A Developmental Crossroads

With no games on the horizon due to the surge of COVID-19 cases minor hockey coaches across this region are confronted once again with a practice or nothing scenario.

As of right now the sporting world should be very happy and grateful they can still practice.

Let’s leave the political sentiment out of this shall we and just focus on the developmental crossroads that all young aspiring players are dealing with right now.

Coming out of a year where kids saw games reduced by at least 90%, those involved in the game were probably worried sick about development.

Obviously, games are important, some would say they are everything, and clearly everyone was getting sick of skills and drills, but let’s face it, other countries that are mass producing professionals at an alarming rate have a 70-30 approach to games and practices.

You see we were so accustomed to playing games that when they were taken away everyone involved were like now what?

“We can only do so much.”

“They need to play games.”

Whatever happened to they need to work on their weaknesses?

Now would be a perfect time for coaches to go one on one with players and do a deep dive on their overall experience and performance.

Now would be a great time to work on everyone’s weaknesses in practice not just endless skill sessions that result in players just going half ass.

It’s time to be innovative.

It’s time to continue to develop and improve.

Now isn’t the time to bitch and complain about the lack of games.

Obviously, we have no control over the restrictions that are in place, all that the minor hockey world and coaches can do right now is change their mindset, which we all know is extremely difficult to do considering the cultural and traditional perspectives the game possesses.

It’s easy to point the finger.

It’s easy to be negative.

It’s not easy to design innovative hockey practices focusing on individual skill and skating development.

It’s not easy to sit down remotely and dissect tape with players.

It’s not easy to take the right approach and make the best of a shitty situation.

Hell everyone misses games and gong to the rink to watch the game they love, but what about the work behind the scenes, that’s what matters most.

The value of practice is perhaps higher now then ever, I guess it all revolves around priorities.

Those within the game are all at a developmental crossroads.

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