Before you come to the clinic, you should have a basic knowledge of skating skills. The skills are roughly what you would get having played organized hockey for at least one year. You should skate at least once within a week of the clinic start date. This will help insure your equipment fits and help regain your balance if you have been off the ice for a while. Get a good nights sleep before the clinic, and arrive early to get familiar with the surroundings and relax. These will aid in the learning process.
Laura Stamm clinics focus on technique instruction and skill development. We strive to teach the players how to skate more effectively and more efficiently. We do this first by slowing the players down, teaching each technique in detail, then bringing them back up to speed in a progressive format. The skills are usually presented in a general manner, then broken down into their component parts for more detailed study.
The most important part of the clinic is the discussion the instructor has with the class on how and why we do each skating technique. If the player develops a firm grasp of the concepts behind each technique, he or she can practice these whenever they are on the ice until they become second nature.
The players focus should be on learning to do each technique correctly, not in beating the other players in a race or getting a good workout. A tired skater is more likely to use incorrect technique and is more prone to injuries.
Every hockey clinic you go to will have players of differing skill levels. Do not try to compare yourself to anyone else on the ice. Rather look to improve your own abilities.
How do you get the greatest benefit out of a clinic? If you are a beginning skater, you should focus on the general concepts of each technique. Practice the technique at a slower pace until you gain an understanding of how and why you are doing that particular technique.
The advanced skater should focus on the detail of each technique presented. Practice doing each technique perfectly. Then can you do it without thinking about it? Then add a level of difficulty. Do this until each technique becomes second nature. When you get the move down cold, ask the instructor what you can do to improve it. Don't be surprised if he says you need to work more on the basics. The exact same thing the beginning skater is working on only in more detail. With the proper attitude, everyone can benefit from skill instruction, or review, in all hockey clinics.
Feel free to discuss your players development with our staff during off ice free time, usually before or after the daily session.
by Bob Noble