A blog dedicated to the fact you cannot make an NHLer,

Obviously you see the sarcasm in my blog name. This blog is about teaching the love of the game, the skills of the game and hopefully open some eyes to the crazy parents that think they can push their kid into becoming a star only to have the opposite happen or be the limiting factor in their kids hockey development. Remember, if you turn hockey from a game into a job, then all is lost and kids will drop out either physically or mentally.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Difference between good and great players.

Ok, we see it on TV. Ovechkin and Crosby in the NHL, Jordan Eberle at World Juniors. They always seem to be in the right place at the right time.

Is it a special gift?? Kinda... In m opinion and correct me if you think I am wrong, but this advantage comes from being able to process the play faster than other players.

Here is an example of how most of us have experienced this. We play hockey with little kids or even just watch them play. When we play we against them, we can see the play develop and go to where the puck is obviously going to go. The little kids cannot process the play developing as fast as we can, so we look like Hockey Gods to them. When we watch them play, we are constantly trying to get them to go to where the play is going, by yelling "Johnny, get to the boards for the wrap or get to the side of the net for the rebound." Now obviously if Johnny saw the play the way we do he could score 10 goals a game even if he is merely average in skill.

You see what I am getting at. They reason they are in position all the time or get to the open spots, it that they read the play and react, taking their first step in the direction of the opening or play developing while the other players are still reading the play. So as long as you are a decent skater for the level you are playing you have a one step advantage and that is a huge difference at all levels.

Ok, so how do we develop this. There is no one way to do this, but more of a combination in no order:
  1. Increase our reaction time. (work on a quick first step)
  2. Understand the flow of the game (Walter Gretzky used to have Wayne trace out on a piece of paper that path of the puck when watching NHL games, so I have heard)
  3. Work on seeing more of the ice (seeing where everyone is before you get the puck, or before.
So what are some ways to do this???? Stayed to tuned for another post on how to increase hockey sense and I will show you some drills that anyone can do in practice to work on these things.

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