Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Why a 3- Day "Focus" Camp?

The 3-Day Camp is designed to be a unique training experience:

* 3 On-Ice Sessions
* 1 Off-Ice Skill Session
* 1 Video Analysis Session
The On-Ice drill work will be entirely skill focused and uptempo, using the model of previous Scoring Concepts clinics and private training. The Off-Ice Skill session will focus on specific drills that your youth hockey player can learn and take home with them (via a handout for each student) to practice their skill work in their driveway, rec room, or basement. The video analysis will feature footage shot from the previous 2 days of training and drill down into the technical aspects of powerskating, so that your player can learn, in a positive setting, the deep details of stride analysis.
The goal for the 3- Day Focus Camp is for kids to get the maximum bang for their hockey camp buck.  For a very cost-efficient price kids can get the On-Ice instruction and repetition, using drills that will push them to go "out of their comfort zone", and combine them with 2 other elements that players and parents constantly overlook.

1)  Off-Ice Hands work.  Your hands, puck control skills and stickhandling can get dramatically better when drill off the ice.  This is a fact.  It is the central reason why Joe Mullen scored over 500 NHL goals and played primarily roller and street hockey when he was a kid growing up in New York City.  The kids who attend this camp will learn the right way and what tools to enhance these skills, and get a handout/ chart to take home with them so they can continue to grow this skill.

2.  Video Analysis.  Every kid loves to watch themselves play, but do they know what to look for?  This camp will record the first two days of training and analyze, using a positive approach, to dig deeper into the most efficient and powerful components of the skating stride.  Players will have a mental image of the right way to skate, and be able to take that with them... applying those principles to their own strides.

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Friday, April 13, 2012

3 Components of Player Evaluations

When picking players for your team or organization there are a lot of different criteria used for evaluating your candidates.  I try to use a little different system, and compare it to the level I am evaluating for.

3 Key Components go it in, and these 3 components are graded on a 1-5 or 1-10 scale.

1) Skill Set- This is the most obvious.  Skill set is the basic set of hockey abilities an athlete possesses.  Skating, shooting, puck handling, passing and natural athleticism.

2) Hockey IQ-  This can be the most difficult to identify if you are new to the game, but Hockey IQ is the ability for a player to utilize his intelligence to make the right play.  Positioning and the ability to read and react to his linemates and situations are important, but look closely at players during evaluations... Does the Forechecker take away the D to D pass?  Does he have good habits and not turn the puck over at his Offensive and Defensive bluelines?  Does he take good angles to force decisions?  Does he have an understanding of game situations, and know how much time is left on the clock?  If the answer is "yes" to all of these, then the player possesses a high Hockey IQ.

3) Compete Level-  Compete level is the ability for a player to maximize, through effort, their athletic ability.  Players with high compete levels are consistent from the beginning of the evaluation to the end and in all facets of the game (offensive and defensive).  Will the player win loose puck battles....  backcheck hard goalline to goalline?

All the categories can be related to the level of the team you are selecting for, as the comparison does not have to be against NHL talent.  If you select players who excel (8-10) in all these areas, you will have a team with talented, winning players who are fun to coach.

A 10-type player in all of these Evaluation components is Mark Messier-