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This page was developed for the benefit of our coaches. We understand that the time and effort you give to this program are priceless. The LCHA wants to make sure that all of our coaches are educated and prepared for their season and specific team. Below you will find information we feel will give you the knowledge to maximize the performance of your team.

The criteria for coaching selection includes evidence of alignment with the following core values:

SPORTSMANSHIP: Foremost of all values is to learn a sense of fair play. Be humble in victory, gracious in defeat. We will foster friendship with teammates and opponents alike. 

RESPECT FOR THE INDIVIDUAL: Treat all others as you expect to be treated. 

INTEGRITY: Work to foster honesty and fair play beyond mere strict interpretation of the rules and regulations of the game. 

PURSUIT OF EXCELLENCE AT THE INDIVIDUAL, TEAM, AND ORGANIZATIONAL LEVELS: Each member of the organization, whether player, volunteer or staff, should seek to perform each aspect of the game to the highest level of his or her ability. 

ENJOYMENT: It is important for the hockey experience to be fun, satisfying and rewarding for the participant. 

LOYALTY: We aspire to teach loyalty to the ideals and fellow members of the sport of hockey. 

TEAMWORK: We value the strength of learning to work together. The use of teamwork is reinforced and rewarded by success in the hockey experience. 

All LCHA Coaches must:

  • Be registered with USA Hockey for the current hockey season
  • Be compliant with age appropriate USA Hockey coaching education program (CEP) requirements.  For more information on the USA Hockey coaching education program, visit
  • Pass a background check
  • Complete Safe Sport training
  • Complete concussion awareness training

Long Term Athletic Development Focus

Stage 1- Active Start Stage (Ages 0-6)


  • Help ensure our participants gain physical literacy
  • Develop a passion for hockey in all children
  • Encourage daily physical activity
  • Provide the opportunity to explore a new surface (ice) and mode of locomotion (skating)
  • Develop on-ice balance, coordination and agility
  • Introduce basic skating movement skills through a Learn to Skate program
    • Preferably without use of a hockey stick

Stage 2- FUNdamental Stage (Ages 6-9)

  • Help ensure our participants gain physical literacy
  • Develop a passion for hockey in all our children (keep kids & families in the game)
  • Encourage participation in a variety of complimentary sports to help our children maximize their ability to reach their genetic potential in hockey
  • Develop on-ice balance, coordination, agility and speed
  • Introduce basic puck control skills

Stage 3- Learning to Train (Ages 9-12)


  • Continue to develop physical literacy
  • Continue to participate in 3 complimentary sports
  • Participants at this stage should learn solid basic skills in skating and puck control
  • There is no need at this stage to specialize at a specific skater position, however, goalies may begin to focus on their position

Stage 4- Training to Train (Ages 12-16)

Building the physical engine – endurance, speed and core strength
  • Develop strong technical skills
  • Begin to become more specialized in hockey late in this stage

Stage 5- Learn to Compete (Ages 16-18)

  • Refine technical skills
  • Gain confidence in a variety of competitive situations
  • Good decision-making skills
  • Make appropriate and measurable improvements in endurance, speed and strength

Stage 6- Compete to Compete (18 and over)

For more information, visit USA Hockey:

How To Hockey - For Players


Practices should be focused on your specific age group. Using the format above for breakdowns in skill development for age groups, develop plans that will benefit your kids.

U12 teams and younger should always maximize the ice and use stations for repetition. U14 and older teams can begin to utilize full ice drills while also incorporating stations or "split squad" drills.

For more drill information, visit the USA Hockey website:

Small Area Games

Small Area Games (SAG) is a great way to teach your players the game of hockey. SAG gives coaches the tools to teach their kids systems and hockey habits that are important to being a great hockey player. USA Hockey has provided a PDF with over 35 games, highlighting Transitions, Breakouts, Defensive Zone Play, Offensive Zone Play, Forechecking and Special Teams:

We encourage all of our coaches to use SAG for at least 15 minutes a practice. It is important to use SAG to get kids engaged and teach them how to compete. Using a SAG at the beginning of practice helps players focus right away.

Small area games are all the rage in youth hockey. For good reason as they develop game skills and are FUN! This guide is an excellent resource.


Repetition is the mother of all learning. This saying is really old…old enough to be one of those latin phrases that’s engraved into stone: Repetitio mater studiorum est. It's the same in the classroom as it is in sports.

We should always seek to increase the number of repetitions for our players during all of our hockey practices. One of the best ways to create more repetitions is to break players into smaller groups and utilize the ice surface more efficiently though station-based practices. Ice time is a valuable commodity; we need to use it wisely for the development of our kids.

Coaches should spend less time talking and explaining drills, giving kids the opportunity to keep moving and get more repetitions in.

Ever tell a player to, "go up the boards, through the red zone and break for the slot...." only to have them look even more confused. This diagram shows Rink Zones by their common names.

A great way for peewee and above coaches to track player shots and help players understand the importance of shooting angles and protecting the net.

A coach's plea for players to "play their POSITION" can fall on deaf ears if the players do not understand the basics of each position. This diagram shows common areas covered by each position.

Youth hockey is for the kids

An article by Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun.

Stan VanGundy on Player Development

Claude Julien - 3 Tips for Youth Hockey Coaches

How to Get Your Team Ready for Practice