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.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Optimal Window of Skill Development.

Kids are usually just kids who like hockey, parents on the other hand............

We all have heard the proud parent who proclaims:

"I Remember when Billy was young, he could skate circles around that Kunitz kid, now look at him, playing in the NHL, some guys have all the luck"

Now I use the example of Kunitz since he was not a phenom like Crosby has always been, and I live in Regina too. They may mention other players and have a genuine surprise to the fact that this person made the NHL and their kid did not.

Time for a reality check:

  1. Your kid may have been better than Kunitz, I guarantee he is not now.
  2. Someone has to make the NHL, sorry it was not your kid.
  3. Most kids do not make the NHL, lots of minor league guys are considered to be better than Kunitz, depending on who is judging.

What most fail to realize is that of that you only has certain windows to develop at an optimal rate or you will need to twice the work to get the same results. So by missing these and/or not putting in the time and effort many players who make it to the nhl do.

What I am going to talk about is Peak Height Velocity (PHV).

PHV is a measure of the maximum rate of growth in stature during a growth spurt. The age of maximum velocity of growth is called the age at PHV.

Why is this important? Training the right things at the right time will give you the best athlete.

How do I measure it?
  1. After 6 years old measure height every 3 months
  2. Chart on a graph similar to the chart below
Windows of Trainability Chart

So some general guidelines are as such But remember where each kid is in the chart:

Kids 8 and Under:

  • This is the first window for speed training with an emphasis on agility, quickness and change of direction. Less than 5 seconds in duration.
  • Suppleness is another word for flexibility so incorporate that into their activities
  • Play multiple sports and that will help with speed, coordination, balance and agility
Kids 10 and Under

  • Motor coordination skills, and include fundamental sport skills such as throwing, kicking and dribbling........... (not just hockey skills but lots of hand-eye and muscle memory).
Kids 12 and Under

  • Optimal window to teach hockey skills
  • Focus on Development and not outcome of the games
  • Keep working on fundamental sport skills that build hand eye and muscle memory.
Kids 14 and Under

  • Optimal window for stamina or endurance, which means that aerobic training begins with onset of PHV

  • Optimal training window for speed (second speed window)

  • Focus on strength 12 – 18 months after PHV.

Now you get the idea and to remember that all kids grow at a different rate and to be aware of what you should be working on. Match it up with the chart.

Moral of the post:

The best kid in 6 in under does not always end up the best player in Junior. A lot of players gets passed development wise because all the work was done in the early stages and not much during the rest of the development windows. Remember, living in the past does not make you a better player, it just makes you sound like you were better as you tell the story more and more.

1 comment:

  1. i was the best 6 and under and am still the best :) in 40 and over ..man i can skate circles around Kunitz at public skating back in the day....too