Since retiring I have been working with hockey players of all ages. There are always holes in developing players' games. After being on the ice with defenceman from 8 to 18 years old, clear areas of weakness became evident.
I am looking forward to getting back on the ice with the young defenceman. Previous camps were a great success. The hour length of practice sessions worked just as I had hoped. The players were engaged for the whole 60 minutes, they didn't lose their focus. We worked on specific areas of defenceman play, we will do the same again this Spring.
We will work on specific areas that are important for defencemen. One-on-one play, gap control, net battles, and of course anti "dead stick" work will be just some of the areas worked on. All d-men are expected to be able to move the puck now. We will spend time working on puck retrieval while checking shoulders to know where to make their next play. This is a very important skill to learn so players can protect themselves.
My goal for this camp is for all players to develop a better understanding of playing the position of defense by covering the areas mentioned above. There are other skills required to play the position which we will cover as well.
The sessions will be structured and organized to work on specific skills each day. Each participant will receive instruction from all the instructors and of course, I will be on the ice for all sessions. I firmly believe in giving feedback and suggestions to young players. With a ratio of no more than 6 skaters for each instructor, this is possible.
My expectations for the players are to come to the camp prepared to pay attention, work, learn, and improve. Just because you are on the ice doesn't mean you are getting better. I decided to keep the ice times at 1 hour so that the players will never lose focus. I firmly believe in quality over quantity. We will have fun but with success in mind!
Between now and then make sure you all are running and doing the push-ups we spoke about in April! (That is for the players, but parents you are welcome to do the same!)