CONSIDERATIONS FOR PLAYER DEVELOPMENT IN HOCKEY
HOCKEY PRACTICE V S . HOCKEY GAMES
published with permission from Home Town Hockey
Many hockey players and parents have questioned whether hockey games or practices help a player develop more? Take a look at the stats below and you will know which is better.
One of the biggest issues surrounding the development of hockey players is the number of practices they have compared to the number of games they play. An ideal, realistic ratio is 2 practices for every 1 game played for ages 7 – 13. While some associations have no problem in meeting the recommended ratio, others have great difficulty in finding enough ice time meet this practice to game ratio. Are games really necessary, or all they are cracked up to be? Not when you look at the stats below, especially if you are trying to develop skills.
Howtohockey note: Keep in mind that children can practice hockey almost anywhere. You do not have to wait until a planned practice to practice your hockey skills. Encourage children to practice at home and with friends. Look for outdoor rinks in the winter and places to practice shooting and stick handling in the summer.
If you look at these stats, how can we expect kids to develop when they are playing more games than practicing? Studies show that the better kids are at something, the more they will enjoy it, and the longer they will play. Many kids quit hockey because they get to the level where they can’t compete due to lack of skill – therefore it is no longer fun. At the ages of 5 – 6 or 5 – 7, the practice to game ratio should be even higher (6: 1) and realistically there is no need for formal games.
Big thanks to the OMHA for allowing us to publish some of their hockey tips and hockey drills