Hockey Talk

Quick Transition Hockey and Tackling Fears

Erika Lawler Qwest Tour: Team USA vs. WCHA All-Stars

Quick transition hockey and athlete self sabotage are the topics of this week’s episode and the Drill of the Week is the 2v1Drop

Hockey Talk, sponsored by ugo Wear is presented by Shannon Miller

Podcast length: 16′ 42″

On this week’s episode Coach Shannon Miller talks about Quick Transition Hockey, Athlete Self-Sabotage and Coaching with Emotion.Today’s Side Bar is the excellent new NIKE commercial that is out, called “Dream Crazier.” And this week’s Drill of the Week will be a tactical drill, called 2v1 Drop – this drill will be posted on my FB page @coachshannonmiller, on Thursday.

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The Drill of the Week is on Shannon’s Facebook page @coachshannonmiller 

Shannon’s website

Shannon on Twitter  |  Instagram


Shannon’s Notes – Quick Transition Hockey & Tackling Fears

QUICK TRANSITION hockey is a very important piece of the game.

At an elite level of hockey we work to shorten the time period it takes to readjust from offense to defense and vice versa. It’s about shortening the time period by just a second or two.
Direct the athletes to know what they are going to do with the puck BEFORE they receive it. Ex: One touch pass – No Dust puck movement; One timer shot; receive and quick release; stick handle to beat closest pressure and then move the puck.
In order to do this, the athletes need awareness of where their teammates are, where the closest opponent pressure is, and a general understanding of the “game situation.”One touch passing is a key skill for quick transition play – it decreases the time for the opponent to get into their defensive positions – examples: passing lane, shooting lane to block a shot.
Offensive transitional play aims to have quick change from defensive play to offensive play, with no dust puck movement, players in the best position to join the rush GO, and attack quickly.
Quick transition to offense can catch the defenders off guard, and when in the offensive zone, the goal tenders too. Use the element of surprise with one time shooting and quick release shots – this shaves 1 or 2 seconds off of your attack, and creates better scoring opportunities because the goalie is still moving – not set to take the shot – creates more rebounds and scoring opportunities.
The new NIKE commercial, “Dream Crazier”, with Serena Williams voice over. The commercial debuted at the Oscars and has become very popular and well circulated. The commercial shows FEMALE athletes and coaches competing and showing emotion. Emotion is natural in sports and life! A few lines in the commercial.

IF we show emotion we are called “DRAMATIC.”
IF we stand for something we are “UNHINGED.”
IF we dream of equal opportunity we are “DILLUSIONAL.”
IF we get angry we are “IRRATIONAL and CRAZY.”
I LOVE IT. Every coach, athlete and sport administrator need to see this commercial. Male and Female.
Pleased to tell you that the basketball coach who shows emotion and takes off her dress suit blazer, Head Coach Cheryl Reeve, is going to be a guest on my next show. Coach Reeve is the head coach of the WNBA Minnesota Lynx and will be a guest on Tuesday, March 12th
Coach to Win, and don’t apologize for it.
Coach with Passion and love it.

Coaches continue to reach out and ask how to handle players that aren’t happy about playing time and cause problems on the team. Coaches want specific ways to deal with these athletes.
Athletes say, “I want THIS” – Ex: more playing time; time on the PP; more starts in net as the goaltender, etc…
BUT their work ethic, attitude and other behavior doesn’t support what they are saying – they appear to be ‘not willing’ to do what has been asked of them, and ‘not willing’ to do what it takes.
Coaches should try and show them with specific examples how they are sabotaging themselves. Give specific examples of their attitude and behavior that is hurting them and specific examples that are necessary to change the situation.
Teach the athletes that their present behavior is SELF PITY – and self pity is QUICK SAND.
As their mentor, try and understand why they are resisting the basic changes in attitude and behavior you have asked them to make. There are issues there that need to be unpacked. Help the athlete unravel the emotional build up. Go inside to find the answers.
Are the athletes self-sabotaging because they are AFRAID TO FAIL?
Teach them it’s OK if they are afraid to fail – accept them as they are and encourage them to accept themselves as they are – let them know you will work through it safely and together.
Coaches, this will take time, patience, good listening skills and compassion. You are their lifetime mentor – it’s worth the work.
If a coach tries to change the athlete’s behavior before understanding their ‘fears’, it won’t be long lasting change. Same goes for the athlete if she tries to ‘just’ change her behavior – need the understanding to create lasting change.
Suggestions to help with all this:
Start by having the athlete list two columns on a sheet of paper. On the left side, list the negative attitude and behavior that is occurring – on the right side, list the positive attitude and behavior that exists (because it’s not all negative), AND list more of the positive attitude and behavior that is required. Help the athletes understand that we choose our own attitude and actions.
Encourage them to make ‘nourishing’ decisions for themselves.
Next Step could be:
Have them list everything they fear – truthfully.
Work together to address those fears, to unpack the emotions.
Move the fear and then change the behavior.
Coaches are facing these situations daily. It can be the elephant in the room if it’s not addressed. I encourage you to “go into it” so you can “come out of it.”

Photo: Erika Lawler – Qwest Tour: Team USA vs. WCHA All-Stars (Commons Wikipedia)
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