Hope all is well with you and your families! See below for the our new two week challenge. Players to complete this everyday day for the next 14 days. Parents to email me if their son or daughter was able to complete this everyday for 14 days straight beginning today. This should take about 30-40 minutes to complete.
14 Day 50's Challenge
- 50 Shots a day
- 50 Push ups
- 50 Air Squats
- 50 Lunges
- 50 Jumping Jacks
- 50 Seconds of forehand side stickhandling
- 50 Seconds of front handle stickhandling
- 50 Seconds of backhand side stickhandling
- 50 Sit-ups/crunches
- 50 Second Plank
- 50 Second left side plank
- 50 Second right side plank
All the best,
Tim Benz - Wilmette Hockey Director
Hello WHA Families!
First and foremost I hope you are all staying safe and healthy during these trying times. I know we are all itching to get back on the ice and are doing the best we can with what we have at home. It is important to stay in tune with our athletic skills as well as staying in touch your teammates. I encourage you to "challenge" your teammates and friends via social media, email, text messages or phone calls to shooting challenges, stick handling challenges, workout challenges etc. Once you complete a challenge you have created, tag 4-5 of your teammates and friends to complete the challenge as well!
My challenge to our players is to complete 50 push ups a day for the next 3 days. They don't all have to be at once, maybe do 10 when you wake up, 10 after breakfast, 10 during a commercial break on TV for example. If you are able to do so please email me at email@example.com so the players who complete the challenge can get recognized at our next skill session.
I have also added three more videos to my YouTube channel which can be found via the links below. Please keep checking the page every couple days for new content!
Shooting Tips video discusses proper shooting habits. We are probably all shooting a lot of pucks right now, lets make sure we are doing it right!
Driveway goalie drills. It is tough to practice full goal tending skills without being in the full pads and on the ice but we can always work on our hand eye, shooting and stick handling!
2-1-2 Fore check - Not only can we improve some hockey skills but we can also improve some hockey IQ during the quarantine. This video gives a basic breakdown of the 2-1-2 offensive zone fore check.
All the best,
Wilmette Hockey Director
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As a child enters hockey, our first priority is to build GENUINE confidence, basic fundamental skills and a love for the game.
Early on, we want kids constantly "graduating" --constantly collecting positive experiences in order to develop into passionate hockey players.
We always want to promote (as opposed to demote) in the early stages.
These positive experiences are essential. And patience is critical.
Entering travel fall/winter travel hockey too soon can often lead to a counter productive experience--sometimes resulting in early retirement from a player that was pushed too hard too soon. Hockey becomes consuming and frustrating rather then fun and productive.
Please keep in mind Fall/Winter Travel Hockey is much more competitive than spring.
If your child is highly ambitious but not ready for travel, choose House League Hockey and add other sports to his/her menu. This is a great and productive option.
Multi-sport experiences provide tremendous athletic, psychological and life-style advantages that provide big payoffs down the road. Hockey players with soccer, flag football and basketball experience gain athletic skills, develop a full range of coordination and learn concepts that apply directly to the game of hockey. Ask any of your hockey coach leaders. Down the road, the best hockey players are always the multi-sport athletes.
In sum, for the long term, you cannot lose. Or maybe more directly--your child will not "fall behind."
If a child is ready for travel--great! Let's go.
If a child is not ready for travel, House league hockey will get him/her there and you will have the opportunity to play and learn through other sports..
Both choices with pay off with a happy, productive young athlete with a great future in hockey.
If you have specific questions about your child, please consult with our House League Director Joe Heaton.
USA Hockey did an in depth study in the 90’s to determine why half the NHL is comprised of European players when the United States had more than double the youth players and rinks at their disposal. What they found in the Finland, Sweden and the Czech Republic is the beginning of the cross ice revolution. They found that they were teaching age appropriate concepts and more effectively utilizing ice time, allowing players to develop more rapidly. Furthermore, at the early stages, they committed to the idea of “letting the game be the teacher.” This assured that the kids experience a very high volume of competitive skill challenges while having fun.
CROSS ICE IS EFFICIENT USE OF YOUR TIME
When a Mite plays a full ice game, that individual player will play an average of 10-14 minutes within a 33 minute game. That’s 10-14 minutes of competitive action for every 60 minutes at the rink! This is a lost opportunity--an inefficient use of time that cheats our kids from development opportunities.
By placing “time playing hockey” as the priority, kids skate more, shoot more, pass more and battle more. This is a very basic formula. More frequent, competitive hockey opportunities will naturally develop players more rapidly.
Our format increases that “competition time” to nearly 30 minutes per ice our per child, or more than double the “competition time” previously experience.
SCALE AND PUCK TOUCHES
At the Mite level, the full-ice game does not represent the game of hockey. The kids are so small, their strides are so short and the rink is so long. In terms of scale, a Mite playing full ice hockey is equivalent to an adult playing on a 600 foot rink (rinks are 200 feet long).
For entry level players at the Mite level, a full ice game more often resembles a track meet than a hockey game. By that, we mean 2 or 3 of the more skilled players skate the puck coast to coast while everyone else chases them, admires them or cheers for them.
Even more, statistically speaking, during a full ice game, a large percentage of kids (20%) will touch the puck only ONE time during the entire game.
The Cross Ice Game gives all 10 players a chance to battle for and win the puck…often. Cross Ice players are rarely “out of the play.” With a little hustle, they are quickly back “in the play.” When they have the puck, they are forced to see the game in front of them and carry, pass or shoot the puck. These competitive situations (skating, battling, controlling and moving the puck) are challenges forced upon the competitors due to the cross ice format. The confined area and related challenges create a “real hockey platform” and are the foundation of long term player skill development.
In the Cross Ice format, the amount of time a player competes for the puck increases 3-4 fold. We switch players every minute or less with as few game stoppages as possible. This, combined with a smaller playing area, translates to 3-4 times as many puck touches, passes, shots, battles and changes of direction. Twice as much ice time--4 times as many puck battles--that is a BIG difference that will lead to rapid player development.
This structure is not sympathy for the less skilled and competitive players. The confined area forces the most skilled players to make real hockey plays that are necessary to succeed at the higher levels.
By Pee Wee, the days of “skating past everyone” are long gone. All players must learn to see the game in front of them, demonstrate skills and make decisions based on heavy traffic hockey. The Cross Ice Hockey creates the “heavy traffic” quick decision environment that is required for player skill development.
INDIVIDUAL SKILL DEVELOPMENT IS THE PRIORITY
Some will suggest the kids need to understand system and/or positional play.
Positional play and hockey sense are important, but at the entry level, the investment must be in individual skills and not system instruction. If kids don’t have the ability to carry, pass, shoot or win the puck battle, it does not matter if they are in the right “place.” Without the ability to skate, carry, pass and shoot, no system can be executed.
Systems represent a series of skills executed properly. Players gather the puck, see the ice and choose to carry, pass or shoot. All hockey system play is based on triangles--something the Cross Ice format forces players to deal with nearly every time they touch the puck.
The emphasis on individual skills is even more essential at the entry level House League level. Most kids ages 6-8 are not ready to absorb abstract concepts like positional play and triangulation. So the time spent teaching systems will be wasteful while the investment in skill instruction becomes hugely beneficial.
Overall, the evidence is overwhelming for the cross ice format when individual skill development and fun are the objectives. For the first time ever less than 50% of the NHL is made up non-Canadian born players. Who do you think has taken the biggest bite out of their numbers? You guessed it. We did. Currently 24% of the NHL is made up of US born players, up from 13% in 2000. This is in no small part to the American Development Model and the cross ice, small area hockey that has been prevalent nationwide for decade.
Please contact Tom Finks with any questions or concerns regarding cross ice hockey. He will be happy to discuss it with you.
Dear WHA Families,
I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday and a great start to the new year. Our teams are back on the ice and ready to make their push for the playoffs. The WHA has some important and exciting news!
WHA Hockey Director
I am pleased to announce that after an exhaustive search that included over forty (40) candidates, Wilmette Hockey Association has hired Timothy Benz as our new Hockey Director. Tim comes to the WHA with an outstanding background as a Hockey Director, Elite Coach and a Player Development Specialist.
Tim was a star hockey player at Glenbrook South High School, where he was Team Captain, MVP, All-Conference, All-Area and All-State both his junior and senior years. Tim was selected to the prestigious Chicago High School Showcase Team as both a junior and senior. He was also a three-year starter on the GBS Varsity baseball team and was Team Captain, MVP, All-Conference and All-Area. Tim played college hockey in the ACHA and played professional hockey for the Michigan Moose in the AAHL and the Pennsylvania Blues in the FHL. After his playing career, Tim focused on coaching and player development. He was hired as Head Coach for the Glenview Stars PW AA team and also joined Kevin Delaney as a Player Development Coach. Tim moved up the coaching ranks quickly and was hired as an Assistant Coach for the Glenbrook South Varsity team and also served as Head Coach for the Girls Varsity team.
In 2014, Loyola Academy hired Tim as Assistant Coach for the Loyola Varsity Gold Team. After two seasons as Assistant Coach, Tim was promoted to Co-Head Coach of Loyola Gold. After three successful years at Loyola Academy, Tim was offered the positions of Hockey Director and Varsity Head Coach at St. Viator High School. When Tim arrived at St. Viator, the team was ranked 40th in the state. In just two years, St. Viator is now ranked 3rd in state, behind only New Trier Green and GBN. In addition, St. Viator has also won two consecutive Catholic League Championships and has reached the Elite 8 and Final 4 in the Illinois High School State Championship the past two seasons. As a result of his remarkable success rebuilding the program at St. Viator, Tim was named Illinois State High School Coach of the Year in 2018.
In addition to his on-ice expertise, Tim is also an off-ice coach and program director. He served as Director for The Ultimate Athlete where he worked with hockey, football and baseball players in explosiveness, speed and strength training.
Tim Benz is a proven coach, program director and leader of young men and women. We are thrilled to have Tim Benz joining the WHA as our new Hockey Director.
Stay tuned for more exciting news about the program coming soon!