By Ontario Minor Hockey Association, 11/21/14, 4:00PM EST
When designing your practice, incorporate the following principles of effective practices.
Keep Everyone Active
Maximize the activity of your players. The athletes should be active rather than passive viewers or listeners (e.g., use them as examples for demonstrations of drills, etc.).
Give Clear, Concise Instructions
Learning improves when expectations are understood by the players. Demonstrations, films and pictures help improve the accuracy of the instruction.
Learning is enhanced if it progresses from material that is: known to unknown – simple to complex – concrete to abstract. Progress from non-competitive skill practice to simulation of game conditions.
Use Whole - Part - Whole
Complex tasks are most easily learned using the Whole - Part - Whole method. Present the total skill before breaking it down and teaching the parts. Use visual presentations (e.g., charts, pictures or ice examples) often.
Give Positive Feedback
Emphasize and reward the skills and activities the players are performing correctly. Give feedback both on an individual and team basis.
Learning is enhanced when players are informed of their progress. Drills and exercises should be designed to allow a measurable means by which the coach or athletes may assess progress
(e.g., record times, number of passes).
Allow for Individual Differences
Allow for variations in learning rates and in the different ways athletes learn. Plan for and yet be flexible to meet the needs of the situation and the individuals within the situation.
Maintain interest by varying activities. Boredom decreases motivation and learning. Interest can be maintained by use of short time spans for instruction.
Practices should be fun. Interest and motivation are stimulated by use of novel equipment, exercises, and drills.
Plan Maximum Use of Resources
Maximize the use of limited resources to insure the maximum participation by all athletes. That is, use the entire ice surface.