Week 1 Parent Letter

Lets get started  
  As we begin the fifth year of our Spring Development Program, I am excited to announce some new components which will further enhance an already successful program.  This first newsletter will outline the changes to the program and the format for the clinics.  Future weekly newsletters will outline the clinic plan for the week and any other general notes or updates we need to make you aware of.  I will be posting these newsletters to the Grizzly website each week and emailing a copy to you as well.  Please make a point of looking at the newsletters as they will have information you will need to know.

Skinner Stick handling Progression

We will be implementing the Sean Skinner stick handling progression during our spring clinics.  We will do as follows:
  • Each player will get a Skinner dry land stick handling cd. I only have 50 cd’s now, but should have the rest by early in the week.  The cd’s will be handed out at your first clinic.  The cd is the homework version of the program and has lots of information as well. 
  • We will offer an off ice 20 minute stick handling lesson at 5pm, 6pm, and 7pm Mon/Tue/Thu.  This lesson is a stick handling progression that links to the cd you will get and was designed by Sean to maximize each players stick handling skills.  The time of the lessons should give your player 10 minutes to get ready for their clinic.  I would suggest getting dressed up to their pants before the lesson if possible.  Just sneakers, no skates for the lesson. 
  • We will then take 10 minutes of each on ice clinic to work on the skills introduced in the off ice lesson.  Our hope is that each player will develop new skills and have the 3v3 game on Sundays to experiment with these new skills. 
  • IMPORTANT*** Each player should bring a wooden stick handling ball if they have one and if they don’t, bring a golf ball.  They will need them to participate.  Also, if possible, we want one parent to attend the first session as we will be talking about the program and some additional information.

Clinics / Games

The program this year is comprised of 8 clinics and 9 games.  The ninth game is a free add on to insure those that may miss a game still can get the 8 games in.  Clinics that are missed can be made up at another clinic day.  Just email me to let me know you are doing a makeup.  We purposely leave 2 spots open in each clinic for those needing make ups.

New Players

The first few times a player plays 3 v 3 in a small space, they tend to either hold it too long or get rid of it right away.  As they adjust to the smaller space, you will see them start to make better plays, and the game speed will pick up.  This is where you will see the most improvement to your son’s skills.  His decision making and puck handling will get better each week.  It’s funny how just playing and having fun can have such a big impact on their game.

Team Skills (New this year)

In addition to our strong emphasis on individual skills, this year we will also add a team component.  This team component will include work on puck support, angling, odd man rushes, and gap control among others.
Quotes of the day
 “We used to play a lot outdoors, not in leagues, but just have a lot of fun with my friends”            -    Steve Yzerman  (Detroit Redwings)
“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right”
          -   Henry Ford
Move of the day 
Head fake, pull puck to backhand / Forehand
We will work on faking the forehand shot and pulling the puck to our backhand for a shot.   We will also work on beating a defenseman by faking to go wide and pulling the puck to our forehand.
Homework Assignment
Watch the first chapter of the Skinner CD and help your player prep an area and stick to use for the lessons.
Practice the drills learned in the lesson and explained on the first section of the cd.    Know who is in the Frozen Four for a special prize.
Clinic Drills
Obstacle Course 
Today’s course will again focus on balance and agility, hand eye coordination, and stick handling.  We will start to add backwards skating, and checking to the course this week.  Watch the quick starts at the beginning; they will do one lap using the tubes, the next with out.  Hopefully they will use the same quick steps they used in the tubes.
 Half ice 3 on 2
This drill works on skating, puck handling, keeping your head up, passing and shooting.  We will allow the player in the corner more flexibility to move forcing the players in the game to get their head up to find him.
Bacwards Only Game
We will play 4 v 4 with all players skating backwards, and all shots on their backhands.  All players need work on this.  Just a couple shifts.