All posts by Eric

Don’t Call Him Athletic

Nice first part of an article by Ben Scrivens (@ben_scrivens) about how important skating, positioning and anticipation are in playing goalie. Not important? Ending up on the highlight reel.

The hard part is getting to the right spot. The not so hard part is letting the puck hit you. At the end of the day, did the puck stay out of the net?

See The Players Tribune

Striving for Excellence Not Success

This author hits it right on the head. Every parent gets caught up in the winning and losing to a degree, even the best intentioned coaches. But we can really cut back from 80 game schedules for 12U sports and build better athletes and people by building skills that will work for their life, not this year.

The Enemy of Excellence in Youth Sports

How to wash your gear

I’ve played for  a long time and there are some people who have stuff you don’t want to let in your car and others whose gear probably smells better than yours. The below link has some nice tips. Certainly a front loader is easier. Another option is to head to a laundromat for washing it in a huge one.

I’m not going to lie, growing up it was mainly guys playing. I figured we were just oriented to having smelly gear. Then I visited a few college locker-rooms. Men’s and Women’s. It isn’t a guy only issue.

Check out these hints. How to Wash Hockey Gear

Practice Habits from @martybiron43

Was thinking about this today before reading Marty Biron’s (@martybiron43) blog post. I’m trying to learn the goalie bits, I grew up with good player coaching.

To poorly paraphrase Marty: Try to practice as though you’d play in a game. Get set. Follow the rebounds. Cover the puck when you can. Be square to the puck. Recover quickly. (

Trying to go as close to full speed is important for all players, including the goalie. A goalie facing full speed will be ready for a game, just as the players will.

A good analogy to this is the breakaway drill at the end of practice. Yes, it is a time that the player can work on some moves, but how many penalty shots have you seen at games? Let your players get one dangling shot it. Then, make them go full speed for a bunch. Why not have them be ready for a game when they get a real breakaway and having someone chasing them. Add a skater a line behind to chase them. You get a skating drill for two players, game like situations and your goalie gets some work too.

To quote a mentor: Practices are for goalies, games are for skaters.

Should your child play up an age bracket?

Interesting article on ADMKids aimed at 10U parents: “Should My Child Be ‘Playing Up’

I agree wholeheartedly with their sentiments. At 10U, it is more important to be playing with your friends and having a good time, not aiming for “Elite” level hockey, or playing with kids 2-4 years older.

I supposed I should caveat this with, if you have to travel an hour or more compared to a well run local team that your kid is more likely to have buddies on anyway, maybe the age/development hit isn’t so bad. But most (good) programs that have a 12U team, also have 10U ones…and 8U.

On the girls’ side this age bracketing has seemed even more of a fallacy. I’ve seen 10U teams playing 12U and 14U schedules. Interestingly, when they play other girls teams, they are also 12/14U registered but with players who all fit the 10U birthdays. Cross-over games with boys they are back to 10U.

At the end of the day, yes, it is better to have your child in a well run program with philosophies you agree with. There will always be edge cases where you cross to another age bracket (sometimes to match skill upwards and sometimes downwards). As long as there isn’t a large size differential I’ve always been a fan of having older kids, just starting, playing with younger kids, if their skill levels match. Having kids compete with friends and/or other players with similar skills is important to keeping the kids on the ice and having fun.

This poster should be at every rink and gym

Stole this from a post that stole it from a wall….

Should be at every rink and gym
Should be at every rink and gym

To quote:

Your child’s success or lack of success in sports does not indicate what kind of parent you are.
But, having an athlete that is coachable, respectful, a great teammate, mentally tough, resilient and tries their best IS a direct reflection of your parenting.