Welcome to the Nepean Minor Hockey Association Second Year Initiation Program blog! I want to welcome all the new 2012- 2013 Tmbits

Posted: September 21, 2012 in Uncategorized

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: david.vesey@gmail.com. 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



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