The program is divided into on-ice and off-ice sessions, with each student participating in three SBHSA sessions per week; two on-ice and one off-ice. During the winter months, we have mostly on-ice sessions to take advantage of the Forum availability. We aim to achieve a minimum of 40 hours of on-ice activity each season. This will include skills sessions before school and off-ice sessions, which will be scheduled at a later date. Each on-ice session is scheduled for 50 minutes of instruction. During off-ice sessions, the players take part in physical exercises designed to improve overall athletic ability. Each off-ice session is scheduled for 50 minutes of instruction.
On-ice sessions are designed to develop the skills most required by the players. The program is skill based, so there will be little emphasis on strategic or game play. However, the skills training provided will be necessary for executing the strategic plays in a game. Each group will have their own curriculum that will be tailored to ensure maximum athletic and skill development. Every week the program will focus on ensuring the basic skills of skating, passing, shooting, and stick handling are being practiced. The sessions will be designed in such a way that we will always be building on the previous week’s foundation.
In addition to ensuring individual skills are the emphasis of the program, there will also be a focus on small area games (2-on-2 down low, 3-on-3 neutral zone, etc.) to give players the opportunity to try these new skills in game-type situations. This is where players will have the opportunity to combine all four basic skills and the liberty to be creative and have fun!
Not only will this program focus on skill development for players, but it will also have a goaltending component as well. The approach taken will be similar to that of the players’ skill development – emphasis will be developing a goaltender’s basic skills of lateral movement, body control, rebound control and ice awareness. This aspect of the program will follow a curriculum that is being utilized by some of the top NHL goalies in the game today.
Off-ice sessions have been designed to obtain maximum physical development for all age groups. They will provide a direct benefit to each player’s on-ice performance as all of the exercises to be utilized will emphasize power, speed, agility and conditioning across all muscle groups. This will translate directly to better skating, shooting, passing and confidence.
The program is a great asset to the school day for the students and the extra physical exercise is no doubt a benefit to the players. In short, the program is designed to emphasize overall athletic development for kids of all ages while ensuring they are having fun doing it!