A lot of time and preparation goes into planning practices. There are a good three or four revisions before I finally feel the practice plan is set to go. But overall, planning and running practices are a key part of my role as the head coach that I really enjoy.
Each practice I want to make sure that there’s a focus on developing the core hockey skills of skating, puck handling, passing and shooting. I want my practices to be up tempo, fast, competitive, with skill development and teaching. I want my practices to be fun and hard working. When kids are engaged in practice and having fun, the hard work takes care of itself.
I am a very strong believer in the benefits of small area games, and putting players into game-like situations in practice. We play a variety of small area games in practices that improve a player’s ability to read, react and adapt to a given situation; improve their ability to handle a puck under pressure and confinement; and improve their skating ability, edge work and ability to escape opponents.