Assessing your Timbit

Posted: September 18, 2013 in Uncategorized

Hockey is made up of a fairly large number of separate skills that all combine to impact the overall ability of a hockey player. These are all learned and therefore can all be improved. That is why the pros still have skill coaches and work on “techniques”. Like all things in life skill development requires practice but that practice requires a willingness to engage. We far too often encourage players to “do what they are good at”. This seems logical since we want players to have fun and be successful and this is always easier to do when you build on  something you are comfortable with. This is why most players can turn one way far better than the other and most adults reduce their stops to a one foot version. In my opinion there is no such thing as a “natural hockey player”. There are players who seem to pick up the skills faster than others but guaranteed all players will find the thing they find hard… and that is what they need to practice. Everyone can play hockey if they commit to trying to develop skills through practice. Attitude is the limiting factor in most athletes not their genetics or training. Coach Allen in the NFL was famous for the quote:

“Success is made up of equal parts attitude + aptitude + hustle  (AAH) … and the last one is the most important since without it the others can never be successful. Make sure that your Timbit not only comes to every single practice and game but tries their best to have fun and learn. During the year some of our Timbits will struggle with one skill or another. This is an expected event made even more sweet when they finally accomplish it. One of my all time favourite memories is of one of my a players in Atom who struggled to skate backwards but never gave up… who went on to play major Junior A and was drafted to the NHL on defence. When your Timbit struggles with something encourage them to keep trying –  to push themselves to get better and tell them when you see improvement. All our players will learn through positive comments. Every player in the NHL played the equivalent of IP and learned every skill they show during games. 

The IP program is based on “Learn through play” meaning that players will be encouraged to gain skills while playing “games” on ice. All of these are “games” are designed to sequentially teach skills. Keep reading this blog to see what and why we do what we do on ice. As always ask me if you ever wonder why we do what we do.

This year I would very much like to evaluate all players in IP using something like the following “Report card”. We have been evaluating players the previous two years – we just never put it on paper.The strength of the NMHA version of IP2 is that we have enough instructors to differentiate program. My instructors have already been reminded that the expectation is that they will challenge in a positive way all skaters.  If you own a video camera then you might find it interesting to take a short video of the earlier skill set and see how the Timbits improve. I promise the change will be dramatic. That is the job of the 11 on ice instructors in IP2.

I am not 100% sure of how we will modify or use this report but I wanted to share it with parents and players as at the very least a shopping list of skills they will develop. As you can see te players will be evaluated based on the scale “needs work”  “satisfactory for this stage in development” and “strong”.

If you want let me know what you think. I will not be posting comments since this blog is not  a public forum for comments on comments but I will read all of them.


NMHA IP2 Player Progression Card

Evaluations are based on expectations for the age group at the time of evaluation

Name: ______________________________# _____ Evaluation period: Beginning   Middle    End

Equipment Check:


  • Helmet  
  • Skates
  • Stick

Overall Skating forwards              Needs  Work    Satisfactory    Strong

Posture                                           Needs  Work    Satisfactory    Strong

Stationary balance                         Needs  Work    Satisfactory    Strong

Ability to get up                             Needs  Work    Satisfactory    Strong

T push start                                    Needs  Work    Satisfactory    Strong

Stride                                               Needs  Work    Satisfactory    Strong                        

Overall Speed                                Needs  Work    Satisfactory    Strong

Edge control                                   Needs  Work    Satisfactory    Strong

Ability to turn                                 Needs  Work    Satisfactory    Strong

Front foot cross overs                  Needs  Work    Satisfactory    Strong

Overall stopping                         Needs  Work    Satisfactory    Strong

Snow plow stop                           Needs  Work    Satisfactory    Strong

One foot stop                              Needs  Work    Satisfactory    Strong

Two foot stop                              Needs  Work    Satisfactory    Strong

Backwards snow plow                Needs  Work    Satisfactory    Strong

 Overall skating backwards     Needs  Work    Satisfactory    Strong

Balance                                      Needs  Work    Satisfactory    Strong

C cuts                                         Needs  Work    Satisfactory    Strong

Ability to move sideways          Needs  Work    Satisfactory    Strong

Backward cross overs               Needs  Work    Satisfactory    Strong

Overall puck handling              Needs  Work    Satisfactory    Strong

Stationary stick handling           Needs  Work    Satisfactory    Strong

Pushing the puck                        Needs  Work    Satisfactory    Strong

Body position with ring                Needs  Work    Satisfactory    Strong

Through pylons with puck           Needs  Work    Satisfactory    Strong

In close quarters with puck         Needs  Work    Satisfactory    Strong

Passing forehand                          Needs  Work    Satisfactory    Strong

Passing backhand                         Needs  Work    Satisfactory    Strong

Receiving a pass forehand          Needs  Work    Satisfactory    Strong

Receiving a pass on backhand    Needs  Work    Satisfactory    Strong

Overall Shooting                           Needs  Work    Satisfactory    Strong

Forehand                                        Needs  Work    Satisfactory    Strong

Backhand                                        Needs  Work    Satisfactory    Strong



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