Analysis of Hockey Moves and Dekes vs. Puck Possession

Many coaches to win concentrate on puck possession in their training. Puck possession improves team play and reduces turnovers. But many great plays, passes or goals wouldn’t be possible if players didn’t challenge the defense with moves and dekes. Moves and dekes by a player challenge the defense and are higher risk plays. If the player does not successfully execute the play to find a pass or score he will likely turn over the puck to the defense. This may mean a goal at the other end. Hockey sense is a function of both. Elite players are able to keep team puck possession and utilize an arsenal of moves and dekes. Many do it without thinking about it. Many coaches and players struggle with teammates that skate from end to end and want to score. Teams, players and coaches face the challenge to balance individual play and play that requires more puck possession. The difference in winning and losing between two equally skilled teams is team play and puck possession. Despite this elite players must also concentrate on building their arsenal of moves and dekes. Puck possession will only create an edge for your team up to a certain age. When the other teams find balance the team that has only concentrated on team play will suffer. These teams will need to find players that have the individual skill to complement the team play.

At any age you need to work on and improve your repertoire of moves and dekes. The top players at each age group are recognized for their ability to react to the game forces and maneuver around obstacles to achieve team success. It would be an impossible task to define all possible moves and dekes but we can cover a few of the most essential.

To be great at dekes and moves all you need is a stick and ball or a stick and puck if you have a surface where you can glide the puck. Do the the training off the ice and use the training on the ice. Many players can learn by themselves and don’t need to buy many gizmos.

“Deke” comes from the word decoy. The challenge most great stick handlers face is reading the attacker. Speed will always take you past the attacker(s) if the player is faster. The player will find it harder to get around multiple attackers than a single attacker. Many players try to get fancy when they can just blow by their defender(s). If you can’t out skate your defender then you must use moves to trick them into letting you by them or trick them into letting you set up the goal without losing the puck. Dekes are best performed by change of direction. The attacker expects a player to go a certain direction and the player changes direction and goes a different way. Dekes can also be performed by change of speed. Players can slow down or increase speed to get past attacker(s). Some great techniques that many may know already are:

Fake in front – fake going one way to the attacker and go the other way. You can do this going left or going right. You can do this multiple times to get past the attacker. A player could do 3 to five fakes to achieve the purpose.

Outside in or Inside Out moves – These moves fake an attacker to thinking either you are going outside them or inside them and then you quickly change direction and go the opposite. You can create many variations of this move as well.

Slide the puck – Slide the puck to the right, center or left of attacker under their stick and pick it up as you go past the attacker. This can be done using the forehand and the backhand and also can be done multiple times. Another variation of this deke is flipping the puck over the attacker stick.

Toe Drag – Skate the puck up and let it in front of you. Using the toe of the stick pull it away from the attacker and get around him. You can do it with your forehand and your backhand. It could also be to the side to the left and right. The key is to do it quickly and move your feet to get past the attacker. Toe drags can be combined with other moves and can be called dangling. Dangling is combining dekes to make an individual move unique to player. An example is doing a toe drag followed by a spin-o-rama.

Skate Passes to Stick – Kicking the puck to your stick is a great deke that can be easily done. The attacker expects you to skate the puck but using your skate, their skate and your stick can provide a great technique to get past the attacker.

Fake shot – Faking a shot and stick handling around attacker is also quite affective.

Spin-o-rama – Stopping in front of your attacker and spinning away from the attacker to get around him. Excellent move against goalies.

Fake Spin-o-rama opposite spin – Stop in front of attacker a fake a move to opposite direction pretending you are doing a spin-o-rama and then spin forward around the opponent.

Michigan – This is a lacrosse move with a stick. Picking the puck up with your stick and throwing it in the net.

Ice Location moves – If you are at the blue line for example you can pretend you are leaving the zone and then button hook back in without leaving and attack the net. You can do this a set up a pass or go to the net to score. Gretzky did that a lot.

Baseball hit – Lift the puck in the air. Hit it in the air and get around your attacker or score a goal.

Great Player moves – From Datsyuk, to Bure, to Lemieux, to Gretzky, to Orr, to Jagr, to many other great players have moves that use combinations of above.

We look forward to working with the next generation of players that will have moves and dekes named after them. We will be running training programs with great coaches and will be forming teams for spring/summer tournament competition for Spring/Summer 2014. Please fill out player application for consideration. We will have teams in birth years 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007. Please click birth year link for more information on tournaments for your birth year. Please Apply for Invite Here

 

 

 

Top Player Identification and Aspiration

Hockeysfuture.com describes a player ranking system that classifies top prospects by the level of talent they display. 10 is the highest rating and it describes “generational talent.” They give examples of players that it represents and I don’t think anyone would argue: Bobby Orr, Gretzky, and Patrick Roy. The rankings go down from 10 all the way to 1 which describe a borderline minor hockey player. Most elite players are somewhere in between. It is unlikely we will see another Gretzky or Orr or Roy but does that mean we may never see someone that great? The type of talent that a level 10 player has is consistent. It is this consistency that describes their greatness.

Many players have had Gretzky type games but only Gretzky did it night in and night out. To achieve a level of consistency at the highest level that is better then all is the aspiration that every top hockey player should have. Many players work hard and many players have talent but to have awe inspiring talent honed by relentless work ethic gives a player a ranking of 10. An example of Gretzky’s rare combination described Jabber Head of the Bleacher report: ” As the legend goes, as a child Wayne Gretzky would, like most other boys in his home country, watch the NHL on television every chance he could get. What made him different, however, was that every time, he would sit there with a blank piece of white paper and a pencil. Without looking at the paper, eyes constantly on the screen, he would trace the path of the puck on his sheet of paper throughout the course of the game. By the end of the game, he would have a sheet of paper covered in pencil marks, and the darkest areas were where the puck spent the most time. Years later, Gretzky would amaze the world with an uncanny ability—never seen before or since—to know where the puck would be even before anyone else knew they were going to send it there.”

We believe that we will see players come with “generational talent” in the future. We know that they are not born at ranking 10 but rather they work towards it. We are looking for ones that aspire to be great despite the negativity that they face around them. We know it takes a positive attitude, great work ethic and superior support to make it happen. We urge every coach to look treat every hockey player with the respect they would a future Gretzky because you never know.

We will be running training programs with great coaches and will be forming teams for spring/summer tournament competition for Spring/Summer 2014. Please fill out player application for consideration. We will have teams in birth years 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007. Please click birth year link for more information on tournaments for your birth year. Please Apply for Invite Here

Development and the Coach

A game changing player is easy to notice. You may notice the speed or the skill, the determination or the quiet confidence. What you don’t see gives the most insight. You don’t see the many positive coaches that have spent the time and care to teach and develop this player. Good coaches teach the game, provide instruction for skill development and push players to their upper limits of potential. Although easy said this is often very difficult to do.

There are many forces present that prevent coaches from doing the very job that makes them good. In youth hockey coaches are unfortunately measured on wins and losses. Coach A must be good because his team went 25 – 5. Clubs, coaches and hockey directors disillusioned by wanting fame focus on winning. Players are no longer developing skills that will further their career in the sport but learning traps and placed on a short bench that gains the coach, club and team wins. Players on these teams are forced to train independently to keep their edge. Great hockey players are even better athletes. Although positional teaching helps the team win near term games a great coach realizes that playing other sports and developing athletic ability are important for the long term development of the players. Players need to spend athletic time away from the rink and that means encouraging other individual and team sports and working with the player so they can meet the demands of multiple sports and school.

Great coaches teach and help players develop skills. Winning and improvement in games are result of the work towards improving players. In youth sports the focus on winning, recruiting and the end justifies the mean approach create players that cannot advance in the sport and coaches that are rated by the wrong metrics. Great coaches not only teach the game, they teach responsibility, respect and reward hard work. How often have we seen coaches give entitlements to a few players that they had to recruit very hard to help the team win while other players seem to be measured at different standards. Great coaches understand that entitlements, different standards and other mistakes can hurt development and the team. The ultimate accomplishments of youth players are defining mark for great coaches not the personal fame that comes from putting a team of stars together.

We will be running training programs with great coaches and will be forming teams for spring/summer tournament competition for Spring/Summer 2014. Please fill out player application for consideration. We will have teams in birth years 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007. Please click birth year link for more information on tournaments for your birth year. Please Apply for Invite Here

Elite hockey players improve performance during offseason

The off season is the spring and summer. Many players use this time to develop their skills against higher levels of competition to be prepared to dominate in the fall. It is encouraged to play other sports and take some time off in the spring and summer so you don’t burn yourself out. Burnout results in reduced performance. As a true performer you need to be challenged and pushed but not worn down. We want you to get the most out of the times you play hockey in the spring and summer. Many programs pack it in as much as possible. Little thought is placed on how effective the training is going to be. The most amount of thought is placed on how much money can be made with the least amount of effort. My edge hockey is not for everyone. It is only for a few exceptional players that want to maximize their hockey development while taking advantage of small group training, smaller teams to maximize ice touches and playing time, not for profit business model, and competitive training against the elite hockey players in your age group. Please Apply for Invite Here

We will be running training programs and will be forming teams for spring/summer tournament competition for Spring/Summer 2014. Please fill out player application for consideration. We will have teams in birth years 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007. Please click birth year link for more information on tournaments for your birth year. Our promise to you will be:

1) Good communication.

2) We will pass through expenses and will not try to make money from your participation.

3) We will form elite teams and promote the highest caliber or competition and training by working only with the best coaches and players.

4) Our teams and training opportunities will be smaller in size to maximize development.

Please Apply for Invite Here

Development and the Coach

What separates an Elite player from a very good player? How are these characteristics developed? These characteristics are what scouts try to identify when evaluating players and the same characteristics open roster spots on the best teams. Many players may have a few of these characteristics but an elite player demonstrates all. John Russo at usahockey.com gives us insight on some of the characteristics elite hockey players display:

1) Skating and Puck Skills – It is impossible to be too good a skater or have hands that are too good. One can always get better. The muscles that build skating speed are developed during the formative years of 9 through 14. Athletes rise to the speed of the game. Hand eye coordination and puck handling skills require constant practice and determination. Elite players stand out with these skills.

2) Effort – You may have all the tangibles but if you don’t have the effort intangible you can forget about it. The effort day in and day out will help an elite player improve faster and maintain the elite status. This includes forecheck, backcheck, defensive support and offensive and defensive work with and without the puck. Effort will be recognized quickly and all elite players will have it. Al MacInnis said it well : “Well, I think the first thing is you want to lead by example. If your teammates see the work ethic that you put in, the consistency that you put in, not only games but in practices, I think your teammates will follow. You don’t always have to be a yeller or a screamer. I think it’s important that if you lead by example, the rest will follow.”

3) Anticipation – Elite players are a step ahead of the game. To paraphrase Gretzky “go where the puck is going.” Elite players will have the hockey sense that improves team performance. They make the key passes, they read the game and play it moves ahead and strategically. .

My edge hockey is for the elite hockey player. It is only for a few exceptional players that want to maximize their hockey development while taking advantage of small group training, smaller teams to maximize ice touches and playing time, not for profit business model, and competitive training against the best players in your age group. We will be running training programs and will be forming teams for spring/summer tournament competition for Spring/Summer 2014. Please fill out player application for consideration. We will have teams in birth years 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007. Please click birth year link for more information on tournaments for your birth year.

Please Apply for Invite Here