USA Hockey Magazine

September 2018

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16 // SEPTEMBER 2018 USAHOCKEYMAGAZINE.COM PHOTO BY USA Hockey Magazine Archives O F F W I N G Prepare For Liftoff: Taking Steps Toward A Successful Season g By Bob Mancini s t h e d o g d a y s o f s u m m e r give way to the first signs of autumn, it's time for many to head back indoors and get ready for another hockey season. Just as players need to prepare for the new season, so too must coaches get ready for the long road ahead. Here are a few tips to get your season off to a successful start. 3 B E Y O N D T H E X ' S A N D O ' S A meeting is most important, the follow up is critical. Regular communication between the coaching staff and the parents is essential for ensuring that everyone is on the same page. Sharing your weekly practice plans is a good way to let parents know what is being focused upon in practice. Keep practice challenging for the players and fun for all. Keep your practices fresh, keep your pl a y er s en g a g e d a n d c h a l len g e d . Don't get caug ht up in the routine, and remember that you should enjoy the hockey season too. P Bob Mancini has coached at all levels of the game and is currently a regional manager with the American Development Model. Have a mission statement or goal for the season that you can refer to on a regular basis. Create a development plan designed to help every player improve over the course of the season and refer to it often. Things will happen over the course of the season that are beyond your control. Having a mis- sion statement you can refer to peri- odically will help you stay on track. Make sure you, your assis- tants and your team man- ager are all on the same page. Teamwork is about more than just s h a r i n g t h e p u c k o n t h e i c e . It 's a b out com mu n ic at i ng aw ay f rom t he r i n k a s wel l . T h at st a r t s w it h t he c o ac h i n g s t a f f . You a nd you r a s s i s t a n t c o a c h e s n e e d t o b e o n t he s a me p a ge b efor e you h it t he ic e for y ou r f i r s t pr a c t ic e . K now your roles and discuss how it all fits together w ith in the f ra mework of a team. It 's a lso impor tant to be in sy nc w ith your team manager, who i s wor t h h i s or her weig ht i n gold during the season. Know your place in Long-Term Athlete Development. T h e w i n d o w s o f t r a i n a b i l i t y a r e too important to let pass without paying close attention to what is important for players at the age you a r e c o a c h i n g . Yo u r d e v e l o p m e n t p l a n s h o u l d b e b a s e d o n t h e k e y training points within these win- dows. Practices should be designed around improving the individual skills of each player and not just on team systems. While winning is important, in youth hockey how you win is even more important. While sounding trite, the old cliché that "Development is a marathon, not a sprint" still rings true. Have a plan for parent communication. A preseason meeting is a great way for you to share your vision with play- ers and parents. It is also equally important for everyone involved to understand what are the expecta- tions for the season. While the first Teamwork is about more than just sharing the puck on the ice. 1 2 3 4 5

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