"The biggest thing that we have to see... is what's going on between the ears."

The Global Skills Showcase that The Coaches Site hosted earlier this year was a terrific chance to bring together many of the best skills coaches in hockey.

When you think about skill-development in hockey, you probably think about a player’s hands. Well, for Ted Suihkonen, the Director of Player Development for HC Lokomotiv in the KHL, it starts with your brain.

Suihkonen’s presentation looked at the importance of cognition and variability for hockey players

“You can be as technically skilled as you want to be, and we see a lot of players that are very technically skilled at the young ages and today in the NHL,” Suihkonen said. “But the biggest thing that we have to see that separates everybody is what’s going on between the ears. So with the cognitive development, what we’re always trying to do is have them remember things. We want them problem solving, and we want them to be making decisions on a regular basis.

“We do this from when we’re born. We learn how to crawl, we learn how to walk, and we’re not really being taught all the time how to do that stuff, we’re just exploring it ourselves and our brains are picking up the movement variations that we have and then we connect those later on with our motor skills.”

Watch the full 49-minute presentation with a membership to The Coaches Site.

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  • This was a fantastic video with coach Suihkonen. I am very interested finding out more of how to use these techniques with my players. Is there anyway to contact Ted?

Ted Suihkonen

Ted has developed a new approach to player development that masterfully trains the three speeds of hockey: Speed of Hand, Speed of Foot and Speed of Mind simultaneously, This approach is rooted through performance analytics that we gather from skill and tactical sessions, as well as game footage of the players.

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