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Basic knowledge and practical experience of hockey coach.

1. 10. 2018
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How should a coach be preparing to be able to achieve his goal? The first step is to know your goal. The main goal of the coach is to improve the player or team. Improve the player and you will improve the team.

Knowing how to prepare training properly (organization, content, volume, intensity, complexity of exercise, emotional difficulty) is important, but the main role of the coach must be the development of the player. Good training (in terms of training load, content, etc.) is an important means by which we cultivate the player. But it’s just one part of the training process. Other important parts include diet, regeneration, health, or mental training.

However, it seems that the main trainer´s value is not the coach knowledge itself and its correct application, but the ability to create such an environment which motivate the player to improve his/her own development. (I do not mean the material or technical level, but I mean the environment in terms of approach to players, building relationships between players, engaging players and parents to players development, presentation of challenges).

So what kind of environment do we need to create so we can accomplish our goal of improving the player? The one that will:

  • Create a feeling of satisfaction… HAVE A SPARK EYE (evaluate the players progress separately)
  • Engage the player to creation of his training process and also to system of his progress evaluation… HELP THE PLAYER TO CREATE HIS OWN INDIVIDUAL PLAN AND EVALUATE HIS PROGRESS (to know the strengths and weaknesses of their players and especially the development indicators)
  • Solve the problems by correct communication…SHOW THAT YOU CARE ABOUT HIM (communicate with each player, do not forget about anyone)
  • Require from the player to bring solutions…REQUIRE FROM PLAYERS TO ACTIVELY PARTICIPATE ON CREATION AND LEADING OF THE TRAINING (engage them f.e. to creation of behavior rules in changing room or to creation of some trainings)
  • Support the companionship of the players and generally all the people involved in education of the players…DO NOT MAKE A FUN OF ANY PLAYER (not everyone will become a top player, but all can be better people)
  • By competitive way develop the capability of the player TO PLAY HOCKEY…DURING THE STAY ON ICE PUSH THE PLAYERS MAKE THE DECISIONS TO PLAY (create the training exercises which force the players to be concentrated, make the decisions and conquer the challenges)
  • Provide sufficient amount of feedback …THE MOST OBJECTIVELY EVALUATE THE PROGRESS OF THE PLAYER (objectively measure the limiting factors of ice hockey performance, work with video not only after the match but also during the training – care not only about the tactical execution but also the technical performance)
  • Approach the player individually…EVERY PLAYER DIFFERS (know the personality of the player – what pulls him forward, what he is afraid of, what are his reactions in critical situations…)

Of course, this kind of approach is more time consuming than only being focused on training creation, but the effect on the player, which is able to influence on his own development and also the development of other players is the most valuable satisfaction for every coach.

Norbert Javorčík, Main coach of the Junior in HC ’05 iClinic Banská Bystrica