This is reprinted from a reprinted blog (redundancy intended) by Mike Boyle, a phenomenal hockey coach, athletic trainer, and training facility owner in New England, who spends a lot of time sharing his expertise and perspective with personal trainers and athletic trainers alike. LOVE THIS GUY! Here he is:
Question - I need to put together a summer plan for my 9 yr
old hockey team. Obviously I don’t want to look like a crazy
person, but it would be something that I think could be good
for my own kids as well. Is it too young?
My first reaction was to say “are you crazy”? Instead, slightly
tongue-in-cheek I developed the plan below.
Step 1- play another sport. Lacrosse is highly recommended as
it has similar skills to hockey although baseball is fine. This
does not mean another sport in addition to hockey. Summer is the
Step 2- Cancel all hockey camp registrations except 1 week.
Pick your favorite that has the largest number of y our friends
attending and go to that one. Ideally look for a camp that only
has you on the ice once a day. No need to get blisters. You won’t
get better in a week anyway.
Step 3- Cancel any summer hockey leagues you are scheduled for.
The best players in the world never play summer hockey and, they
never have. The only conceivable exception would be a weekly skill
session lasting one hour. Another exception would be “play”. If
ice is available and the kids can play, let them. Please remember
play means NO COACHES or COACHING.
Step 4- Reread steps 1-3. Acknowledge that the key problem in
youth sports is applying adult values to children’s activities.
Step 5- Go to the nearest bike shop. Get nice bikes for everyone
in the family
Step 6- Ride the bikes, not in a race. For fun. Maybe put a few
hockey cards in the spokes to make noise.
Step 7- Head to Walmart and buy fishing rods.
Step 8- Take the fishing rods to the nearest lake and fish.
Now That is an off-season plan for any nine year old.
Step 9- repeat steps 5-8 while continually rereading steps 1-3