Update Nov 29, News, Atom LL2 (South Kent Minor Hockey)

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Update Nov 29
Submitted By Albert PilBeam on Friday, November 29, 2019
Good afternoon all,

Quick reminder about our game tomorrow in Mooretown - 4pm start, hope to see all players in the room around 3:15pm, again wearing a collared shirt.

In speaking with the other coaches we want to let our group know that we are very pleased with the progress so far with our athletes. We have seen considerable growth with all of them and they work well together as a team on the ice, on the bench and in the change room.

Sorry for the length of the following, just in an effort to keep all informed with our teams progression and things to come, I'll provide a bit of an overview of our identified weaknesses and what we have been working on in practices to address and correct these deficiencies.

Penalties - we have spoken to the group as a whole as well as a few individual athletes (in private) about the importance of minimizing penalties. We teach and encourage aggressive play of the game (piranhas - giving the opposing team little to no time to make good passes or shots) but we are going a step further and are trying to teach to our athletes what a ref would be alerted to during games that often results in penalties (elbows up, sticks up, chopping motions, opposing players falling over etc.). All agree this is very costly to our teams success.

Break Out - We have been working on this now for about 3 weeks and it is beginning to work fairly well for us and is showing up in game situations. We started with a very basic break out which begins with our defense behind the net locating and passing to a winger (who have been taught where to go and why) at the hash marks along the boards. That same winger is then taught to located and pass to the center man (who have been taught where to go and why) who positions themselves between the opposing teams defense near the blue line. The idea behind this is that if the defense pass is missed by our winger, it simply banks off the boards and will still get to the center man at the blue line.

We have begun adding an option for the winger (along the boards at hash marks) to consider skating the puck along the boards towards the opposing defense and chipping it off the boards and past the defenseman. We then further teach the center to see that play unfolding and skate out of our zone towards the centerline and the boards anticipating that chip pass around their defense.

There are still a few "add ons" that can be incorporated into this break out, but we are building this up slowly, when they become confident, we will continue to add variations to this. At the Atom Level - this takes considerable time to get this down but it is progressing fairly well.

Shooting - accuracy, speed of shot, where in the offensive zone is a shot on net area (we call it - the shot umbrella) and quick release of shots.

Skating - edges and cornering, cross overs, stopping while facing both ways, skating back wards, transitions from front to backwards on the move and quick acceleration.

Communication - we are encouraging teammates to shout corrections to other players who might be out of position (ie. cover the front of the net). We have taught and are encouraging Aiden (goalie) to speak with our players as well about open opposing team players in and around the front of the net. I loose my voice weekly shouting, this would go a long way in helping me out...

Drops - how to recover from falling to your knees, belly, roll over on belly or back, dropped stick.

Shoot Outs - as seen in our recent Mooretown Tournament this can be a vital part of a game. We are trying to identify who on our team does this well and also who remains calm when under a high pressure situation - like a shoot out in actual game would be like.

Sportsmanship - we started this from day one. We have a positive culture in the change room and on the bench of not faulting each other or the refs for the outcome of the games. They can be a loud group at times... but they are very respectful to each other and the coaches. We have taught and reinforce that the room is theirs and should be looked after and respected. They hang all coats, hats and other clothing neatly on hooks and place their bags under the benches to allow for open and clear space for a team meeting before each game.

Tournament Update:

Fri -  DEC 13 - 4pm   vs   Southwest -         Blenhiem
Sat - DEC 14 - 8am   vs   Southpoint Red - Ridgetown
Sat - DEC 14 - 12pm vs   Wallaceburg 1 -   Ridgetown

Again - overall the coaching staff are very please with our teams progression to date. We will continue to develop the team so they advance with their abilities and have fun for the remainder of the season.

While not the only measuring stick of how a team is progressing, it bears noting that we have recently beat the first place team in our league and last weekend tied the only undefeated team in our league.

We will continue to do our best to ensure we are doing everything we can to help the team be in a position to compete in the coming games and tournament.

As always - if you should have any questions or wish to express any concerns, please never hesitate to reach out to me.

Thank you for your continued support.


519-784-50819 (cell)

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