Friday, December 6, 2013

Riding Solo

Last week I actually had to run a practice with the Squirts all by myself. Can you even believe that? Talk about scraping the bottom of the barrel to find a coach. Since it was Thanksgiving week, the times were all over the map, and DF, the rink manager, gave us these awful practice times, why I don’t know. Since the times were crazy, working parents couldn’t make them, including most of the coaches. TG said he could be there and help, but then at the last minute he couldn’t make it because his son was in a tournament. That left your truly to run the show. Great.

I have to confess, I am getting a better sense of what to teach the kids because going into my second season, I am learning a thing or two. It’s been known to happen. Plus, coaching is really about re-iterating things that I am being taught, either by other coaches with lots of experience (GG being one of them), or by the pros at USA Hockey. Since the kids are pretty young, they still need to learn a lot of skills, so that’s where I could begin.

A came out to help me, which I think was fun for her, and we also had the full ice sheet, so nobody was out there to infringe on our space or scrutinize my practice plan. I have to say, it didn’t turn out so badly. They’re young kids, after all, and I’m not even sure what their expectations are. We did a bunch of skating drills, then game plan drills, and ended it with a scrimmage, which is not only a lot of fun, but a great way to use up 15-20 minutes. Plus, it gets them in shape in a way that’s fun doesn’t feel like torture. There are mixed messages about conditioning at this age, with the professional opinion being it’s not a good idea. I have mixed feelings, but do feel the get in shape by virtue of playing the game.

After practice, the kids were tired but had fun, and I asked A and N what they thought and they both said they thought I did a good job. They were probably just trying to spare my feelings, but I’ll for now, I’ll take it.

Until the next time, thanks for reading, and thanks to kib for the pic.

No comments: