Here I would like to lay down a few guidelines and give some advice that I hope if we all follow will benefit us all and make us a team to be respected and one that sets a fine example to other teams in tournaments and other competitive events, as well as making it an enjoyable and awarding experience for ourselves.
I hope my opinion is fair but I also mean it to be firm and taken seriously. Please do not read this and disregard it after reading. Take it in and consider it. If we all do this I really believe it could make a difference.

The way I see it, we have such an advantage as a team to have:
- 3 hours training a week and structured training at that.
- the opportunity to possible take 3 lines of players to a tournament
-a coach who has spent a lot of free time planning and prepping drills and ideas for us all to progress, researching internet sources, player sources and being in the company and receiving training from a Finnish international player.

This is to name a select few.

Now, I understand we are not a professional team, but from talking to players, I feel we have passion, motivation and dedication enough to see us becoming a powerful and highly admired side.
I am sure you are all agreeing at this point. What I need now, is for you to really want it. Nodding your head isn't going to make the difference, the active decision to be a team player, however, will be a great personal achievement and a rewarding experience.

Let's wipe the slate clean.

I want this article to set a sort of standard for all players, experienced or not.

Rink time is expensive, so let's start with making sure we get the most out of it!
The same people (myself included) use the warm up time to do the same drills, either relentless shooting or passing against the wall etc.
Now, we have a 10 minute warm up, from now on we divide our time between passing and shooting. For the five minutes passing every player must start passing with a different player each warm up. We need to know how ALL of our team mates handle the ball as we play with everyone in a game, not the same person.
Realising just what level a team mate can play at will make a big difference in a game. If you know they're level is particularly high, there is a good chance they will be able to receive the harder passes and control them quickly, whereas a lower level player may not be able to, so you can make sure you deliver a pass they can control quickly, allowing them more time to make their next move the right move, instead of them having to spend the time settling the pass. Do not assume a players level. They may be better than you think, or they may not. Lesson 1 - KNOW YOUR TEAM MATES.

Another advantage to this is that if you think you can offer some advice to another player, maybe noticing their technique could be worked on, or something simple as making sure they look before they pass, use your experience to help them out! Show them techniques you find work well for keeping the ball straight, to stop it lofting, to achieve more power.
This works both ways. The pupil must understand that they are NEVER being criticised and that the teacher is trying to help improve the pupils game and consequently their contribution to the team. Also, the teacher must be understanding that the pupil may need showing several times or maybe the right approach is to work in stages getting specific elements of the technique right, before moving on to the next. The teacher must also teach using positives as well as negatives! Tell them what they do well as well as what needs work.
Helping out your team mates with your own advice will give them confidence when playing a game, that they are doing the right thing and also allow you to put some faith in them, that when they are in possession of the ball, they can make the right decision and do their job on the rink allowing you to do yours. Lesson 2 - TRUST YOUR PLAYERS. THEY ARE ONLY AS GOOD AS THE ADVICE AND PRACTICE THEY ARE GIVEN, SO GIVE THEM GOOD ADVICE AND TIME ON THE BALL. WE'RE ALL ON THE SAME SIDE.

Our goalie also needs as good warm up. For five minutes we will all position in front of the goal either shooting consecutively or from side to side, goalies choice. Help players again with shooting if needed. As shooting is an extension of passing if you can help a player get their passing spot on, ultimately, shooting will very quickly follow.

In regards to the rest of training, listen to your coach. Full attention is required! This means no talking between yourselves, fidgeting with the ball or causing other distraction. You may already understand the drill or other element that is being explained, but someone else may not and will want to be able to hear. As well as this it is bad manners!!!
Be useful and help explain the idea if someone does have questions.

If all the above works as it should, the following training activities, whatever they may be, should run well and players should be pleased with their performance and find training enjoyable.
Aim to come away from training having learned 1 thing or at least part understand something new, endeavouring to understand it fully within the next few training sessions.
Use YouTube, Facebook, the IFF website and many other sources out there that may give you ideas for things to try, or may explain some techniques for you in a way you may better understand. Lesson 3 - USE YOUR INITIATIVE AND HELP YOURSELF BE A BETTER PLAYER. THE COACH CAN ONLY HOLD YOUR HAND SO FAR. YOU CAN'T LEARN A SPORT JUST BY SPECTATING, TRY IDEAS THAT YOU SEE.
That being said, share your idea, someone may be able to help or may also be interested in learning. Practice together.

If on a particular session you find things aren't going your way, maybe, despite your best efforts, passes aren't going where you want and shots aren't on target, don't get disheartened. We all have days like this. Take an extra moment to set the pass right and the shot before you shoot. Don't punch passes one handed or smack shots anywhere at the goal. Take that bit of extra time to get it right. You can afford to. It's training.

There is plenty more I feel I can share that is useful, but for now I would really appreciate it if what I have expressed here is read with meaning and taken seriously. We can be such a good team and I personally enjoy playing with each and every one of you.
I will be working on more articles like this and I hope you will find them useful and motivational.

Can't wait to see you all at our next training session! We have 2 more before our next tournament, I want a double win in our pocket and so do you! I shall say all I have to say before then and I hope you read these and want to follow them. You can contact me anytime on Facebook if you would like to discuss anything I have said here, I would love some feedback, or maybe you have something to add yourself.

Thank you for your time


Amie Whitehall