John Russo

The super tool in goalie coaching

 

We are all at times challenged as players, coaches and parents as to how we can help our goalie. Too often the stigma of “better left alone” has been applied. The result can be years of false assumptions and lost opportunity for growth.

Read more: The super tool in goalie coaching

Changing how we teach – Part II

 

By John Russo
Let’s Play Hockey Columnist

 

Note: This will be one of the articles (Chapter 4); Effective Practices) in John Russo’s soon to be published new book “Best of Coaches’ Corner - 26 Years.” Watch for it in 2013.
  

Last week I laid out the reasons why I believe we need to do things differently in practices for our youth teams. This increased self learning (lower coach involvement) philosophy harkens back when kids learned most of their hockey by themselves on outdoor rinks. It was also when individual hand and head skills were better and the youngsters had, I believe, more fun.

I would like to go to any arena for a day and watch Mite, Squirt, PeeWee and Bantam practices that don’t include:

Read more: Changing how we teach – Part II

Psychology topics for coaches

By John Russo
Let’s Play Hockey Columnist

 

Note: This will be one of the articles (Chapter 3: Relations, Psychology, Discipline, Attitude) in John Russo’s soon-to-be published new book “Best of Coaches Corner - 26 Years.” Watch for it in 2013.

 

It is actually easier to coach the physical part of the game for most coaches. It tends to be the mental part that is difficult. The coach that can put both of these together is rare indeed. It is also important to get psychological items set before the season starts and to begin implementation right away.

Read more: Psychology topics for coaches

Changing how we teach – Part I

By John Russo
Let’s Play Hockey Columnist

 

Note: This will be one of the articles (Chapter 4, Effective Practices) in John Russo’s soon-to-be-published new book “Best of Coaches’ Corner - 26 Years.” Watch for it in 2013.

 

Since the mid-1990s, I had been experimenting with an expanding set of “shinny” (small area) games that I believe should make up a substantial part of each practice for all youth teams through high school. The approach is based on creating a series of zone drills/games that allow players to discover and experience the basics of the game.

Read more: Changing how we teach – Part I

Selecting and developing position

By John Russo
Let’s Play Hockey Columnist

 

Note: This will be one of the articles (Chapter 2; Getting Ready) in John Russo’s soon-to-be published new book: “Best of Coaches’ Corner - 26 Years.” Watch for it in 2013.

 

Many coaches tend to accept the positions of players as they come on to their teams. Youngsters have always been defensemen or forwards, and so they are chosen and continue as such. I believe that this should not be the case all the way up through high school. While it will take a bit of effort and time to convert a forward to a defenseman at the high school varsity level, a player with good overall skills can be converted if the right frame of mind exists.

Let’s first step back, however, and look at the various positions and what coaches should expect from each. That is a good portion of the basis of how the players should be chosen for each.

Read more: Selecting and developing position