Novice (7-8 yr)
The Novice Program is part of the Hockey Quebec’s Initiation Program. Its primary focus is still to promote a fun approach to learning the skills of hockey and the basics of the game. The program is based on a teaching curriculum that incorporates all the appropriate skills for the age level. Novice is a 2 year program designed for players to build on the skills acquired during the Pre-novice stage. Some team tactics are introduced to players over the course of the 2 year Novice program.
Beginning November 15th, the teams will then compete in the Central Hockey League which includes Lakeshore, Pierrefonds, DDO, West-Island and Ile Bizard.
The Pre-Season Program
The Novice pre-season program as it is currently structured (now entering its eighth season), was implemented by Hockey Quebec to provide players with an opportunity to enhance their fundamental skills in a positive and learning environment. While the curriculum is flexible, the program calls for the focus to be primarily on skill development. It also calls for the sessions and lessons to be given in a teaching environment with progressions. Similar in nature to building the proper foundation in any skill, it requires patience and repetition. Many child development psychologists have been puzzled at how a complex game like hockey can be played by youngsters who typically have not developed the cognitive skills required to play a complex team game. One school of thought, for some who have examined the learning process for the game of hockey, is that the repetitive process used with the drills and the training, creates a patterned behavior that allows the player to cope with the game without requiring the cognitive formal abstract thinking capabilities associated with what the hockey player is actually accomplishing. That’s technical talk for “hockey players are pretty smart if given the right foundation.”
From day one, LMHF’s primary focus for the pre-season lessons has centered on “on-ice” fundamental skill development. The focus is teaching and working on ensuring that players are equipped with the tools they will require as they move on to higher levels. Think of it in these terms: one could not attempt long division if one has not mastered basic math.
The lessons are a continuation of the Initiation Program. In the early stages of development, young players should continuously repeat good form. Repetition of proper form is undoubtedly the ultimate target as the development of good work habits will lay the foundation for the future as it is a lot easier to fix defects in technique when players are younger.
It is also the next progression in skills development as the objective is to gradually introduce team play. However, if a player still has problems making a simple pass or being able to skull or carve, it will be difficult to execute team play and tactics. A simple sweep pass is still a challenge to many kids. C-cuts and proper strides are often overlooked by kids trying to compete to win battles. Proper technique must be taught in a non-competitive environment where kids will feel comfortable in taking the time to properly execute the techniques required. Placing them in competitive situations will only lead to them taking short-cuts and learning bad habits.
The goals for the Novice age category are:
• review the basic skills
• refining basic skills, doing it correctly and then doing it faster
• introduction to team tactics
• achieving all of the above while still having fun
The Novice program will progress to placing the kids in competitive situations only once the basic skills have been covered and for that, we thank you in advance for your patience.
The following concepts are applied to our pre-season structure:
Dividing the players into smaller groups on the ice
- An instructor can more effectively manage a small group of young players
- Drills are run much faster and players are spending less time waiting in line
- Players get more attention and repetition
Grouping the players by ability
- The players in each group are at about the same skill level, bringing continuity and simplicity to the instruction
Emphasizing fun in each session
- Players are having fun, while learning the skills
The initial sessions are geared at teaching players the basic skills of hockey and not formal evaluations on players’ competitiveness (there will be plenty of time for that in due course).
The Novice program recommends the following practice time allotment:
Technical Skills 75%
Individual Tactics 15%
Team Tactics 10%
- Stationary: mirror instructor
- Moving: mirror instructor
- Free skate / sculling
- Circuits / cones
- Individual Competition
- Small Sided Games
Note: The skills listed below will be taught as the player progresses through the different levels of play. Depending on the group or child, not all progressions will be covered.
Individual Hockey Skills
|Skating||Puck control||Passing and Receiving|
Reversing direction & T-push
Backward gliding 1- Skate
Backward 1-foot stop & T-push
Backward push & glide
Pivot, backwards to forward
Pivot, forward to backwards
|Puck handling stance
Skating with puck
Open ice carry
Starting with puck
Weaving with puck
|Forehand sweep pass
Receiving pass Forehand
Backhand sweep pass
Receiving pass backhand
Skating and passing
Players will be introduced to the concept of teamwork and team play toward the latter stages of the program.