One of the biggest mistakes you can make as the coach of U7 or U10 athletes is introducing the wrong skills – skills that are too advanced or teaching too many skills at once.
We recommend that you teach the following skills:
- Lead Passing
- Ring Protection
Over the course of the season, you should gauge whether your team is progressing enough to be introduced to these tactical concepts:
- Zone defence
- Goalie ring distribution
- How to mark and intercept passes
- How to get open for passes
- How to play 3 v 3 offence
While each team will be different, here is a rough overview of what you might teach your U7 or U10 team in the first three months of your season:
Basic stance and grip, Forward glide, forward stride, stationary passing, ring protection, slider shot.
Skating agility (edges, tight turns, crossovers), lead passing, checking, backhand flip shot.
For U10 in particular, you will probably review rules and start to introduce the concept of where defenders, forwards, and centres play on the ice and what their separate roles are.
For active start, you will start to play games and so you may start to talk about the basics of positional play but don’t stress if you don’t cover this in any meaningful way until early November.
Backwards skating, wrist shot.
If you are coaching U10 and haven’t yet reviewed the basic grip, make sure you go back and do it. Here are the details:
A proper grip is simple yet often overlooked. A common mistake ringette players make is holding their hands too close together on their stick:
A stick grip that is “too close” will result in a weak shot, (the athlete being in a more upright position), and a lack of accuracy and control.
Another common error that ringette players make is holding their hands too far apart:
The misconception is that this type of grip will give the athlete more power because they feel they can lean into it more. But, a stick grip that is “too far” apart will result in a lack of balance, inability to transfer your weight, and lack of accuracy and control. Also, if a player’s hands are too far apart, she might be called on a bottom third violation.
Another classic mistake is cupping the stick with your top hand, like this:
A stick grip that is “just right” will result in a strong, accurate and controlled shot.
To teach the proper grip, demonstrate a grip that is too close, too far, and just right. Have your athletes try all three while standing stationary. Next, put them into a basic partner passing drill and practice all three ways. When they’re done, discuss with them which grip felt most comfortable. Return to these two exercises as often as needed until your athletes are consistently using balanced and strong grips.
And, if you want some help this year, check out our new hot off the presses Ringette Beginner Drill Book. You will learn how to create amazingly skilled, confident U10 players while slashing your workload by 60% this season.
Check it out here:
Let us know what you think.
Lisa Brown and Laura Warner