Coaches Tip – Have a Parent/Player meeting: Once the coach selects his team, it is a great idea to have a meeting with the players and parents. This gives the coach an excellent opportunity to introduce themselves to the parents, and to discuss his coaching philosophies. The coach should also express what he/she expects out of the players this season, how early they should arrive for practices and games, what their dress code will be for games, and any other rules or guidelines that they should have for the coming season. This is also a great chance for the coach and the parents to examine upcoming tournaments that they’ll be attending, and to make the necessary travel arrangements for tournaments. Having regular meetings with the players and parents are an effective way to keep everyone informed, and an excellent way to communicate any problems that may be arising throughout the course of the season.
Officials Tip – Presentation: As an official you should always dress appropriately, and look respectful both on and off the ice. If you look professional the players and coaches will respect you more on the ice. Before going onto the ice you should always make sure that your sweater and pants are clean and have all appropriate cresting for your league. Make sure that your helmet is well fitting with the appropriate visor and ear coverings depending on the policies of your league. Make sure your laces are clean and your skates are in good order. Your appearance as you enter and leave the arena is also very important. You should be clean and well dressed. Your appearance is very important because it will give you a great deal of acceptability before you make your first call.
Players Tip – Balance: Hockey is different from any other sport because of the surface it is played on, ice. Work on balance in your off-ice training because it will not only help you stay on your feet, but it will make you a better and ultimately more confident skater. A good way to do this is to remove the wheels from a skateboard, and put a bar or a ball underneath. By trying to keep yourself straight you will develop muscles for balance. Another good way to work on balance is to do exercises on one leg or on a stability ball. If you are balanced on the ice your weight is equally distributed. This means you can go equally fast in any direction. The puck is constantly changing directions so you want to be able to move quickly in any way. For a goalie, having good balance means more control on movements and better recovery to make the second sometimes third save. Balance is key to work on during Off-Ice training because it helps you move equally fast in any direction, while maintaining your position. It is one of the most important aspects to work on in hockey, but a lot of people don’t. It will also give you more confidence as a skater. Balance is the difference between an average athlete and a high performance athlete.
Trainers Tip – Dealing with concussions: Because hockey is such a fast and exciting sport, injuries are bound to happen. One of the most common, and dangerous injuries that can occur in a hockey game is a concussion. A concussion is mild injury to the tissues of the brain. It can result from a blow to any part of the head, including the face, scalp, or skull. As the trainer, it is your responsibility to identify the injury. The symptoms that you should be looking for immediately after a blow to the head are temporary loss of consciousness. Later, they may develop headache, dizziness, or fatigue. The player also may have cuts, bruises, and swelling. Other possible symptoms are numbness, nausea, vomiting, large pupils, mental confusion, and memory problems. It is crucial that if the player is suffering from any of these symptoms they do not go back onto the ice, and they see a doctor as soon as possible.
Administrator’s Tip – Player Evaluations: For many minor hockey parents, executives, players, and coaches choosing which players are on which team can be a tension filled, laborious and frustrating experience. The objective of doing player evaluations is to provide a fair and impartial assessment of a players total hockey skills during the practice and scrimmage sessions. The following tips will give you a fair and accurate way to choose teams in the future:
• Every parent and player should be aware prior to evaluations of the number of opportunities that the player will have to be assessed. It is recommended that each player have a minimum of 2 evaluation sessions before being released from a given program.
• In order to do a proper evaluation you should have On-ice coaches to take players through the session ♦ Off-ice evaluators who will be responsible to evaluate every player on the ice during the time allotted. There may be on-ice evaluators depending on the particular community situation. ♦ Off-ice administrators who will be responsible for tracking evaluations, contacting parents and players and scheduling sessions.
• Players will be assigned a piney upon their arrival at the rink. The evaluators will only know the players piney number - not their name. It is also highly recommended for associations to not allow young players to where "elite team" jerseys or socks. Although difficult to enforce - these jerseys can often unknowingly sway evaluator's perception of a players skills.
• In order to give each and every player a fair opportunity to exhibit the range of skills that they possess they will be evaluated in a game and skill environment. At the younger age levels a greater emphasis will be placed on the evaluation of skills - as the players get older the game or scrimmage sessions will have a greater overall impact on the player’s placement within the minor hockey program.
Associations are highly encouraged to use the player evaluation information as a starting point for a season of development. If a coach understands why he or she has the team they have been given they will be better able to work on the skills required for that player to become more proficient.