Monday 6th July
It was another early start today as I was up at 7:00 am for breakfast with my first class again at 8:30 am. Today we discussed hockey skills and hockey sense and talked about what games would help progress these skills in children. At 10:30 am we were back on the ice for more fun and games as we put what we talked about into practice. However, don’t think for a second that the ice time is not hard work because even the guys who play on their national teams and are on the course are finding it tough going! Fortunately for them though, we had lunch at 12 noon! However, the break didn’t last too long as at 12:45 pm we had to be outside the rink to meet the 69 children we were about to coach. We were responsible for getting them warmed up outside on the athletic pitch. We then had to get them ready for the ice inside in the changing rooms. We ran the ice session that we had planned the night before in the classroom with an emphasis on skating and it was a success. 69 children – 60 skaters and 9 goalies – 6 stations on the ice for 90 minutes with 8 coaches and it was nothing short of hectic but great fun!
At 4:00 pm we were back to the classroom to go through some statistics that were gathered throughout the day. Everything was really in depth with the percentage of time a player was moving, passing, receiving and standing still and much much more. The results were crazy and we went through it in detail before we had to plan tomorrow’s session. The theme for tomorrow’s training is stick handling. We finished in the classroom at 7:30 pm and I was almost done for the evening. I decided to go to the rink to watch Cian play his first game against Team Red. Unfortunately Team Red came out victors by a score of 4 – 2. It is amazing to watch these games because everyone playing has been sent by their own country and they come from all over the world. Not only that, these players are the best from all around the world in that age group. Cian was right up there with all of them. Both his skills and his fitness were second to none so he certainly has a great future ahead of him. This week in Vierumaki will only help to develop his skills both on and off the ice and certainly give him the motivation to push on! Good job Cian.
Again, I was “EXHAUSTED” with all the classroom work, ice work and the fact we have 24 hour daylight makes it tough to get enough sleep but I’ll suffer on…”HA HA!”