September | Our Walk-in Pool to the Hockey Season & Why Our Schedule Is Different
Connecticut GC made a conscious decision to treat September as the ‘walk-in pool’ month to the hockey season. The reasons were simple:
A new school year is starting which places all kinds of unique stresses on kids and families
Many families are involved in fall sports and in concert with school and hockey, they are run off their feet trying to keep up with the schedule
Many hockey organizations compress practice and development ice sessions into September and October because ice is more plentiful - this creates a constant drum beat of trips to the rink very early in the year
Kids who are doing fall sports have to choose between participating in one sport or the other
The feedback from our parents to date has been one of relief with regard to the early schedule set up. In fact, it was suggested that it may help reduce the sense of the never ending hockey season. We hope it has that effect. We took this approach deliberately to make the transition to a new model easier for kids and parents. But our schedule also has some other benefits which, at the end of the day are really designed to be athlete centered. They include:
Our kids get 4 days off a week from hockey - two periods of 2 consecutive days off
This will promote recovery and can help keep hockey fresh for kids (and families)
It should also reduce the mental fatigue of having to go to the rink and coupled with our no travel policy, we believe we are reducing the mental and physical load on kids
Flex & Instruction
We have 2 hour ice sessions allowing our coaching staff to extend instruction and teaching to kids we can also incorporate more fun drills and activities because we aren’t under the gun to move through drills in 50 minutes.
With two hour ice sessions, our kids will have iron lungs. Our plan is to slowly build in pace over the sessions so our kids can eventually participate in skill instruction and competitive drills for 2 hours
We are fine graining our approach, but great things lie ahead.