticks reversed and holding on to the ringette ring. They must keep skating but cannot leave the circle

Focus: Head up, avoidance moves- NO CONTACT


ALL IN at centre line …  DIVIDE IN HALF BY TEAM (partners required) (under 10 minutes)


  1. One team (NO STICKS) does SAUCER PUSH to the far end and back on half the width of the ice. Focus: Power, skating with the knees bent
  2. One team(NEEDS STICKS)  does CHARIOT RACE ON KNEES to the far end and back on half the width of the ice

Focus: Power, skating with the knees bent

FUN GAME : (5 minutes)  FROZEN TAG BETWEEN THE RINGETTE LINES – FROZEN IF YOU PASS THAT LINE  Instructors are it  –  if time then  players will be it as well. Focus: Avoidance, quick reactions

All instructors “Tunnel up” and kids “tap off” when they get off the ice. This is an important part of the ritual – it reminds them BY NAME  they did a good job and that we look forward to seeing them next week.



Posted: September 25, 2012 in Uncategorized

The photographer will be here Saturday Oct 20 to take team and individual photos.

This will take place 30 minutes before the scheduled practice.

You will need to bring payment in the form of cash,cheque or credit card as well as the completed order form which is available as a PDF on the NMHA website. 

Well the first practice is over – I am hoarse from raising my voice so all the parents could hear…I will NEVER raise my voice with any of your Timbits. Players of all ages learn best from a calm, friendly but “focussed” approach. I was especially proud of the 7 instructors who even started the sessions when they saw i was still talking to the parents. I thought they treated each and every Timbit like they were wanted and were special. Hopefully ever parent got a newsletter abd every player got a sticker for their helmet.

Our first session saw a few tears which we expected. If your Timbit was one of those talk to them about how proud you were that they tried and then try to get them to understand that 150 players also had their first day. IP is not something you have to “make” or you will be” cut”. Our job as instructors is to bring everyone along at an individual level while doing group based activities. The practice plan allows for individual players to get help one on one on skills they may find difficult.

Please check to make sure skates fit and are not too large – skates are not something you “grow into”. Play it Again has lots of used skates and will give you something for your trade. Skates need to be sharpened periodically.

A few players had yellow tape put on their sticks indicating they need a larger knob on the end to prevent it from going through the grid on the cage or indicating that they were too long. parent help needed here.

Age thsi age players do not recognize their own equipment. It is important that players are super careful when they put their gear in their bags at the end of the session. If you have extra gear call the parent rep and make sure you bring it to the next session. If you are missing gear then call the parent rep to see if anyone has extras.
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE – double check neckguards and mouth guards BOTH are strict requirements for play.

Next practcie Sept 29 will be at BELL arena Starting at 9. CHECK the schedulke on the NMHA website for the schedule for your team.

This is what we plan to do:

IP Practice Sept 29 focus areas

This is the second practice and is more or less the same basic skill areas as the first one. Forward skating is still a major focus – so keep them moving! WE WILL START TO CONCENTRATE ON POWER.

We will also begin to work on stick handling – first with ringette rings then pucks.  

Remember to have fun = learning through games BUT keep the level of excitement up!

IP Practice focus areas from the Skill Development Binder Lesson III-17

From Manual:   V start , Tight turns1 foot stop, Backward skating, Stick handlingAvoidance – read and react

Warm up: Just Skate with pucks! COUNTER CLOCKWISE (opposite to last week) (5 min)

ALL IN   (under 10  minutes)   at one end of the ice  All are “there and back” activities 

 1. Red light , green light  game

2. “Fast as you can “

3. Two knees on EVERY line 9 including ringette lines)

4. Superman dive  at the blue lines                                              

8 station drills  5 minutes per rotation (SHORTER THAN LAST WEEK) 

Do first four then next four (2 instructors  per station)

Station 1    V start  3 or 4 steps (depends on the foot you want them to glide on) and then glide on two feet, then one foot.

Focus: Initial foot placement, three or four choppy quick steps

Station 2     Turns through 6  tires with ringette rings (stick inverted)

Focus: Staying low , leaning into turns, “cranking” stick around to help you turn

Station 3     Leap Frog – stop . Jumping over foam frog then stop with two feet

Focus: Power on takeoff, balance when landing followed by an instinctive stop (don’t worry about which side) 

Station 4     Backward skating using hoola hoops

Focus: Begin “C” cuts , Foreward sakter offers some push to make the backward skater move. 

Sation 5  Forehand pass (Players in a   circle – USING  plastic HOTDOGS) – pass and receive.

Focus: calling for a pass, pass to someone who is looking, receive pass gently witha cradle motion, hard pass not a “hit”

Station 6    Puck bounce of boards – players bounce pucks forhand and backhand off the boards

Focus: Power both forehand and backhand – NOT SLAP SHOTS!!!!!!, Reaction to the bounce requires them to plan and then move to the place the puck will be.

Station 7   Skating through a tire slalom with 12 + tires

Focus:  Tight turns , edge lean , stick swing to help turn.

Station 8  Hoola hoop skate Three players on a hoola hoop skate in circles both ways

Focus: This is really a turning drill with some random imbalance added due to the fact some skaters will skate harder than others.

Active game HOPEFULLY WE WILL HAVE TIME (doubtful) 5 minutes       

Freeze Tag intructors are “it”  RECOVERY “unfrozen” IF TOUCHED

END All instructors “Tunnel up” and kids “tap off” when they get off the ice.


Welcome to the first blog by David Vesey Head Instructor for the NMHA IP second year program.  I promise on behalf of all the instructors that you and your Timbit  will have a great time. The intent of this blog is to communicate to parenst and players information about what we do and more importantly why we do it.

The Initiation Program is designed by Hockey Canada and is based on a simple premise – Our players will learn the skills required to play hockey by taking part in a program of “Learn through play”. What this means to you as parents is that some activities may look a little unusual but trust me all of the things we will do on ice are designed to develop individual skills and challenge our Timbits in an ever changing year long program. The Hockey Canada program is very clear that players learn better and love the game more if their start is made under these conditions. We will use pylons and blue pucks but we will also use rubber chickens, hoola hoops and bike tires.I have been coaching hockey, football, rugby and baseball for over 3 decades and I plan to borrow some of the things I have used in all these sports.Our mini games will not start until  later in the season. MORE ON THAT LATER.  If at any time you wonder why we have done something don’t hesitate to email me at: Even better feel free to talk to me at the rink. I will pop in after each practice. We do not clean the ice between the 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 sessions. This allows us to “steal” 10 minutes of  ice which we split 5 minutes to each session – resulting in a 55 minute session not a 50 minute one. Over the year this means an extra 2 hours of ice time. This makes it a little hard to communicate between 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 but since you will rotate through these it will all work out. PLEASE do not talk to our young instructors – they work for me. If you have concerns talk to me.

To make sure everything is as clear as possible I plan to put the instructor’s notes for each practice on this blog before the next  practice.  Since the whole program is based on learning through play it is critical that you let me know if your Timbit is not having fun. It is normal for a player to feel nervous or a little intimidated on this first few outings – my advice is to be patient and weather the storm – don’t be in a hurry to “rescue” your child from the ice – let th einstructors have a chance to make them feel safe and comfortable about the experience. It is OK if your child is just learning a skill – hockey belongs to everyone who is will ing to try. I will work very hard to make sure all players feel wanted, safe and ready to try their best.

TOMORROW IS OUR FIRST PRACTICE … and I am very excited about meeting everyone.Remember every team has a number and our schedule is on the NMHA website. Since times rotate it is very important that you check these schedules. If for some reason you misread the schedule then come at one of the other times – that is better than your Timbit missing a practice- this is not an opportunity to pick your time!

These are the notes given to the instructors for our first practice:

SATURDAY SEPT 22, 2012 Instructor’s overview

This our first practice – time to meet 140+ kids and their parents.

First impressions are super important- remember our goal is to help kids get better and never lose their love of hockey. Our secret goal: EVERY IP  player plays when they are adults!

Remember instructors are organized, patient, funny and on task!

From Manual:   IP Practice focus areas from the Skill Development Binder Lesson III-17

V start , Tight turns1 foot stop, Backward skating, Balance , Avoidance – read and react

Warm up:   Just Skate (with pucks) CLOCKWISE – NO   SHOOTING! – put nest backwards against the side boards at the red line (5 minutes) Get   an overall impression of their ability and the state of their equipment.  –Talk to them.– some players will not get there on time so we will judge our “start   time”  accordingly. ALL IN: Split the teams to both ends for (10 minutes) Check equipment,Mark sticks for adjustments (yellow tape – length and knob), Label on front of helmet  Safety (Show them how to fall and   get up, get water, never take gloves off, what to do when hurt, tired etc)

All   IN  one end at icing line:

  1. “Go to named Instructor”
  2. “Red light, green light”
  3. Full ice skate
  4. Full ice  fall and get up at blue, red and blue
  5. Full ice 2 foot hop over all the lines: ringette, blue, red, blue, ringette lines

4 station drills  5 minutes per rotation (2 instructors per   station)

Station   1  V start  4 steps and then glide on two feet, then one foot.  Focus:   Power off V push- back leg , quick choppy steps and then balance

Station   2   Skate through 10 bike tires arranged in a slalom. Focus:   Edge control, weight transfer, quick turns in both directions

Station   3   Backwards skating with a partner holding a hoola hoop Focus:   Cooperation since forward partner pushes a small amount (critical) straight back, C  cuts, head up,

Station   4    Right foot left foot lift as they go over 10 black blocks. Focus: Balance – weight transfer.

Reminder: ROTATION “switch”, “near   to near and far to far”,  “switch”

 Active games  ALL IN NO TEAMS   10 minutes or whatever is left    

Rollerball ( 10 exercise balls)  into nets – no teams – instructors as   “hurdles” but not goalies… the idea is to move the ball in a challenging, fun   way – NO KICKING – they must push!

END: All instructors “Tunnel up” and kids “tap off”   when they get off the ice.

NO clean required between sessions   1 and 2 or 3 and 4  – so we gain 5   minutes. Next group comes on right away.


On that first outing  instructors will be checking equipment and making recommendations about sticks ALL sticks should be approximately nose length when on skates and have a “knob” on the end that is large enough to prevent it from going through a cage.

Skates are also critical – they should not be too large (they actually are sized in a weird way – you should wear skates at least 1 or 2 sizes smaller than your shoe size). I know that makes no sense – but it is the way they size skates!! Skates must be sharp or learning to skate is very difficult. Sharpen the skates at least once a month.

We want top put name stickers on your child’s helmet. The safety certifaction of the helmet is compromised if we just use tape or a regular sticker. I feel funny putting tape on knowing the rules so… I had helmet stickers made – These will not violate the warranty of the helmet BUT ARE NOT FREE- They cost the league $1 each.  Special thanks to our amazing President KAREN RUSSELL – you have no idea how much work she does – and now she is the IP Director! As most of you know instructors are given a stipend based on the number of hours they work.  ALL the equipment we will use this year on ice was purchased using my personal funds (not those of the NMHA). I am totally all right with that – it is what coaches do. I really enjoy searching the stores for fun ways to teach kids to play hockey… especially now that I am retired from teaching. I might  ask you to search for some hidden treasure to help me coach your Timbit. Look at it as emptying your stuff and filling up my house – my wife loves that part really!! This is my second year doing IP and I hope to be able to do it for many years to come.

EVERY PRACTICE OR GAME WITH NO EXCEPTIONS every player MUST have a mouth guard and a neck protector. I had three boys in hockey – I know these disappear – not a bad idea to buy a second mouth guard.

TRAINER’S KIT. I am a Level II trainer and willl serve as the trainer for the IP sessions. If anyone else is a certified trainer feel free to add your expereince. I have put together a kit in black box with a handle – it will be in the dressing room area for all sessions. It has a few tools, some first aid supplies and some helmet parts. it  has a few extra neckguards and mouth guards. The expectation is that if parents use one they will replace it with a new one before the next practice.This worked well last year… so I anticipate it will work well this year.

I handed out a one page newsletter for parents that has this blog address. I hope this works!!


NOTE PLEASE MAKE SURE IF YOU EMAIL ME TO ONLY PUT ONE “S” IN VESEY – a poor guy in England gets so many emails since he has two “S” in his name

Hello world!

Posted: September 21, 2012 in Uncategorized

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