10 #Epic Sites for Youth Hockey Coaches
Today’s youth hockey coaches have the ability to find and utilize some truly world class information at the click of a mouse or a swipe on a mobile device screen. This post focuses on only a few of the great resources that are available out there for the coach looking to up their game and coach players who have grown up in this digital era. Just throwing it out there that I have no sponsorship or financial connection to any of these resources and tools, they are just sites and tools I have used and have found value in. I am always open to offers though … anyone? Anyone? :).
Click on the headings in the post to visit the site/tool.
This is an iOS and Android app with some free content that helps coaches access a massive volume of information produced by Hockey Canada. For around $4.00 a month (less than my rink burger budget) you gain access to the full depth and breadth of this app’s content. Often local minor hockey associations purchase access codes for this resource on behalf of their coaches. Check with your local Coach Development Liaison.
Another stellar offering from Hockey Canada. This is a free resource which allows coaches to search through a database of drills and practice plans produced by Hockey Canada to support all ages from Initiation up.
Not to be outdone, Hockey USA has some excellent coaching resources online as well.
A login or account is not required to access the app or the majority of this content from USA Hockey.
An app account will give you access to the practice plan designer and analyzer as well as the activity tracker.
This app does offer a one time in-app purchase of unlockable video content. More than 400 videos within the app are available for free. To purchase more than 800 more, click “buy” on any single video and complete the in-app purchase for $8.99. That single purchase will unlock all of the video library.
Coaches Jeremy and Ken run this excellent resource for the player, coach, or hockey parent looking for some easy to digest and down to earth hockey tutorials and advice on gear, gifts, and other aspects of being, coaching, or raising a hockey player. You may have caught Coach Jeremy’s son in the Mic’d Up 4 Year Old video that went viral this season. In their own words coaches Jeremy and Ken describe their website this way:
The point of this website is to get some really solid hockey instruction, articles, drills and how to videos online. When I was growing up I never had the opportunity to just hop online and learn a new move. I was desperate to learn some good moves so I paid $100 for some stickhandling videos when I was 15 and just loved them; I watched them all the time. I realize that not every child, or parent has that type of money so I wanted to provide some great hockey tips for free.
This is a paid web app that allows coaches to draw, store, and share drills and practice plans on any device that can access a web browser and an internet connection. Practice plans and drills can also be saved as a .pdf and emailed as another option for sharing. It was developed by two former NHLers: Mike Weaver and Rob Tallas. It has all of the features of a modern web app and since it is not installed software, users get the benefit of a product that is always evolving, changing, and updating without having to install new software versions onto your computer etc. (which can often be a real pain).
They have a Coach Them for Associations pricing model which allows a hockey organization to purchase access to Coach them for $8.33 per team / month for up to 4 coaches a team. This pricing model makes this tool a great resource for coaches to collaborate on practice planning on teams and across organizations. Their association client list continues to grow includes organizations like the Vancouver Minor Hockey Association, Kitchener Minor Hockey Association, and the Las Vegas Golden Knights (NHL).
Coach Nielsen has been coaching ice hockey for almost 3 decades. He is a contributing author to Slapshot magazine and a tremendous resource for coaches, especially coaches who need somewhere to start. Coach believes in sharing all of his information for free on his site. In Coach Nielsen’s words:
This site contains information and drills that I have learned over the course of my 28 years on the ice. Everything is FREE, if I have a drill I will post it and you can use it. Before I post a drill I use it myself to make sure it actually serves a purpose. I’m not going to waste your time posting hundreds of useless drills just to fill up the site with content.
The OMHA created a challenge that can be adapted to your local context. The gist of the challenge is to have kids complete a 5K shot, 10K touches (stick handling) and 30/30 speed & agility challenge (dryland) in order to be recognized as a member of the Players’ Club.
A great challenge for a team or entire association to take on and especially good for those players who just can’t see to get enough hockey and are hungry to work on their shooting, stick handling and agility away from the rink.
HUDL is an extremely powerful tool for video analysis and video based coaching and teaching. It allows personalized feeback to individual athletes and to the entire team. Coaches can assign certain clips for everyone to watch or interact with a small group or single athlete as needed. It’s cost likely places the purchase of this software in the hands of a team or organization as opposed to the individual but for any team or organization looking to improve the quality of specific feedback coaches can provide to their players, HUDL can be a game changer.
Another solid mobile app that allows coaches to record their athletes performing a specific skill in order to provide them with individualized and targeted feedback about what is going right and what might need to be tweaked in their technique. The ability to share in slow motion really amplifies Coach’s Eye and its ability to assist coaches through having their athletes see themselves in motion.
I have been following Jeremy Weiss’ blog for some time and really enjoy the way he views the game. His goal is to combine the worlds of European finesse and skill with North American strength and toughness. According to the Weiss Tech Hockey site:
One of the biggest things that sets us apart from traditional hockey instructional material is our content delivery methods. We try to be as cutting edge as possible, and offer our material on as many platforms as possible, including online video, e-book, PDF, computerized drill diagramming formats, and podcast. Our primary audience is hockey coaches. However, our material is also useful for hockey players and parents.
I am always on the lookout for great tools, apps and sites that can be shared with hockey coaches. If you know of other great resources that our fellow coaches need to know about, please drop a link and a few words in the comment box below the post.