Kim McCullough

Are you focused or distracted?


By Kim McCullough, M.Sc, YCS

One of the biggest challenges for all hockey players is being able to stay focused throughout an entire season, game or even practice. Distractions are everywhere and with playoffs and season-ending tournaments upon us, the amount and intensity of these distractions seems to be multiplying. Every player will get distracted by different things and that’s why each player must come up with their own strategy for combating their distractions.

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Dressing room drama


By Kim McCullough, M.Sc, YCS

Nothing can derail a team faster than dressing room drama that isn’t dealt with quickly and effectively. I’ve been playing and coaching this sport for almost 25 years, and I can honestly say that I’ve been with very few teams that haven’t had some serious drama in the room. Not surprisingly, those teams are the ones that have had the most success on the ice. I’ve coached teams from PeeWee all the way up to the college level and while the drama may be different at all those age groups, it has the same ability to rip a team apart and cause divisions and problems that inevitably spill over onto the ice.

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The “Five Player Rule” in girls’ hockey


By Kim McCullough, M.Sc, YCS

The “Five Player Rule” in girls’ hockey has absolutely nothing to do with the number of players out on the ice. On every team, there are usually five players who are really dedicated and driven to get to the next level. It’s not that the other players aren’t trying their hardest or giving their best. It’s just that they’re not quite as focused on getting to the elite level. Not every player wants to play college hockey and not every player wants to play in the Olympics. It’s neither good nor bad, but it is a reality in the women’s game.

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How did she do that?


By Kim McCullough, M.Sc, YCS

The best female hockey players in the world have got all the basic skills down pat – they can all skate, pass, shoot, stickhandle and check effectively. For many young players, being able to execute basic skills at the right time, while under pressure and while moving at high speeds is very challenging, but when you put the best players from across the country together to compete for a spot on the national team, you can see that they’ve all got the ability. So if they can all do the basic things well, what separates the best in this group from the rest?

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Playing your aces


By Kim McCullough, M.Sc, YCS

I’m not much of a card player, but even I can understand this one. When you are dealt a hand of cards, you always have your high cards and your low cards. And if you are playing to win, you usually have to rely on your high cards. Winning in cards is no different than winning in hockey and in life. You have to play to your strengths – or as I like to call it: play your aces.

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