We just finished the summer full of work. We had three different kinds of training camps in Kuopio, Finland, where our home base is. We also ran camps in Germany (Cologne), Slovenia (Maribor), France (Grenoble) and Sweden (Boden). During the summer we have coached hundreds of players by using our method, Pro Prospect Method.
Check that the base is strong enough
We always start from the basics. Forward and backward skating positions and edgework is the base where everything starts. There is no use to teach anything else if the base is lacking. From our experience this is equally important when coaching pro players and on the other hand while coaching youngest juniors.
Explain very clearly the details of every technique and give instant feedback
After that we gradually move on to different skating techniques. One ice practice includes only one skating technique (sometimes two, if there is more ice time to use). We take our time to calmly go through the key points of each technique. This is the most crucial part of the practice.
Sometimes we get questions: “Why do you keep teaching so long time?” or “Would it be better that they would get more reps?”
If players don’t know what to practice and how, it’s not the optimal use of ice time. Players will get many reps right after the teaching session. When we have only one (or two) technique that we practice during one ice session, their focus maintains better. And when they get individual coaching right after, you can see that their eyes are shining. I have never met a player who doesn’t want to get instant feedback via video for example.
Understanding is the key to positive change
Players are smart. They understand the importance of these moments. We tell them What, Why and How. We tell them which muscles they have to use and activate so that they are able to execute. Off course we show them by ourselves how each skating technique should be done. But just showing the techniques is not enough. Players have to understand the reasons and ways for making it happen.
Some players learn by seeing. Some by listening. Some by doing. Some by watching themselves via video. We can give them all this.
This is the method, Pro Prospect Method, which we have got most positive feedback from the players. No matter age.