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Friday, December 8, 2017
Does Simpler Equal Better?
Sooner or later, every team will get into a situation where it is
unable to find an opening and, due to growing frustration, players just take a
low-percentage shot. While this isn’t ideal, it’s something that happens often
and is something that most people understand.
The problem, though, is that when this kind of thing happens,
coaches often get mad that their players are spending too much time trying to
make perfect shots. So, they take the approach of attempting to simplify the
game and shift the focus to simply getting pucks to the net.
This strategy might seem like a good one at first, especially if
it results in more successful games, which it often does. However,
oversimplifying hockey, while it may be rewarding at first, can actually be
detrimental in the long-term to a team and its players.
What often happens, when you attempt to simplify hockey too much,
is that players take shots all the time, pass up extra passes they otherwise
would have taken, and are just generally playing with less accuracy and
control. Players might get in more shots, but their overall performance and
skill suffer in the interim, which means that simplifying is rarely the best
Furthermore, when you simplify the game too much, it’s hard to
teach true skill and precision. Players get sloppy and stop caring as much as
they should. Furthermore, the beauty of the game gets lost, which is perhaps
the worst thing to have happen.
So, instead of simplifying the game for your players, teach them
techniques they can use to increase speed without losing precision. It’s
possible to have a fast game without missed shot opportunities…and still keep
the game as the complex, beautiful thing it was designed to be.