By now, players a have mastered basic hockey skills and concepts but skill progression never ends. Coaches still emphasize skills and team play. The goals at this level are:
Players should understand the rules of hockey including: face-offs, off-sides, icing, body positioning, penalties (minor, major, matching, misconduct, penalty shot).
Players should establish specific and measurable performance goals that are written, shared with their coaches and parents and revised on a regular basis to promote development. An example of goal setting is to develop the glove hand in a goaltender. With a designated shooter, the goalie should be able to successfully save most if not all of the shots to their glove side.
- Understand the benefits of and the use of positive comments. Realize that positive comments help reduce stress, enhance self image, enhance the team's image, and can increase the enjoyment of games and practices.
- Understand the benefits and use of positive self talk.
- Understand basic visualization skills (i.e., picture scoring a goal or making a big save).
Character Development and Life Skills
Players must learn to:
- have respect for their teammates, coaches, opponents, officials and parents demonstrate an ability to balance school and outside activitiesbe on time for games and practices
- understand only they can "Just Say No" to drugs and other harmful substances.
- understand and take responsibility for their performance at games, practices and school.
- not be influenced by the negative behavior or actions of teammates
Skating: inside/outside edge control, forward start, forward stride, stopping (one-foot, two-foot), backward skating, backward stopping, two-foot turns, pivoting, crossovers (forward/backward), lateral movement.
Puck Control: sticking handling (forward/backward), using peripheral vision, moving with the puck, changing speed, deception.
Passing/Receiving: forehand pass, backhand pass, saucer pass, one-touch pass, indirect (board) pass, receive a pass (stick/skate/hand), giving a target.
Shooting: wrist shot, snap shot, slap shot, backhand shot, tipping/redirecting, dekeing, accuracy and quick release.
Checking: poke check, stick check, angling, gap control. Body contact is not allowed at this level.
Goalkeeping: ready position, parallel shuffle, lateral t-glide, forward and backward movement, stick save, body save, pad save, stacking the pads, skate save, blocker save, glove save, butterfly, playing the angles, controlling rebounds.
Forwards: offensive zone, neutral zone, defensive zone, forechecking, backchecking, power play, penalty kill, face-off responsibility.
Defenseman: offensive zone, neutral zone, defensive zone, power play, penalty kill, face-off responsibility, shot blocking, releasing and supporting.
Rules: off-sides, icing, penalties.
Other: Changing on the fly, pulling the goalie, being a good teammate.
Players will understand the importance of proper hydration before, during and after all practices and games. For evening practices, eat a normal breakfast and lunch but only eat a light snack before the practice. After the practice eat a meal. For early morning games, eat a light breakfast. For tournaments, if more than one game is played on the same day or several games are played in successive days, emphasize foods that are high in carbohydrate (fruit, hot or cold cereal, pancakes, cold meats, soup, rice, pasta) and avoid high sugar content foods. Be able to identify the appropriate amount and type of food from the four basic food groups.
Fitness and Training
Players will learn: warm-up exercises, cool down exercises, stretching exercises, flexibility exercises, balance exercises, agility exercises, hand-eye coordination exercises and upper body strength exercises.
Players will be very familiar with USA’s Heads Up Hockey program and be taught the importance of warming up, cooling down and daily stretching. Rink safety will also be taught as well as how to take proper care of equipment. When Injuries occur players will be introduce to RICE therapy (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation).
Players will be taught to understand the difference between being relaxed and tense and that making a mistake is common and a part of sports. Our coaches use positive reinforcement to help reduce stress, enhance self-image and team-image. The positive feedback increases the enjoyment of games and practices.
Character Development/Life Skills
Players will learn that they are part of a team and must respect teammates, coaches, opponents, officials and parents. Players will be expected to demonstrate a high level of sportsmanship, the ability to balance school responsibilities with athletics and be on time for practices and games. They will also be taught: team rules, self control, discipline, always try their best, respect for authority, the importance of a strong work ethic and commitment to the team.