It’s official – I feel a rant coming on. Training camps have been underway for many girls hockey teams here in Ontario for the last few weeks. Coaches, parents and players are looking for ways that they can get an “edge” on their competition for next season…and that means one thing, and one thing only…they have to do MORE. More ice time, more practice, more exhibition games, more tournaments…MORE, MORE, MORE. There was once at time, not long ago, where the idea of girls hockey players even having access to more ice time was unthinking (ie. 15 years ago when I started playing). But now girls teams are getting more opportunity to skate than ever. And unfortunately, they are on the ice more than ever. Here’s why that’s the last thing we need….
Don’t get me wrong – it is great that girls hockey players are getting more opportunities to learn, train and compete than ever before.
And while being on the ice more will undoubtedly help you improve your skills, it is NOT enough to make you a great team or player. Girls hockey players do need to be doing MORE – but not ON the ice. They need to improve OFF the ice.
Now I know what you’re thinking…of course Kim is going to say that. She trains players off the ice after all, sells training programs specifically designed for girls hockey players etc etc etc.
Fair enough, but I know one thing for certain.
That the best female hockey players in the world are, first and foremost, phenomenal athletes. It is because they are such great athletes OFF the ice that they are able to use that athleticism ON the ice.
Instead of piling on MORE ice time, what we should be doing as coaches is doing MORE off the ice.
If we really want to get an edge on the competition, we should focus on doing the things that the competition isn’t doing.
Everyone is skating more.
But how many teams are training off the ice, working on the mental side of their game and addressing the specific nutrition needs of their young female athletes?
One of my favorite sayings is,
“If you want what everyone else has, do what everyone else does. If you want to be great, you have to be willing to do what others are not.”
Everyone wants to skate more. Playing is fun. Training is not. Eating healthy is not. Working on goal setting and goal getting is not.
But it’s the attention to those less glamorous “little” details that separates the great players and teams from the good players and teams.
It’s not the most popular choice when everyone thinks more ice time is the solution, but it might just hold the key to that unfair advantage you’ve been looking for.
You haven’t heard the last from me on this one. Another post (likely with a video rant included) will be coming later this week. Might not make me the most popular person – but it needs to be said.
Your friend and coach,