The question we get at the Playerz Choice Hockey TNT from many parents is, “How do I select the right training for my young player? The following is a “blueprint” we recommend to help with this question.
For starters, a parent needs to recognize what the player needs to work on. You can talk to your child’s coach and through your own observations, grade your child on various key skills. The first and most important skill is skating. Look closely at your child’s stride to assess knee bend, length of stride, and if they fully recover (bring their foot all the way back to the other foot when skating). We often see kids not focus on a proper skating form and by the time they are 14 or 15 it is nearly impossible to correct. An improper form will limit their ability to compete at a high level. Take video and watch their form closely and in slow motion. If they are missing any of the above key elements, select Treadmill Training Classes.
Next, evaluate their ability to control their head and body position while making hockey plays. If they struggle at this, select programs that combine off ice strength and overall athleticism, Like our Fitness and Agility Classes. Even at a young age, players improve their strength and body control with off-ice, body weight exercises that focus on building core strength and developing athletic movements.
Another key skill for all players is the ability to control the puck at a high speed and in tight spaces. Can your player control the puck and keep control in high pressure situations? If they struggle at all here, choose a Hockey Skills session. As kids age and mature, kids with good “hands” are difference makers on the ice (both forwards and defenseman).
There are numerous other skills a player can focus on. Shooting, goal scoring, and defensive skills are a few examples. Assess your child’s specific needs and choose skills that need improvement and nurture the skills they are already strong at.
The final decision is deciding how much activity to sign your child up for. When making this choice, take into consideration the level of love your player has for the game. Becoming a great player takes a determination to do things that are sometimes not that much fun. Each player must be carefully evaluated to determine how much “grind” they can endure while keeping the fire and love for the game. Check out our Memberships if you want to combine all three on a regular bases, and get great discounts on our retail and services!
There is a lot of talk these days about playing other sports. At the Playerz Choice we fully endorse multi-sport athletes. That said, many players have a love for the game that needs to be fed. If you have a player that truly loves to get better, feed it. I like to equate these players to musicians. When have you ever heard of a piano teacher that forces a student to walk away from practicing and playing piano for half of the year. As long as the player is having fun and feeding their love for the game, they won’t get “burned out”. With a good selection of programs, it is not too much to have their skates on at least once a week in the off season… keep them in touch with the ice, their skates, and the game.
To support the above recommendations, Playerz Choice Hockey specializes in providing off-season training that is skill specific. We have a menu of development classes and camps that are available for your player at a low cost. Check out details and register today HERE!