The first week of our School Holiday Programme was catered to the U9 + U12 level.
We started each morning on the ice bright and early with some fun but challenging skill development drills in stations. We finished the on ice session with a game of sharks and minnows or 2 v 2, 3 v 3. The kids left the ice with big smiles and having worked hard but having had lots of fun doing it!
The on ice was followed up with a group discussion around the reasons why they play hockey. Needless to say there was some interesting and funny answers to that question. After a group chat in the dressing room the players split into 2 groups. 1 group would work on stretching and cooling down after a training session. Meanwhile, the other group would work on stick handling skills using golf, tennis, orange or squash balls. After 15 minutes the groups would switch.
After our off ice work we would take a walk as a group to the bakery up the road on the way to the park where the kids were able to buy some food (no sugary drinks and no desserts). With still more energy to burn we would walk to the park and let them be kids for 30-45 minutes. The kids would play soccer or tag or swing on the swings. It was interesting to see the group dynamics take over. Then it was back to the rink to finish with some public skating/games.
Thankfully, Paradice staff would allow us to draw the net across the blueline so we could have our own zone to work with and we would play variations of tag and sharks and minnows and bull rush. We always finished the day with a fun game of 3 on 3 cross ice. The day would end with a final group discussion and presentation of the “player of the day”.
It was an absolute blast with the kids and we already can’t wait for the next one!