Simple Bench Management Tool - Chicago Area Youth Hockey


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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Simple Bench Management Tool

COACHES & PLAYERS ...Implementing This Simple Paul Lubanski  Created BENCH MANAGEMENT TOOL Can And Will Usher Your Club And Players To THE NEXT LEVEL & BEYOND!

By Paul Lubanski


I am often queried by youth coaches for tips on markedly improving their respective team's on-ice performance devoid of roster manipulation.

A great question for many reasons--not the least of which is that most league and association governance/rules do not allow for the addition/subtraction of players beyond a the half-way mark of any season

So today, I answer the afore-stated request for help with a column entitled "N-U-F Said!" It outlines a simple, easily implementable coaching tactic that if adopted--will undoubtedly lead to GREATLY enhanced individual/team game-play.

Again. my use of my favorite teaching tool--the acronym--is evident. The N, the U, and the F each signify a critical piece of today's lesson-plan:


Specifically, I am referring to is each player's focus and concentration-level on the bench WHILE AWAITING/ANTICIPATING THEIR NEXT TURN ON THE ICE! In other words, if a coach can teach and discipline each of his/her player's to intensely watch and observe ALL of the action on the surface before THEIR next respective turn--a tremendous amount of good fortune can be manufactured.


For example, knowing/learning which opposition defenseman has trouble turning to his/her right when going forward -to-backward? Which player on the other team is generally weak on face-offs?

What player takes forever to wind-up and shoot from-the-point; hence, a body in the shooting lane can lead to a breakaway for us? What center on the other team only attempts passes to his fore-hand side?

And, aside from the potential weaknesses of the opposing players that can be exploited,  an AWARENESS of where the puck is heading and in-which direction should I be JUMPING on is also extremely important.. A mistake made here could definitively be that difference as it relates to winning or losing a specific match. A player can only hope to make the correct decision if he/she is fully engaged and thinking "ahead" as if they are ALREADY on the ice involved in the current play.

In closing...

COACHES: continuously reinforce the need for each and every player to be 1,000% tuned-in to what is occurring on the ice--at ALL junctures of a contest. The concept/tactic is far too often overlooked and efforts made in this direction allow you to "coach" more adroitly and your players/TEAM will respond in-kind.

PLAYERS: you must internalize the notion that true TEAM PLAYERS take their responsibilities OFF of the ice just as seriously as ON! Begin utilizing the "N-U-F" bench-management tactic and your production/contribution to the TEAM'S success will soar! It is one way to emulate the professional stars  of today's NHL, Junior and College hockey-- and before you get there!

Best of luck.

Coach Lubanski

Paul T. Lubanski
Wilderness Xtreme Sports

248 762-6998

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