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Daily Dish: Practice or Games? Junior Hockey News

Published: Monday, 14 Sep 2020  
By: Stephen Heisler,

There is a battle brewing within the developmental community in regards to the ratio of time allocated to practice and games. On one side of the fence, the thought that more game experience generates competitive growth. The other side wants to limit youth teams to a single game a week.

We are somewhere in the middle. Today's prospects are scattered across various climates and cultures. A kid in LA does not have the same type of opportunities as a kid in Winnipeg. The LA prospect has to shell out an amazing amount of cash for the chance to skate on open ice, the kid in Winnipeg just goes to the local outdoor rink to get his time in.

Most rinks have drop in or shinny hockey time slots allocated, and players need to take advantage of every available chance to skate. Coaches can cram something into your brain, but it takes practice and repetition to retain and master the instruction.

In most cases, it is more economical to schedule a game than a practice, so coaches load up when the opportunity presents itself. In the end, the player suffers and his individual development falls more and more behind.

Parents should take the economics of any program's situation into consideration when selecting a spot for their young prospect...the future depends on it.

Author: Stephen Heisler from
Stephen Heisler has spent a lifetime in the game of hockey. Stephen is also working with individual teams, coaches, and players as a director with Victorious Hockey Company. Stephen, his wife Deysi, and four children reside in Orlando, Florida.

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