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    News & Updates

June 6, 2017

5 Reasons Your Hockey Skill Development Isn’t Working

Are you working really hard at your game – but do you feel stuck?

The truth is that most skill development “systems” just don’t work. So it is not your fault. Here is a checklist of 5 reasons that your hockey skill development might not be working:

1: Instinct. The best players play with instinct. Their movements are automatic. They do not have to think. If you are thinking about your movement – you are not playing with instinct. If you are holding back in your movement – you are not playing with instinct. When players play with instinct – we KNOW because we see a complete expression of human movement.


2: Feel. Science and the master coaches are in agreement – it’s all about the feel. It’s a myth that each person has a different learning style. You see, each task requires a different learning style. For visual tasks you need a visual learning style. For auditory tasks you need an auditory learning style. For movement – you need a FEEL based learning style. Most coaches use “words”, “drills”, and “explanations” to coach skills. Master coaches design FEEL based learning into their skill development. They ask FEEL based questions. And so the best players who learn the fastest FEEL their way to excellence.


3. Language. Don’t think of the pink elephant! Don’t think of the pink elephant! Don’t think of the pink elephant! What are you thinking about? (I’ll read your mind: The pink elephant.) The brain does not process negative words like “don’t”, “can’t”, and “stop”. So when your brain sees “Don’t think of the pink elephant.”  it only really sees “think of the pink elephant.” Most coaches use negatives to coach you. “Don’t look down.” “Don’t stand up straight.” “Don’t turn it over”. Master coaches only use positive language to focus your brain on the result that you want.


4. Wrong Mechanics. Coaches might be giving you instructions that don’t work with your body. Bend your knees, swing your arms forward, hands out are all common coaching cues. But they’re all wrong. Literally the exact opposite of NHL Mechanics. If your coach is teaching you the wrong mechanics, are you progressing at all?


5. Fear. Your progress depends on mistakes. The more mistakes – the faster your progress. Why? Because each mistake is a learning opportunity. The more learning opportunities, the faster you learn. So coaches who punish players for mistakes literally slow down learning. Get outside your comfort zone and make more mistakes to progress faster.

Are you sick of the common advice in hockey that doesn’t work? If you are and you want to see new improvements in your game – then you might be interested in joining a community of hard working and talented players, coaches, and scientists who are training great hockey players. You can learn about the Train 2.0 Membership here.