Playing fast has become the buzz word among the hockey world and hockey fans. Now what comes to mind when you first hear that phrase is Connor McDavid flying down the ice at top speed and doing what he does. It is spectacular to watch but that is not what playing fast means.
Playing fast is how fast you process the game and in turn the speed of the game is played at that level. Hockey is a game that is played with so many variables. It changes from second to second. No two shifts are ever alike. They maybe similar, but never alike. However, they way the game is taught does not reflect this. Coaches teach and I really dislike this word “systems “. What Coaches should be teaching is tactics. If a team does this, we do this. Players need to be able to adjust on the spot because hockey is a game of chaos. Ever rarely does it ever play out the way we map it out on the whiteboard. Goals are scored by creating chaos of various levels. I believe these levels exist within the opposition that you are competing against. By understanding the chaos of the game, a good team can create panic. When a team creates panic out of the chaos opportunity arises. Panic is when your opponent dismisses all the training they have had and stops responding. It is a physiological response. They see themselves doing something they are not supposed to do and they can not stop themselves. It is an internal struggle and if not properly managed by coaches, they, the coaches can cost teams games.
Good coaches teach this without realizing it. They call it pressuring the opposition. Really what they are teaching is the creation of chaos so panic is created and taken advantage of. Good coaches understand this and teach it to there players. How create it and how to mange it when the opposition attempts to do it to you. This is such an under developed area of coaching, but the really good ones get it.
So the next time you watch a game live or on TV and play gets raggedy take a closer look. Examine the chaos of the moment and whether the player(s) involved panic or manage the chaos.
Until next time.
Be well stay safe.
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