Coaches Corner (Scarborough Sharks Girls Hockey Association)

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Hockey development is a shared responsibility of both the player and the coach. Each must work together to agree on a development plan and work towards that goal throughout the season. Below is a guideline of how both the player and coach can assess skills at the beginning of the year with a clear plan on how to improve

Before we begin, a reminder for coaches and parents that every player develops at their own pace, so be patient and supportive throughout the process. Celebrate individual and team achievements to keep morale high. With a well-designed player development plan and consistent implementation, you'll have a strong foundation for success and foster skill growth within the player and team.

Coaches Booklets

  1.  U9_Coaches_Booklet
  2. U11_Coaches_Booklet
  3. U13_Coaches_Booklet
  4. U15_Coaches_Booklet
  5. U18_Coaches_Booklet

1. Assess Current Skill Levels:

  • Conduct individual skill assessments for each player to identify their strengths and areas for improvement.
  • Observe team dynamics and identify any common weaknesses or areas where the team can improve collectively.

Player Pathways: U7, U9, U11, U13, U15, U18, Goalies

Player Skills Evaluation: U7, U9, U11, U13, U15, U18, Goalies

2. Define Skill Development Goals:

  • Establish clear, measurable goals for individual players and the team as a whole.
  • Goals should be specific, attainable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART goals). For example, improving skating speed by 10% over the next three months.


Core Skills: U7, U9, U11,U13, U15, U18

3. Design a Skill Development Strategy:

  • Break down the essential skills required (skating, shooting, passing, stickhandling, positioning, etc.) and prioritize them based on the team's needs.
  • Develop a comprehensive training plan that includes both on-ice and off-ice activities.
  • Allocate specific practice time for each skill and ensure a balanced approach to cover all aspects of the game.

Puck Control/Stick Handling
Shooting and Scoring

4. Implement Skill Development Activities:

  • Organize regular practices that focus on skill development drills and game-like scenarios.
  • Utilize a variety of training methods, such as drills, small-area games, scrimmage sessions, and off-ice workouts.
  • Incorporate individual and team challenges to keep players motivated and engaged.

Small Area Games/Skill Stations
Developing Skilled Defencemen

5. Utilize Qualified Coaches and Resources:

  • Ensure that the coaching staff has the necessary qualifications and expertise in hockey development.
  • Encourage coaches to attend training workshops, seminars, and conferences to stay updated on the latest coaching methodologies and techniques.
  • Leverage available resources like instructional videos, coaching manuals, and online platforms to supplement training.

Hockey Canada Drill Hub (
Free access to Hockey Canada’s growing library of drills)

6. Monitor Progress and Measure Success:

  • Regularly assess players' progress through ongoing evaluations, both subjective (coach's observations) and objective (data-driven assessments).
  • Track individual and team performance metrics, such as goals scored, assists, shooting percentage, and defensive statistics.
  • Conduct periodic player feedback sessions to identify areas where individuals feel they have improved or need additional support.

7. Adapt and Adjust:

  • Continuously review the effectiveness of the training program and make adjustments as needed.
  • Seek feedback from coaches, players, and parents to identify areas of improvement or new challenges that arise.
  • Stay up to date with the latest developments to ensure the program remains relevant and effective.