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Bench Coaching in Youth Hockey Red Gendron, Assistant Hockey Coach.

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Presentation on theme: "Bench Coaching in Youth Hockey Red Gendron, Assistant Hockey Coach."— Presentation transcript:

1 Bench Coaching in Youth Hockey Red Gendron, Assistant Hockey Coach

2 Awareness As the coach, you must be a calm observer and in youth hockey your main focus should be on your team and your players. Try to work the bench with as little emotion as possible. That will help you to be aware. You have to be aware of matchups, who’s playing well for you, who’s struggling, what the opponent is trying to do and who is playing well or poorly for them.

3 Basics Forwards grouped together, defensemen grouped together seated nearest the net you defend for the defensemen, nearest the net you are attacking for the forwards. Can be helpful to have one coach changing the forwards, the other coach changing the defensemen. Be calm!!! Talk to players on the bench, encourage them, refrain from yelling after shifts or during shifts. Encourage players to talk to each other on the bench. If the coach is anxiety ridden, it will pass to the players. Hockey is chaotic enough without the coach adding to the chaos. Be respectful and calm with referees. I’ve always felt that referees make fewer mistakes than my players do during the course of a game. If you have a reputation for being under control and respectful to officials, then when you do have a legitimate gripe, they are more likely to listen.

4 Communication Open communication between coaches is important; encourage this between members of the staff on the bench; think about splitting focal points between you When speaking to players, let them catch their breath then talk to them about recent plays during their last shift Talk, don’t yell (yes I said it again) Seek acknowledgement of what you communicated

5 Energy Keeping the shifts short based on age level and energy expenditure is important Tired people don’t perform well Long shifts early in the game might mean the athletes can’t catch up and will play tired for the remainder of the game

6 Changes If you’re at home and have the last change, get in the habit of not changing until the opponent changes As soon as you put out a line and a pair of D, call out the next line up and next pair of D. Have players confirm by calling out who they are going for Teach your players to change intelligently: Making sure puck is in a safe place; communicating while coming to the bench; changing before exhaustion; avoiding wholesale changes; changing one D at a time and rotating the tired D to the side nearest the bench, etc. While changing, make sure the players on the ice know to avoid making a play toward the bench; this will help to avoid too many men on the ice penalties

7 Matchups Even in youth hockey you should pay attention to who’s playing against who. It doesn’t mean that you dump pucks in and change when you don’t get a match up, but it does mean that you help to maintain the competitive balance in the game. First vs. third lines at the youth hockey level can be gross mismatches. Obviously they are keeping score and someone will win; that said, it’s better if you win rather than your opponent. Thus, being aware, being a savvy bench coach is good provided you remain mindful of why you are really there, to provide a positive environment promoting positive experiences for young people Be aware of the opposing coach’s tendencies. If he’s trying to create mismatches, etc. This may define some of your decisions in an effort to maintain competitive balance

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