Jack Blatherwick

An unreported reason to play high school sports

 

By Jack Blatherwick
Let’s Play Hockey Columnist

Several writers have contributed excellent thoughts recently in Let’s Play Hockey regarding the decisions faced by players who are encouraged to leave high school early and play junior hockey – or enroll in (for-profit) AAA hockey 12 months of the year. I will not duplicate their message, but instead will mention a factor that is extremely important, and has not been discussed: recent observations in the neuroscience of adolescent development.

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Start fun “strength training” with first-year Mites

 

By Jack Blatherwick
Let’s Play Hockey Columnist

Michael Crowe has spent a lifetime as a speedskater and coach, first in the United States, and now in Canada’s highly successful development program. His dryland workouts are legendary for their creative approach to skating improvement.

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The warning track

 

Does the discussion have to wait for NHL approval?

 

By Jack Blatherwick
Let’s Play Hockey Columnist

The idea of painting a 40-inch warning track near the boards in a hockey rink is not only logical, but has historical precedent in other sports (Thomas E. Smith; www.justcureparalysis.org/look-up-line). The discussion of its merits is stalled in bureaucratic committee right now, but 225 arenas aren’t waiting. So I hereby volunteer to bring my paintbrush and assist any arena staff that acts before official blessing comes down from the state and national ‘leaders.’ Right now they’re lining up putts on the third green, so it’ll be a while.

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I’ll take the smaller guys

 

So would Isaac Newton, because he understood physics

 

By Jack Blatherwick
Let’s Play Hockey Columnist

Lets look at some facts, not myths: Smaller players are NOT at a disadvantage in hockey except at three times in their lives:  1) That one time when they carry the puck with their head down; 2) When they are a PeeWee or Bantam and their peers have the advantage of physiological-sociological maturity;  and 3) When scouts (college and NHL) make preliminary decisions as they walk in the arena, pick up the roster and put an asterisk by the names of the biggest players before the game even starts. 

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Quickness requires efficient strength, not just a lot of strength

 

By Jack Blatherwick
Let’s Play Hockey Columnist

Above is my favorite photo of world-class sprinters, because it shows clearly why the athlete in the forefront is the quickest in the first few strides. He is not likely to win the 100-meter race, because the top-ranked sprinters are in the middle lanes, but he wins the first 15 meters or so, the part of a sprint that matters most to a hockey player. 

Read more: Quickness requires efficient strength, not just a lot of strength