Kim McCullough

The give and take of girls’ hockey


By Kim McCullough, M.Sc, YCS

Puck possession is an interesting stat to track in girls’ hockey. While it’s nice to see your team have the puck more often than the bad guys, I’m sure you’ve seen many instances where one team dominates the other in terms of time with the puck and the team with less time of possession wins. A more critical stat to look at is your giveaway-to-takeaway ratio.

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Is the grass really greener?


By Kim McCullough, M.Sc, YCS

I had a great chat last week with a former player of mine who is playing NCAA Division I hockey at a school that fits her perfectly both academically and socially. She worked extremely hard on and off the ice to realize that dream, and I am honored to have been able to help her through the process. She loves her teammates, her studies and everything to do with the school. 

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Watch and learn


By Kim McCullough, M.Sc, YCS

Video is a fantastic teaching and learning tool for young hockey players. Just think of how often in a given day players are watching videos on their phones or online. As parents and coaches, this technology simply wasn’t available to us growing up, so we might not be as attuned to it as our kids are. Most young people are visual learners, so we need to teach them in a way that they’ll best absorb the information.

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Are faceoffs even important?


By Kim McCullough, M.Sc, YCS

I have to admit that faceoff plays are definitely not something I get excited about as a coach. Teaching them usually involves a lot of standing around and it’s hard to run through them at game-like intensity with your own team since everyone knows the same plays. All that being said, they are absolutely critical to the success of any team, so we spend a good amount of time working on them. Faceoff plays aren’t as fun and exciting as playing 5-on-5. They don’t get the same glory as the power play. But they are a very necessary evil.

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The No. 1 weakest skill of girls’ hockey players


By Kim McCullough, M.Sc, YCS

If you had to guess what the No. 1 weakest skill is of girls’ hockey players, what would it be? A few weeks back, I was sitting in a classroom, alongside elite level coaches from all over the country, listening to a presentation given by a national expert in skill development of female players. One of the coaches asked the presenter what he thought was the single biggest skill deficiency in female players. And I thought to myself, it’s got to be shooting, or the mental game, or the ability to see and use open ice. But that’s not what he said.  Without hesitation, he said “giving and receiving passes.”

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