|League||South East Mini Hockey Boys U10 7s Festivals|
|Assistant Coaches||Jacqui Kendall, Ferko Spits|
Welcome to the Boys Under 10s
Welcome to the hockey season! I will be leading the coaching for this group this year with the able support of Jacqui Kendall and Ferko Spits. It would be great to have some other parental support - more about this later. By way of background it’s been a while since I played hockey - when I did I coached at clubs, schools and residential hockey camps. Jacqui played international hockey for Canada and has been coaching at Guildford for several years. Ferko brings a wealth of hockey experience and a Dutch perspective to the group. We all really enjoyed working with this age group last year and are looking forward to this season.
The U10 age group is an important stage of hockey development. We are looking to take boys moving up from the U8s and new joiners, and give them a solid foundation so they are ready to enjoy their hockey and participate actively in matches. They will play increasing in matches and develop their skills as they grow and become stronger. We are keen to fully prepare the boys for the next step up to the U12s. By the time the boys are playing in the U12s the hockey will be getting increasingly competitive and organised, with this age group also introducing 11 a side matches.
There will be a wide spectrum of capabilities and we believe in coaching all boys together, where the stronger players can set the standards and support the development of all the players in the group. For the more capable players developing these leadership skills, in training and in matches, is crucial for their team awareness. As the season progresses we will be finding ways to stretch the more capable players.
For the boys who are new to the game and still learning the basics we provide a safe and fun environment. We find that different hockey skills ‘click’ at different times for boys and once they ‘get it’ their development can accelerate markedly.
We have one specific request - if you son would like to try goalkeeping please let us know. Guildford HC has an excellent goalie specific coaching program and many of the boys and girls really enjoy the different challenges of goalkeeping. Just think Maddie Hinch and how she kept a clean sheet in the penalty shootout in Rio…….amazing!
At the start of the season it’s good to lay out what we are trying to achieve. So here it is…..
- Safety - ensure the boys learn and play hockey in a safe environment.
- Enjoyment - this is meant to be fun, so we plan to have lots of this!
- Skills development - by the end of the season the boys should be have a good grasp of all the basic skills (see below). We’ll also introduce more advanced skills (see below).
- Game awareness and participation - ensure that the boys understand their roles in a game and have a solid understanding how to participate in game.
- Make some new friends - hockey’s a very social game so we want everyone to join in and make new friends.
How Parents Can Help
These are the simple things you can help with:
- Shin pads and gum shields - we are not allowed to coach boys who don’t have these. It’s very important for their safety. Spare gum shields can be bought at the clubhouse if they are forgotten. With three boys myself I’ve found a bulk order and a couple spare gum shields in their hockey bags in a good idea.
- Clothing - Friday nights in winter can be cold and wet. Appropriate clothing goes a long way to making the experience for the boys in such conditions more enjoyable - plenty of layers, a woolly hat, and a shower proof top if wet is ideal. When the weather is inclement we will structure the session to keep them moving and warm.
- Coaching assistance - if you have some hockey experience that’s great. Jacqui, Ferko and I would appreciate the help. I draft a session plan for every session covering exercises and coaching points so this is more about helping organise the boys whilst then run through the various exercises. You don’t need to commit to every Friday session, just a helping hand when you’re around would be greatly appreciated. If you are able to help please reply to me directly.
- Feedback and issues - if there is anything you feel would help your boy enjoy their hockey more please let us know. We typically expect a group of 30 to 40 boys to each session so we won’t notice everything. If we don’t know about something we can’t remedy it so please let us know if there is anything we can do. Likewise, if we feel we have to raise something with you we will.
I want to give you a brief summary of how we’ve planned the season. This is split into three sections of eight to ten weeks. We’ll break for Christmas in mid December and are likely to start again in the second Friday of January. The season finishes around the end of March/ early April depending upon tournaments and Easter etc. We’ll flex the progression of the group depending upon their progress so this outline will change!
As already mentioned each session is 90 minutes long. The structure of a typical session will be 15 minute warm up, 45 to 55 minute skills training and games, then around 20 minutes of matches or conditioned games to finish off. The boys will often be working in smaller groups giving them greater repetition and intensity of the skills training, across the three different drill stations with some variety to keep their interest levels up! These exercises are also designed so that players of various capabilities can work on their skills.
Phase 1 - start of season to early November
Introduce and reinforce basic skills:
- Push passing
- Receiving the ball - open and reverse stick
- Running with the ball
- Indian dribbling
- Open stick tackling
- Playing games
- Positional awareness
- Roles of different positions
- Encourage team work
Phase 2 - mid November to end of mid January
Revisit basic skills as necessary, introduce more advanced skills such as:
- Hit and slap hit
- Reverse stick hit
- Defensive skills such as footwork, body position, jab tackle, reverse stick tackle
- Improving vision and passing skills
- Improving first touch
- Beating and eliminating players
- Introduce more competitive pressure on key skills
Phase 3 - end January to end of the season
As this stage the basics skills should be good. We’ll keep working on some of the advanced skills as time permits, and in the last phase of the season we’ll increase the match like situation and work more on game play.
In terms of game play, we’ll be thinking about basic patterns of play, attacking and defending as a team, and controlling games through maintaining procession.
In this part of the season there is also the Surrey Cup and the Surrey Plate; we’ll be preparing teams to represent Guildford HC in these tournaments.