Archive for February, 2010

PostHeaderIcon The State of Youth Hockey in Illinois

Hockey Stop Magazine Commentary

By Paul O’Donnell

Several months ago, during a conversation with a nationally respected hockey colleague concerning general youth hockey issues around the country, our talk eventually evolved into a discussion about the state of youth hockey in Illinois. With an impressive understanding and knowledge of youth hockey throughout the U.S. he began asking questions, trying to gain a deeper insight into the youth hockey of our state. His name is unimportant, but since our conversation there isn’t a significant period of time that goes by where one or two of his queries or insights about youth hockey in Illinois has failed to enter my thoughts.

During the course of our conversation he asked a very insightful question which could have been considered rhetorical if he hadn’t been looking for a response.  His question to me was this: “For the life of me I can’t understand, for as long as youth hockey has been around in Illinois, why it isn’t farther along than it is?”

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PostHeaderIcon The Three Levels of Puck Control

A New Hockey Concept

By Paul O’Donnell

If your thirst for hockey knowledge is anything like my own, you’re probably as unimpressed by the lack of pertinent coaching information available to the average coaching Joe. While part of my purpose for writing this column is to emphasize the importance of the mental game of hockey, the other reason is to share helpful, but more importantly, useful information with my readers.

Every now and then, you come across a tidbit of hockey knowledge that peaks your interest. This was my experience after reading an obscure passage about forechecking in Red Gendron’s book “Coaching Hockey Successfully” several years ago. To help reinforce his explanation for the proper reading and reacting technique on the forecheck Coach Gendron included are obscure hockey concept called “The Three Principles of Puck Possession”.

Since initially finding this little hockey coaching gem I have made significant additions to the basic principles, customizing and tweaking the original concept considerably. During a phone conversation with Coach Gendron I explained my revamped version with him and, with his blessing, I would like to share it with all of you for the very first-time. I call it “The Three Levels of Control” and I hope you will find it as useful as I have in communicating to players how to effectively read the play while on defense.

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PostHeaderIcon Chicago Wolves Game Changer

Hockey Stop Magazine article

By Paul O’Donnell

One of the things I enjoy most about writing this new hockey column is the ability to acknowledge excellence whenever it presents itself; but, when that excellence is performed by one of Chicagoland’s local hockey success stories, it’s even better.  For Forest Park native Tim Stapleton, his Game Changing moment came during a power-play, while his team was down a goal, late in the third period.

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