During the 2015-16 NCAA season, Alex Hicks was tasked with turning the tide for the Arizona State University Sun Devils men’s hockey team. It was his first year as Assistant Coach and the team had fallen on tough times. They were missing on too many scoring chances and losing too many games; frustrations were rising and a change was needed.
Hicks, a former pro player who enjoyed a 14-year career (which included 258 games between the Anaheim Mighty Ducks, Pittsburgh Penguins, San Jose Sharks and Florida Panthers), vocalized a theory he had had since coaching mites hockey early in his career. He believed players were using sticks that were too long and because of that, opportunities were missed.
When the 53-year-old from Calgary, Alberta, played hockey, he always used a shorter stick. He felt it gave him more control of the puck, he could act quickly and he never fanned on shots. Fast-forward to Arizona State where he witnessed the following: players unable to make plays in tight areas, players fanning on pucks in scoring areas, and players unable to perform proper puck work on the wall.
Shorter sticks were needed. But of course it wouldn’t just be as simple as measuring twice and cutting once because players were very reluctant to altering their stick length.
Hicks stuck by his belief and put together a presentation that got through to his players and changed their season for the better, with the team breaking its slump and producing more offence.
This 28-minute presentation is as unique as it sounds and is a must-watch for players, parents and coaches alike.
Do you or your players need a shorter stick?
Tickets to TCS Live 2023, taking place June 22-24 at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, are SELLING FAST! Click below for details.
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