This week's cover: February 11, 2016


Click the image above for a PDF of this week's cover of Let's Play Hockey

Reptilian brains on the ice


By Jack Blatherwick
Let’s Play Hockey Columnist

Five hundred million years ago, the brain of a reptile was a combination of the cerebellum for coordinating motor movement, and a brainstem for controlling basic body functions like heart rate, breathing, etc. Today, this same “reptilian” or “lower brain” still exists in humans, and hasn’t changed much in its function. Over time, several new distinct brain regions evolved above the brainstem, most visibly the two large hemispheres at the top, called the neocortex. This region produces rational thoughts, and is the master control center for muscular movement, along with sight, sound, language, etc.

Read more: Reptilian brains on the ice

Why good goalies play bad


By Jeff Hall
Stauber’s Goalcrease Coaching Director

Have you ever watched a goalie struggle and wonder what the heck they’re thinking? You may see a normally dominant goaltender give up a few soft goals and say, “He’s been so good lately. What got into his head today?”

Read more: Why good goalies play bad

The effort button: Where is it?


By John Russo
Let’s Play Hockey Columnist


The title of this article might lead you to believe that there is an easy way to get players to “put out.” While that isn’t true, it does relate to what some coaches call “taking a holiday.” There are many other names for the problem that coaches constantly are faced with: lack of intensity, poor pace, taking a shift or period or game off.

Read more: The effort button: Where is it?

Has coaching changed?


By Paul Gibson
Boys’ Varsity Head Coach
Chisago Lakes High School

In today’s coaching world, the terms “transactional coaching” and “transformational coaching” have come to the forefront. If you haven’t heard these terms before, don’t be alarmed. Until recently, neither did I. But after reading books about transformational coaching like “Inside Out Coaching” and “An Impractical Guide To Becoming A Transformational Leader,” and leadership books like “Leading From The Ice” by Kevin Hartzell, and numerous books about the successes of college football coaches Nick Saban and Urban Meyer, I have a fairly good understanding of the different coaching approaches.

Read more: Has coaching changed?