If you have a daughter who plays hockey, then you probably already know that body checking is illegal in hockey for both girls and women. Just because it’s “illegal,” however, doesn’t mean that there isn’t some body contact when girls play hockey.
Because contact does exist in girls’ hockey, it is important for girls to learn good body contact skills and how to use these skills when they’re out on the ice.
When girls practice good body contact skills, not only will they become better, more skilled players, bu they’ll also stay safer out on the ice. They won’t be encountering contact that they don’t know how to handle.
Of course, the key is to make sure that your child’s coach actually is focusing on body contact during practice; many girls’ coaches ignore this very important aspect of the game. If you can’t get your child’s coach to appropriately focus on this skill, then consider having your child attend a body contact clinic or a special session where she can learn this skill and thus be able to better handle herself (and the competition!) on the ice.
The truth is, though, there’s only so much you can do to really teach the valuable skills associated with body contact through a couple of specialized sessions, so you really want to request that your coach teach this skill or, else, find a coach that does. Learning proper body contact helps with so many aspects of the game, including helping players to manage themselves in tight spaces, which is essential for successfully handling puck battles and other things that come up on the ice.
With time and practice both on and off the ice, female players can become comfortable with and good at body contact, but that will never happen if they don’t get exposed to it, so don’t overlook this important skill!