Day 7 – Read, Anticipate and Move

This is the seventh day of our team’s virtual training camp. Each day for the next 10 days, there will be a short assignment for you to do to get ready for our season. These assignments are mandatory for players and coaches. Parents are also encouraged to participate.

Finally, we’re going to talk about what we do on the ice. But first…

Yesterday’s Assignment Answer:

Yesterday I asked: “What is the connection between “An Avalanche Accelerates” and the three phase learning progression to get faster?

The three phase learning progression is what we will use to learn no skills and do the faster:

  1. Acquire – The basic concepts are explained to the player. Players will be asked to demonstrate (at slow speed) and explain the components of each skill to ensure that they have acquired the skill.
  2. Accelerate – How can we execute this skill FASTER? Reinforce the skill using overspeed drills so that it can be executed without conscious thought.
  3. Apply – Players will apply this skill in simulated game situations and in real games at maximum speed.

An Avalanche Accelerates reminds us of the importance of speed and that getting just 1% better every day will make us unstoppable.

The answer: The acronym for both is A.A.A. (all the words start with the letter A)

I told you it was a simple answer. More of a bad Dad joke, but it helps to remind us of what the progression is. Sorry.

How should we think when we’re on the ice?

Thinking starts with our eyes. We need to keep our eyes up and be constantly scanning the ice so we can move quickly to the best positions.

READ and ANTICIPATE

When we’re on the ice, we want to read and anticipate the play. (Sometimes you’ll hear this called “Read and React”. I prefer Read and Anticipate because anticipating is faster than reacting.)

There are three questions that you should be constantly asking yourself that will make this decision easy for you.

  1. Where is the puck?
  2. Where is the pressure?
  3. Where is the open space?

The answers to these questions will almost always determine where the play (and the puck) will be going next. Remember, hockey is all about speed. Anticipating where players and the puck will be going next allows us to constantly be moving to the right spot on the ice faster than our opponents.

MOVE FULL SPEED

When you first come on the ice, MOVE FULL SPEED to join the play.

When our team has the puck, you want to support the puck offensively. MOVE FULL SPEED to the open space with your stick available to receive a pass.

If you have the puck, you must MOVE FULL SPEED to protect the puck and either move to open space or pass the puck to a teammate who is moving to that space.

When the other team has the puck, you want to MOVE FULL SPEED to either pressure the puck by closing the open space or by taking away passing opportunities so that your teammates can pressure the puck.

When you’re coming to the bench, MOVE FULL SPEED to get off ice.

No Sloths!

Like everything else, learning to read and anticipate the play is a skill. We’ll practice it until we can do it quickly and automatically.

READ the play and ANTICIPATE where you want to go. Then MOVE FULL SPEED to get there.

Today’s Assignment:

  1. Think of an example of a game situation where you can read and anticipate the play. Discuss it with your parents and post your answer to the team WhatsApp group.