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Author Topic: Coaches teaching the game of hockey versus playing to win  (Read 1872 times)

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Ok I get it the plan is to teach the kids the fundamentals of the game so they can play professionally, that makes sense, fundamentals early and positioning later :-\ [sarcasm] Because I'm told tier 2 hockey is about fundamentals not winning so I guess that means the real plan is teaching them how to lose because that's all they will do in life. So get used to it?

I don't get this idea in the middle stages, at mite and even squirt makes sense so ok fine. My kids hate losing there I said it. They are both decent hockey players respectfully, both play A national level, both have played for two different clubs over the last 5 years after playing inhouse in the beginning and both clubs teams lose most of the games, but it's not about winning the club says. But it's not about learning either because the teams they've played for don't know how to play the actual game. Nobody is ever in position, the kids don't pass and there's no game plan ever. The coaches run the lines evenly, and that's great they all get to play but the kids all play chase the puck hockey. If it goes into the corner they all go after the puck, if it goes down the ice in their end they all chase the puck. Where are the fundamentals here? Some of the kids on the team understand and try and play their positions but the problem is the rest of the team will be right next to them if the puck comes to them. Shouldn't the coaches be correcting these easy to correct problems after seeing this game after game? Is this USA Hockey's idea of learning because we're told by the coaches they're following ADM. At which point is a 14u and 16u player supposed to have learned the fundamentals in order to move on to knowing how to actually play positional hockey? They play some teams who look the same as theirs and it doesn't look like organized hockey it looks like street hockey on ice. Then they play other teams where it's obvious the coaches actually teach how to play the game positionally and as a team. And those are the games where they get blown out.

Is saying you are teaching just an excuse for not knowing how to coach when you're questioned about winning games? It's tiresome and I see this all the time on social media the coaches saying it's not about winning. What is it about if by 18u kids walk away with nothing to show for after playing for years and still not knowing how to actually play the game at all. I don't think the coaches taught the game as they say they are when kids don't know left wing from right and center from defense when it's all over. We aren't trophy chasers and we aren't planning to move our kids somewhere else because they like playing with their friends but they are also very unhappy about not winning games and next seasons teams are pretty much the same as last. The coaches always say the same thing we like the roster we put together, we have plans, philosophy is to win but learning the game is what matters most. I think when you are spending upwards of 3000$ per kid every season there should be at least a little interest in winning.
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Reply #1:
 May 20, 2021, 09:51:38 AM
Most Tier II coaches either played hockey growing up or beer leagues, and are not equipped to teach the game to kids. Throw that together with Daddy coaches and you are unlikely to have a good learning experience. 
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Reply #2:
 May 20, 2021, 09:57:21 AM
We are told by the association they are all to follow ADM unless AA. It's pretty dumb watching kids who have more knowledge and experience mixed with kids who have none all being forced to run through fundamental stations all season long. I totally agree the kids need to be brought back to actual coaching and not coaches following a practice guideline book USA hockey says they have to follow. Kids learn and improve by being challenged and having to step up to the higher level their other teammates already play. The higher level players shouldn't be forced to go backwards.
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Reply #3:
 May 20, 2021, 10:08:15 AM
This is a hot button topic all across the t2 landscape. The differences between competition is night and day for so many age levels. The parents see it and try to move their kids to the teams where there is actual competitive coaching but they don't have room. It stinks for everybody.
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Reply #4:
 May 20, 2021, 10:25:01 AM
I absolutely want my kids to learn but winning is also a part of the reason they play. Excusing losses by saying teaching first doesn't make any sense when there's no outwardly obvious or considerable changes in the teams overall play from the beginning of the season to end.
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Reply #5:
 May 20, 2021, 10:27:05 AM
As a very experienced coach that knows his limitations I will try to address all of the statements. My philosophy is to teach the fundamentals of the game and game play. This includes individual skills such as skating, stick handling, and PASSING. I emphasize a team game by working on passing, support, positional play, forechecking and backchecking, etc. When this is done correctly you will see the results on the ice. I believe in rolling lines evenly and will only occasionally stack a line for opportunities such as a powerplay or last minute to tie/win. My goal as a coach is to teach the game to the kids, help foster their love for the game, make sure they enjoy coming to the rink, and prepare them in practices for games. Many, many, many parents think we need to scrimmage 45 minutes per practice. The kids get much more out of dozens and dozens of puck touches and skill development than scrimmaging all the time.

I do NOT agree that the ADM should only be used for A and below. AA and AAA should still be following the proven principles of the ADM. There is a reason so many AA teams can whip AAA teams in their own rinks. That's because I see our AA teams following the ADM.

My personal complaint about coaching is selecting kids from evals simply because you've had them since Mites. Year after year I see deserving kids overlooked because the coach has his "kids".
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Reply #6:
 May 20, 2021, 10:28:07 AM
Everyone is an expert!!  Go get your certs and become a coach.  Sounds like you are a tool.
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Reply #7:
 May 20, 2021, 10:34:53 AM


My personal complaint about coaching is selecting kids from evals simply because you've had them since Mites. Year after year I see deserving kids overlooked because the coach has his "kids".

THIS! So much info but I wanted to address this part and the rest later. This is a plague because there are no real evals. The coaches are evaluating one or two new kids to add to their already established roster of kids they know. There isn't ever a real chance to move from one team to another unless you have mini Crosby who forces them to cut a player they had for years. That isn't a real evaluation or tryout.
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Reply #8:
 May 20, 2021, 10:42:17 AM
I've had to cut kids where I am close friends with their parents. Be honest, provide feedback, and make sure the team you select cannot be criticized for favoritism. It's a REALLY hard part of coaching and I hate that part. I suspect that is part of the reason coaches don't do it. If they saw how upset the deserving kids are they may grow a set and do the right thing. 
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Reply #9:
 May 20, 2021, 11:03:56 AM
It was my experience that the kids stopped puck chasing for the most part as second year squirts.  It still goes on somewhat, but not as much.  Maybe with better coached teams and kids that are more mentally mature it will happen as first year squirts.
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