5 Simple Tips to Run Effective Spring Hockey “Practices”

Kelvin Cech

Steady contributor in multiple roles over the years at the coaches site, former MJHL coach of the year with the Winkler Flyers and assistant coach with the UBC Thunderbirds Men's Hockey team.

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Getting better. That’s what spring hockey is about. It’s not about winning tournaments, it’s not about learning systems, and it’s sure as hell not about exposure (your spring hockey team winning every game of a tournament 12-0 wouldn’t be impressive even if their were scouts in the crowd, which there aren’t).

And how do hockey players get better when the sun is shining outside and other kids are playing other sports like soccer and baseball? Well, for one, their parents make sure to balance their activities so they have time to join those other sports, even if it means they’re not on the ice as much. Too many parents are so afraid of their children falling behind that they sacrifice the normal things a kid should be doing in the spring and summer for the sake of skating 4, 5, 6, or more times during the spring.

It’s insane. There isn’t a professional hockey player alive who wants to play hockey 365 days a year. Because then it’s not a sport any more. It’s a career.

Most of us don’t want to be committed to jobs when we’re adults, let alone kids. Treat spring hockey like a job, and pretty soon the kids will do the same.

Alright, rant over. That’s mostly meant for parents anyways, so let’s get back on track, coaches. What are some of the advantages of spring hockey?

It’s fun: if you have a group of kids, parents, and coaches and a positive vibe, going to the rink for an hour in the spring and summer can be a blast.

It’s effective: young hockey players can receive a jolt of confidence when they’re placed in a new group of peers with a similar skill level

It’s educational: with the right coaching methods, young hockey players can learn a ton of new stuff in the spring.

So what do the right coaching methods look like?

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