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Barrie, ON L4N 9A8
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STP Hockey

Skill Development

It takes 10,000 hours or 10,000 repetitions to master a skill. With the ages of 9-12 being the most important for skill acquisition it is during this time period that the skills included in the specialty clinics need to be repeated consistently. (Hockey Canada, 2005)

Hockey Canada statistics (supplied by Calgary Hockey Development) show that a minor league player has the puck on their stick an average of 8 seconds per 60 minute game and will take an average of 2 shots per game. It also shows that one individual practice will give a player more skill development time than 11 games collectively.

A typical team's practice structure does not adequately provide individual instruction. Ideally, there should be some focus on the development of the individuals skills required to play the game at the minor level through measuring and providing positive individual skill development and not by wins and loss records.

A mini ice facility and personal instruction will provide this skill development in a vastly improved method over a conventional ice pad that younger players may find intimidating. Younger age players often fatigue and get frustrated after 7 to 8 strides while skating since they don't often reach the puck on large ice surfaces. Kids will be engaged and participate in the play more often on a smaller surface, resulting in more shots. The smaller ice surface will also teach players to react more quickly and continually move their feet. Large ice surfaces are ideal for developing team play but as Hockey Canada research has shown, "younger players should spend 75% of their time on individual technical skills and about 10% of their time on team tactics".

In a game a player has the puck on their stick for only 20-30 seconds. Hardly enough time to feel the puck, let alone develop any hockey skills. As far as skating, he or she will be on the ice for an average of 12-14 minutes in a one hour game. Games alone will not get it done. To make it to the next level, you need to continue to improve your individual skills and learn to play outside your comfort zone.

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