Kim McCullough

No chicken wings allowed


By Kim McCullough, M.Sc, YCS

You might be thinking that this message is going to be all about nutrition, but it’s not. After all, I’m pretty sure it goes without saying that chicken wings aren’t  appropriate fuel for high performance. This message is about the one of the biggest problems I see everyday with the way girls’ hockey players hold their hockey sticks. It prevents them from being able to shoot, pass and stickhandle properly, so it must be fixed!

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Is the east-west game better?


By Kim McCullough, M.Sc, YCS

Is your game more north-south or more east-west? In the north-south game, the puck usually moves up the ice quickly and gets straight to the net quickly. On the breakout, the puck usually comes out on the side the first pass was made on. And on the attack, the player who has possession as they cross the blue line typically ends up as the main offensive threat. If they run into pressure, the puck carrier usually has to give up possession by dumping the puck in and the team must work hard on the forecheck to gain it back.

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How to fake a shot


By Kim McCullough, M.Sc, YCS

You’ve heard the term, “Fake it until you make it” before, right? Well, players need to use a lot more fakes before they make their plays on the ice if they want to get to, and excel at, the next level. You want to be completely unpredictable to your opponents. If they know what you’re going to do, it’s much easier to stop you.

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The three “A’s” of college hockey


By Kim McCullough, M.Sc, YCS

July is a busy month for college hockey recruiting in North America. Between provincial and national tryout camps on both sides of the border and the big showcase tournament that just finished in Boston, there’s no shortage of opportunities for players to show their stuff in front of scouts. One of the most common questions I get from players, parents and coaches about the whole college hockey recruiting process is: “What are the scouts looking for?”

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Do you even need a good slap shot?


By Kim McCullough, M.Sc, YCS

How many times do you think a forward takes a slap shot in a game? I think back to my playing days and I’d say I probably only took one a game to dump the puck in –maybe one or two more if I was out on the penalty kill. So you can understand how it makes me a little crazy as a skills coach when forwards ask to work on the boomers? It’s not a complete waste of time, but they’d be much better served working on something else.

Read more: Do you even need a good slap shot?