Kim McCullough

Your No. 1 challenge in BIG games


By Kim McCullough, M.Sc, YCS

After watching two great hockey games between the Canadian and U.S. women at the Sochi Olympics, it got me thinking about the biggest challenges for players and coaches in these BIG games. Most of us are at the end of our season these days, with playoff games and state tournaments just around the corner, so hopefully this message rings true for you at this time of year. Feel free to pass it along to anyone else who you think might benefit from reading it.

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The little secrets of standing out on the ice


By Kim McCullough, M.Sc, YCS

If we honestly look at the way young hockey players across North America are being developed, we would be led to believe that the “more is better” philosophy holds true – especially when it comes to ice time.  If a young player aspires to reach the highest level possible, there is no question that they will need a great amount of ice time and skill in order to get there. But when we are talking about trying to separate yourself from the competition and really stand out, just getting more ice time is the easier answer. Everyone wants to skate more – because chasing that little black piece of rubber around the ice is fun.

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Play your aces


By Kim McCullough, M.Sc, YCS

This is a really simple concept that I wanted to share with you today.

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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Permission to fail


By Kim McCullough, M.Sc, YCS

Earlier this week, my high school players were working on full-ice 1-on-1 drills and I had to admit I was frustrated at their lack of gap control. To be fair, one of the hardest things for all hockey players to do, especially for defensemen, is to keep a tight gap in a one-on-one open-ice situation. It takes great timing, quick feet and guts to get a tight gap and keep it when just a little mistake could result in a breakaway.

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The truth about shots on net


By Kim McCullough, M.Sc, YCS

I have to admit that when I first starting coaching, I was a little too focused on asking my teams to get more shots on net than their opponent. It was a mainstay of my pre-game speeches and often repeated the line, “There’s no such thing as a bad shot” to my players. And while most of us would agree that outshooting your opponent is never really a bad thing, it isn’t the most important thing.

Read more: The truth about shots on net