Is your season off to a slow start?

How to coach yourself

A number of this newsletter’s subscribers are players competing at Midget AAA, junior, college or professional levels.

In those leagues, the win-now mentality reigns. It’s all about immediate results and instant gratification.

So what if you’re not the quickest out of the blocks during the opening games of the 2021-22 season? What if you’re still searching for confidence and production as you drop on your team’s depth chart?

Here’s a quick tip to help you turn your season around, now:

Figure out how & why you’re wasting touches.

This is the Player Development Matrix from How to Ruin a Player (now the most-read post on this newsletter):

With limited time and dwindling opportunities, we don’t have time to Expand our game or maybe even to Leverage our strengths, especially if your coach preaches a system that doesn’t quite fit your skillset.

Our only chance, then, is to immediately Address the high-frequency, low-success rate items.

Most skaters touch the puck anywhere from once per shift (one puck per 45 seconds or more) to twice a shift (one puck per 25 seconds or less).

By increasing your success rate at getting the puck into the hands of teammates, you receive an opportunity to get it back in a better area.

Getting the puck back one extra time per shift can transform a fringe player into a regular, and an average player into a star.

  1. Rewatch all your shifts on video

  2. Identify the situations in which you are wasting pucks, either through poor positioning or execution

  3. Work to improve your routes and/or depth of skills in those situations

  4. Implement the new habits in your next game.

Good luck, and let me know how things go for you. If you need more targeted advice, send me an email to arrange for a one-on-one consultation.

Learn the skills & habits of the NHL’s best

Join NHL players, coaches and GMs by reading the Hockey Tactics 2021 ebook, available now on Gumroad: