Monday, October 11, 2010

On-Ice Practice At Last!!!

After weeks and weeks of planning and a one-week delay in getting the ice rink opened, we finally held our first on-ice practice. And, we had a good turnout as 9 out of the 12 kids were able to make it.  I thought we'd have more gone due to football.  Funny how excited the kids are to play hockey!

As is typical, there were more "activities" planned for practice than time allowed.  We are evaluating players this week and completed the forward & backward skating, passing, and puck handling evaluations.  On Wednesday, we will complete the shooting, stops, and speed evaluations.  Right now, it doesn't look too bad.  Last year, we had a few kids who could hardly skate or couldn't skate in a forwards direction.  This year, all the kids can do that.  Not bad, not bad at all.  Could be a fun year.

The "Prowler" jersey was awarded to one of the "new" kids who, I think, by the end of the year will be a pretty darn good skater... Right now, he's a bit raw.

I've just completed creating the next practice plan, entered the evaluation results on a spreadsheet, and updated this sucker... Time for some shuteye.  Oh, it snowed on top of the ski mountain last Friday and it feels like deep fall already... Winter's a-comin'!!

Night all!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Dang, I'm Tired!

It's about midnight on Sunday morning and I'm just finishing up hockey practice planning and game schedule updates. I'm wiped!

Found out that most of our game times have been set but have a few questions about our Durango trip and "non-league" games.  I am a bit frustrated that Durango scheduled our first game on Saturday at 8:45 AM.  This basically means we either leave at midnight on Saturday to drive down there or stay two nights in Durango hotel.  Grrr, I'm going to see if we can get a later start time.

We had two days of off-ice practice this week which had about 5 kids each day.  Most of the kids are playing football and won't finish that up until after this week.  We will have 13 players on the team so that was better than the initial 9 we thought we would have!

That's all for tonight, folks.  I'm outta here!

Feeling like fall and got snow on top of the Ski Mountain yesterday.  It's hockey season!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Planning, Planning, and More Planning and Getting Tired of Planning

We held our second coaches meeting this past Monday but only three coaches could make it.  My offensive coach was called back into work on an emergency.  We did get some good ideas of where we wanted to go defensively and goalie-wise and I'm trying to work these ideas into an overall year plan.  We also spent a bit of time discussing the next day's Parents Meeting and finalized that.

On Tuesday, I stayed home from work in order to get work AND hockey things done.  Unfortunately, a rootkit malware virus infected one of our work computers late Monday night and throughout the night I received over 22K email warnings... One for every time the anti-malware software blocked any nafarious activities of the rootkit. Do you KNOW how long it takes to clean up 22K emails!  Not to mention that my Blackberry received every one of them as well!  It killed my Blackberry and the company's BES server and these weren't fully restored until today (Wednesday).  So, hockey things were done in-between cleanups and dealing with the fallout of all the work "stuff."

Tuesday's parent meeting went well, I think.  I did most of the talking to parents who sat it stunned silence. I think I overwhelmed them with thoroughness.  The only thing I really heard was that I was OBVIOUSLY not "green" given all the printouts I had.

Tonight (Wednesday), I prepared for the Association's Coaches Meeting tomorrow by collecting all the certifications for my Squirt Team coaches.  In addition, I designed LOTS of evaluation drills (using the fancy smancy new software) in order to evaluate the kids during the first week of practice.

I'm so OVER planning for hockey but realize we still have a lot to do.  I JUST want to execute instead of plan. But planning time it is.  (Sigh)

Enough for tonight.  I gotta get to sleep so I can face work tomorrow. 

Stay safe and avoid thin ice!

Monday, September 20, 2010

The Geek Coach!

Wahoo!  Just found out our association owns hockey software to allow us to create and publish hockey plays and drills!  I was looking to purchase my own software but the Association has an even better program.  After taking the software for an initial trial run (on lunch break), I am psyched to start using it!

We have our first planning coaches meeting tonight where we start building the season.  Tomorrow, we have the Parents meeting.  I'm a bit apprehensive about both.  For the coaches meeting, I've never built a hockey season before.  For the Parents meeting, well, you NEVER know what kind of parents you are going to get.  They all need to understand that I don't coach to win at all cost.  I coach to win in the long run.

Ok, back to work!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Got the First One Out of the Way

Whew!  First meeting is done and, I think, it went pretty well.  Unfortunately, our Defensive Coordinator didn't make it to the meeting tonight and missed all the minutia.  I'll have to go over that with him soon. Most of the meeting was spent with me talking about expectations, philosophies, ethics, and fun stuff like that but it's important to make sure we are all on the same foundation.  We ran out of time to start any planning.  That will have to be next meeting.

I am a bit worried that, because I did all the talking tonight, they are going to expect the same the next few meetings.  It's a catch-22.  You want to set a good foundation which, typically, is pretty one-sided but you want to build the coaching team so that they share information freely.  I know, I know.  It takes more than one meeting to build a team and team cohesiveness.  Just wish I could put Miracle Grow on the process and excelerate it a bit..... patients grasshopper...patients.  

I'm feeling a bit better after talking to my offensive coordinator.  He and I were the assistant coaches last year who took over after the head coach moved out of the state for employement.  My offensive coordinator and I appear to be almost identical in philosophy and ideology of coaching and I love it.

I have a to-do list from the meeting but not too lengthy.  The most important thing is to try to find a day we can all meet before next Tuesday's Parents meeting.  I have to make some quick phone calls tomorrow and spread the word.

Most of this is the "easy" stuff.  The planning of the year and practice formats are going to be tough stuff at first until we get the hang of them....including me!  I know we can do it but we need just get past the rough start.

That's all for tonight.  My bed is calling to me and I have to be ready for a busy day at work tomorrow!

Skate safe ya'll

Monday, September 13, 2010

Last Minute Preparations

I just finished up doing final touches on the agenda for the first coaches meeting tomorrow.  I wanted to make it look a bit less intimidating but a six-page agenda isn't going to help!  I also printed out all handouts and such for tomorrow's meeting and put them in agenda order.  I have a nice 3" stack of papers..... Hmm, I guess if we get too cold, we can always burn them for heat.  :-) 

One final review of the agenda tomorrow (with fresh eyes) and it's all systems go..

And So It Begins....

My first official function as the Squirts head coach begins tomorrow with a coaches meeting at my place.  I'm not sure but I think I'm going to blow them away with all my expectations, ideas, and philosophies.  Oh well, I believe the more planning coaches do, the better the team.  So, we are going to plan, plan, and plan some more. 

I already have a five-page outline just for the first meeting with lots of lots of additional information for subsequent meetings.  We are going to plan our overall team goals for the year, how to reach those goals, the hockey calendar, and all the practices.  I've also setup a website where we can communicate with players, parents, and coaches as well as publish practice plans.

Along with that, I have a huge notebook full of ideas, books, knowledge, forms, and whatnots as well as checking out three books on hockey.  But, I'm tired of preparing and ready to start planning with the coaches and start the season!

Yup, I'm nervous, beyond that of normal beginnings nervousness.  I don't have background or experience in hockey so I have to rely on my fellow coaches for all this.  I know how to coach, I just don't know the game of hockey as well as I'd like to.