By Juhanii Wahllsten & Tom Molllloy
The ABCs of Internatiionall Hockey
The ABCs of International Ice Hockey includes all possible aspects of development and self-improvement. It is focused on the game itself. There are numerous modified games to create movement and understanding of game principles. Game like activities also promote fitness and make practices a lot of fun. It is a “learn by doing” method.
Anyone who joins a hockey team wants to PLAY hockey. This is why players always organize their own street and ice-hockey games when there is no coach around.
Our idea is to promote the game by following the natural way that a player would learn the game with his friends. We give coaching guidelines to help the coach and players learn by doing. Everything takes time. The coach has to repeat the exercises many times to develop effective players and become an effective organizer. Therefore we use very few take off points in our on-ice practices. The repetition, with little instruction and maximum movement during practice, is the key to learning.
The Four Playing Roles are the theme that we follow throughout the entire teaching system, in both the skills and the games.
The first playing role develops individual offensive skills, using drills and games.
The second playing role practices supporting the puck carrier by getting open, screening, picking and giving width and depth to the offense.
The third playing role focuses on individual defensive skill, learn- ing to play a defensive one-on-one, always maintaining the defensive side.
The fourth playing role is concerned with supporting the first checker by covering man to man or in a zone.