Sept 10 Tip The Forwards Job

Sept 10 Forwards Must Be a 200 Foot Player

  • Forwards must be equally as engaged on ALL 200 FEET OF ICE
  • I love talking to all of the Hockey East and D1 guys who have worked for us over the years
  • Friends in NHL Brass
  • Friends who are coaches of  NHL Hockey East and D1 programs
  • NCAA Championship Coaches
  • Information is power, execution and style of training is what differs with all hockey coaches.
  •  At Pro Ambitions, our job and professional expertise is the break down of skill development for youth hockey players. That is what we do.
  • Countless players/coaches in the NHL who have trained with us as youths now come back to coach and speak at AAA BU Camp. They are now difference makers in the highest levels of the game, we love talking hockey with every single one of them.
  • Forwards need to be 200 foot players working equally as hard in all three zones and all 200 feet of the ice. Period.
  • Consistently doing things right in all three zones is the key to success. You can make yourself a stand out player especially in youth hockey if you understand what is expected of you in all three zones.
  • Youth players with average speed and skill set WILL find success if they understand and execute what to do right in all three zones.
  • We break the ice down into the three zones at our battle camps and train differently in each zone. Younger players will grasp and take away at least two concepts annually, as you progress in age and skill you will take away more annually.
  • Mastery of these concepts and skills will take years of practice training coaching repetition and “Ah Hah hockey moments” in a youth hockey players career.
  • To be a 200 Foot Player remember why hockey shifts are short. Put in 100 percent effort while you are out there for probably less than a minute of ice time. This is the most important thing that kids can accomplish in their game. Every single shift.
  • Golden Rule for Forwards is BACKCHECKING  equally  as hard and fast as forechecking. Coaches will notice this in youth players ESPECIALLY.
  • Pick and open player to cover and don’t necessarily go after the puck or the player with the puck all of the time…sometimes best to let your D get the puck and pass to you. Depends where the puck is. Open players are always the most dangerous. Remember that. Kids forget this…
  • Sometimes it is a better play to let your D cover the puck carrier. And you grab the open player. This is something I would like youth forwards to ask their youth coaches about in their next practice. We train for this scenario a lot at The Battle Camps.
  • When a teammate has the puck behind the net,  Forwards don’t crowd the net. Youth players crowd the net all of the time in this scenario especially. Give yourself space to receive the pass and shoot with a wrist or snap shot which are the best shots for accuracy by the way. Youth players congest the net. Talk and strategize with your teammates about this scenario before the game.
  • When you must throw the puck into your zone. Don’t wrap it around the boards. Shoot it at an angle off the boards where it will be easier for your D to catch. It is called an area pass off the wall. The key for all forwards is putting the puck into the right area. It is called Puck Management. Whether that is down low for a cycle or back to the defense.
  • In the defensive end or neutral zone what the forward does with the puck from the D… DICTATES PLAYING TIME IN YOUTH HOCKEY up to the NHL.  Examples: catching a wrap puck and making a play, catching a breakout pass under pressure, taking the hit to protect the puck, eat the puck, chip the puck out, pass to the center or back to the D. D passing to the forwards, area passes, wraps…this is all part of our curriculum and forcing  the “ah hah hockey moments”.
  • As a youth coach I look for a lot of little things kids do out there. Don’t feel you did not have a good game if you did not score goals and assists. Ok kiddos. A Lot of little accomplishments to be made out there that a good coach WILL NOTICE.
  • When in doubt…don’t ice it. Hoist the puck up in the air into a safe spot. I used to practice flipping the puck out up in the air to a safe spot. This is a little weapon that any smart hockey player can master with a lot of practice. AT HOME. LITTLE HOISTS in the garage. Over and over and over. Love to see youth players execute this little hoist to a safe spot. As a coach it is so obvious who wants it and working for it when I see this happen in a youth hockey game.
  • So many things to discuss in more detail…we have the next two months.
  • Hope everyone is safely back at hockey and school whether virtual or in person.
  • Control the Controllables!
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