Welcome to “Saturday’s with Steve”, a weekly blog encapsulating everything 4D Hockey and beyond in the hockey world. This week, I will be covering our On-Ice Private lessons. This is one of the main pillars of 4D, and one of our most popular offerings. It allows players to work on their skills one-on-one with one of our instructors and improve their on-ice performance.
The first time a player comes to work with us, we evaluate all aspects of the player. Elements we evaluate include balance, stability, skating, and decision-making. The first skate involves more drills than future sessions, as we try to assess the player in various situations on the ice. Similar to all of our other lessons, we start from the ground up, meaning we make sure that they are competent and comfortable with the basics before moving on to more advanced concepts.
Typically, we will start the lesson by working with the player on their skating. It allows the player to get warmed up and allows us an opportunity to identify aspects of their skating stride that may need improvement. Our philosophy is to make sure the player completes enough reps correctly before moving on to the next concept. A good example of this is our thought process on the number of reps as opposed to time spent on a concept. Let’s say we are working on inside edge turns. We will count how many times a player makes an inside edge turn while going down the ice. Let’s say a player makes 7 turns on each leg to get to the other side of the ice. That is 14 reps total. If we only went down and back and then switched on to a new concept, the player would have only done 28 total reps and 14 on each leg. Taking this a step further we could say only 10 of those 28 reps were done correctly. This is nowhere near enough time for the player to grasp the concept, especially if they are a beginner player. Our focus is more so on the quality of the reps, even if that means adding more quantity in terms of how long we focus on that particular concept.
After we have worked on skating concepts with the player, we will move on to drills with pucks. We make an effort to tailor these drills to the player’s position and playstyle so that they find themselves in similar situations to what they would see in a game. During these drills, we are not just setting up drills and letting the player mindlessly go through the motions. We have conversations with the player about the details of the drill and make sure that they attack the drill the same way they would in a game. One of our more popular sayings is “You play how you practice”. If a player is just going through the motions in the drill, they will go through the motions when they get into the game.
We make sure the details are there. For example, Is the player scanning the ice? Is the player protecting the puck properly? Is the player calling for their pass? If they are not doing the little things right in these drills, they will not be able to execute when they get to the game. We may ask the player why they chose to do a part of the drill a certain way, and make sure that they are doing the drill with purpose. We remind them of things that will be present in the game that may not be present in the drill, such as pressure when picking up a puck along the boards or a defender in the shot/pass lane.
I hope you enjoyed my breakdown of our On-Ice Private Lessons. There are many benefits to having one-on-one attention for you or your player, as it can expedite the learning process and there is no worry of you or your player not receiving enough attention. If you would be interested in signing up for a Private Lesson, you can sign up through the Upper Hand link HERE, or you can contact us directly at email@example.com or 248-346-4506 if you would be interested in setting up a longer-term training plan.
This blog will run weekly dropping every Saturday on the 4D website: www.bryceb8.sg-host.com. You can also find links to the blog on all of the 4D social accounts: @4dhockey. I’ll see you back next Saturday for the next blog, until then have a great week and train hard!