Checking is a critical skill in the game of hockey that when performed properly can create quality scoring opportunities or help a team regain control of the puck. Just like skating, puck control, passing and shooting there are key progressions to the skill of checking when taught effectively, can greatly enhance a player's enjoyment of the great game of hockey.
A common misconception is that the skill of checking begins at a certain age or age category of play. In fact, checking is a 4-step progression that begins the first time a young player steps on the ice. Body checking is the fourth and final step of a four step teaching progression.
The purpose of this manual is to provide coaches with an introductory package of information, which contains progressions for beginning to teach checking skills. The transition from non-contact to contact hockey can be very uncomfortable for young players but if coaches are able to effectively put the building blocks in place, players will be able to make a smoother transition.
Coaches are encouraged to take the time to become familiar with the material in this manual and to adopt the progressions that are presented. After all, it is the players who benefit from quality coaching and if we develop as coaches, then our players will improve. Remember, checking is a 4 STEP PROGRESSION.