Does your coach use specific players for all the PP and PK shifts? Or does he roll the lines? How often does he shorten the bench? At what age or level should coaches be rewarding a player's skill with additional ice time?
Lower level like town or low club they should just roll the lines. Maybe at competitive Peewee start playing certain kids (+ the coaches kid of course) on special teams. One thing though the PP and PK should be two different sets of kids to be fair and to not burn the kids out.
Town through Elite roll the lines up to PW. At PW, start to develop special teams.
I would say the exception to this would be tournament championship games, or league championship games and only deep in the third period or overtime.
Regardless of individual talent, mites and squirts should be rolling the lines for their development and to gain confidence. Short shifting at the mite or squirt level doesn't do anyone good.
That being said, if you're at a tournament or league championship let the parents know that if you're going deep in the third and need a goal or need to protect a lead, you may shorten the bench for that reason. Then ask if any of the parents have an issue with that - but only at the mite and squirt level. Once they get a little older, the parents and the kids need to know that expectations and philosophies may change.
Roll the lines all the time period. Roll them through PP and PK. You are not trying to win the Stanley cup Trust me nobody is watching junior until U14 at the minimum. Even then roll the lines. Coach isn't getting paid to win games he is trying to make kids better players. That is the goal At the end of the day everybody will look back at youth hockey and say what a great time they had. Or, lose interest in the sport because they never played. Winning is not the end all goal at youth hockey. Important yes. Be competitive yes. But, not win at all costs
Thanks Cap A.........
Ask this question: is the coach's job at risk if he doesn't win? If no, then roll lines. If yes, then expect (and embrace) specialization and playing time imbalance.
I guess that means HS hockey, juniors above a certain level, maybe other situations. Anything labeled as "youth hockey", JV, or rec/house league should be rolling lines, as the goal is fun and/or to develop for the above-mentioned levels when winning becomes important and competition for playing time is real.
All this being said, I'm all for reducing playing time for missing practices or not giving full effort at any level (OK, above mites, but even then if done in an age appropriate way). If done correctly, introducing consequences for conduct detrimental to the team is an essential part of developing a hockey player.
I hate this - "All this being said, I'm all for reducing playing time for missing practices"
Yeah if the kid is old enough to drive himself to the rink, otherwise it could be 100% the parent's fault, family issues or something totally out of the kid's control and the kid shouldn't get penalized.
When my son played Squirts we had a tournament up in Lake Placid and a family on the team had two kids on the team. The family simply didn't have the cash to pull off the trip and the coaches held it against the two players for the rest of the season.
roll the lines!
However, make exceptions in the last couple minutes of third period in tight games.
I would also say it is more than appropriate to shorten the bench in the 3rd period of very important games (ie playoffs, league games late in season where game impacts playoff birth, finals of tournaments, etc)...
otherwise, the benefits and development you get from rolling lines will far outweigh other options over the course of a season... and over the longer haul.
oh and... let's not overlook that while player development "should" be the goal for ALL parents... there are more than a couple parents on every team that expect wins. a coach needs to consider that also.... a balancing act for sure!
Good post. Someone should tell that to the 08 Eagles and 08 Falcons coaches. Those tool bags roll out their three best kids on the team every other shift and they play the entire last 5 minutes of the game. Great way to develop the rest of your players fellas.
Too many think it's the NHL...and if you're sitting any kids, the coach should act with a little class and sit his kid first. (Never going to happen)
So if a kid is really having trouble in a particular drill routinely in practice, let's say odd man defensive zone coverage, which emulates PK, are you just supposed to roll him out and give up a 2-1 lead in the 3rd for the single players development?
Or should he show some semblance of progress and display it in a practice setting first?
be careful for what you wish for.........
If you asked every parent on the team that there should be PP and Pk lines and shorter benches in the third period! I bet everyone would agree. But guess what, everybody thinks that their kid should be playing and that your kid should sit!!!!!!! It gets better because coach might agree with you. Daddy coach is a parent too and I guarantee you that his Gretzky is better than your Mario. That leaves only 4 other spots on the PP and only 3 other spots on the PK. Wait until you see the BS in the stands if he has to pull the goalie !!!!!!
Every parent thinks this way. but what they are really saying is....Run PP. and PK. just make sure my kid is on it. Sitting is for the other kids not my little super star. Be careful for what you wish for because everyone else may not see it the same way as you do.
Wanna bet the only ones saying to roll the lines are the parents of kids who would not play on the PP PK or last two mins of a close game ???
Coaches put out who is best at the right times to win the game, not to please parents. If you think your kids should be out and he is not it because your head is in the clouds and not reality. Our coach is up front with parents regarding playing time. There is no BS. If you ask why your kid isn't out or was skipped he tells you exactly why. He rarely shortens the bench but when he does there is a good reason. He tells the parents at the beginning of the season..he is in charge, he makes the decisions and if you don't like it leave. It really cuts down on a lot of problems. No one yells to the coach from the stands for any reason...good way to get your kid bench even if he is one the top kids.