Part 3: Athlete Considerations
This section of the coaching guide goes over how to create a positive learning environment through motivation tactics, feedback strategies, coaching cues, and factors that may aid in skating development through athlete - centered coaching.
How to create a fun / engaging practice session
Talk to your athletes, get to know them, ask them questions, let them have some choice, earn their respect, get them to teach you, make it fun when you can, play a game at the start and / or end of a practice, give them real life sport examples on when they could use a skill in a game.
Optimal Practice Environment
Based on Athlete - Centered Coaching
A positive learning environment is created through athletes being challenged but not afraid of failure. Research shows that positive reinforcement by giving athletes specific feedback is the best way to change a sport behaviour / skill.
Cueing / Feedback
Give athletes at least 60 seconds after completing a drill to give them feedback
Less is more:
Beginner level = 1-2 cues
Intermediate level = 2-3 cues
Advanced level = 3-5 cues
Use analogies as cues first
Instead of "bend your knees" use "pretend you're sitting on a chair"
Use external cues / things to focus on
If you want them to keep their head up on a stop, have them tell you how many fingers you are holding up when they stop (be in a spot you want them to look at)
Strength & Conditioning Considerations
Although ringette is a highly technical sport, strength and conditioning training based on the demands of the sport and the individual athletes needs will only help further develop an athletes capabilities
Strength is a fundamental skill that is needed in ringette to improve an athletes power / explosiveness capabilities, win ring battles, keep control of the ring, and shoot / pass with more force
Power in skating is improved through training an athletes skating technique combined with strength training (creating more force and / or in less time)
Speed, Agility, Quickness
These attributes should be trained both on and off the ice:
Speed = how fast an athlete can move
Agility = a players ability to respond to a stimulus (opposition, shot, pass, etc)
Quickness = a players ability to accelerate / decelerate or how fast they can increase and/or decrease their speed
Hip mobility is important for improving an athletes ability to perform different skating techniques
Ankle mobility is important for an athlete to feel balanced in a low position
Aerobic Capacity is important to aid in recovery between shifts
Anaerobic Threshold is important to train as ringette is a highly anaerobic sport (repeated all-out bouts of intensity within a 30-90 sec shift).