John Russo

Game coaching – Part 1

 

By John Russo
Let’s Play Hockey Columnist

 

Note: This will be one of the articles (Chapter 8: “The Game”) in John Russo’s soon-to-be published new book “Best of Coaches’ Corner – 26 Years.” Watch for it in 2013.

This article is the first of a two-part series on game coaching  the “unique and critical situations” that I developed in the 1990s.

Most coaches prepare their teams to deal with normal games, not the abnormal. Very few games are normal, however. It is performance in these critical or unique game situations that helps make or break most coaches. The best way to handle them is to confront them in advance and to know what a good choice (we never know what will be successful for sure) response will be. In the frenzy of a game, it is difficult to come up with high impact decisions on short notice. Coaches that put some emphasis on the unique or critical situations (the list will come soon!) will not only have better game results but will also be educating their players in how to better analyze and respond to shifts in the game – and at what points in the game special efforts will pay off best.

Read more: Game coaching – Part 1

Penalty killing

 

By John Russo
Let’s Play Hockey Columnist

 

Note: This will be one of the articles (Chapter 7; Systems and Concepts) in John Russo’s soon to be published new book “Best of Coaches’ Corner – 26 Years.” Watch for it in 2013.

 

Over the years, some very good new ideas about killing penalties have evolved. Watching a professional or college game today, for example, would often find four pretty aggressive killers in at least the defensive zone. There was a time not too many years back when the defensive strategy was to “box up” in a reasonably passive manner and make the power play shoot from the outside. Today, the idea is to not let the power play shoot at all, if possible, and to go after the player with the puck at all times in the defensive zone.

Read more: Penalty killing

The goalie has IT!


By Peter Samargia

 

Finding ways to help your goalies during a season as a coach with little technical understanding of goaltending is a possibility as long as you focus on the right areas! Areas that coaches should feel able and willing to work on are: Angle, Tracking and Depth. Speaking with coaches over the years, however, has proven to me that almost all coaches who want to help their goalies state that one of the biggest game breakers can be a goalie’s confidence.

Read more: The goalie has IT!

Coaching defensemen

 

By John Russo
Let’s Play Hockey Columnist

 

Note: This will be one of the articles (Chapter 5; Position Development) in John Russo’s soon to be published new book “Best of Coaches’ Corner – 26 Years.” Watch for it in 2013.

 

Over the past years, this column has dealt with the defense position several times. The Golden Rules for Defensemen has been included annually because it has been the most requested subject from coaches.

Most coaches are naturally forward- or overall team-oriented. That means that few coaches concentrate on the defense or goaltender positions as much as forward positions. Over the past years there has been a move toward proper handling of and concentration on goaltenders. That leaves the defense position, in many cases, as the one that most lacks orientation and understanding.

Read more: Coaching defensemen

Attitude before technique

 

By Peter Samargia

 

As a goalie we are constantly tested both mentally and physically. It is a great challenge that brings even greater reward. Great goalies have the opportunity to take all the opponent’s negative chatter (and sometimes their own teammates) and process it in a way that motivates them in a positive way and gives them an attitude that is courageous and unassuming.

Read more: Attitude before technique