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MN District 9 Hockey

Coaches Corner

Developing Great Players in Youth Hockey

Good conversation with Quinnipiac's head coach Rand Pecknold

about developing great skill players--small games, playing at high pace in limited time and space, ADM, etc. 1 - game is about time and space. 2 - practice at high tempo; think fast-play fast. 3 - Keep the top athletes in the game early, limit attrition with fun, skill-building practices.

Level 1, 2, and 3 CEP Clinics in Northfield October 11-12, 2014

Further info at:
On-line registration only--limited space.

Saturday, October 11,  Level 3, 8am-4pm, Archer House,

                                  Level 2, 8am-4pm, Archer House,

Sunday, October 12,    Level 1, 8am-4pm, Archer House,

Questions?  Contact Will Fish:

Important USA Hockey Policy Change for Mite-Only Coaches

Starting with this season, coaches who coach only Mites are not required to advance their certification beyond Level 1.
This change has been mentioned at District 9 Fall Meeting and should be relayed to all associations.

2014 District 9 CEP Clinics

3 CEP clinics are planned in Northfield for late September and early October; dates and details will be posted by September 1, 2014.
Level   Location         Date/Time                
3          Northfield            TBD
2         Northfield            TBD
1         Northfield            TBD

All will be posted in the clinic database on the Coaches page of the USA Hockey website.
Questions: Will Fish,

2014 D9 Advanced 15 Team Practices Posted

From March 19th through April 28th, 35 players and 7 coaches have been working to represent District 9 at the State Advanced 15 Festival.  The program has drawn players from LaCrescent, Winona, Red Wing, Rochester, Dodge County, Austin, Albert Lea, Owatonna, Faribault, Northfield, Waseca, Mankato, St. Peter, and Lonsdale
The coaching staff includes Chris Ratzloff, assistant at Rochester JM; Steve Howarth, youth and HS coach in Rochester and Kasson; George Nemanich, former head coach at Red Wing HS; Jeff Lamb, youth coach in Kasson; Bob Haskins, former Lourdes HS head and current Mayo assistant coach; Shea Svendsen, current Albert Lea HS player and youth coach; and Will Fish, District 9 head coach.   The exchange of coaching ideas has been thoroughly enjoyable, and the practices have been high-paced, fun, and productive.
Team practices for 2014, 2013, and 2012 are posted at:
Coaches who are interested in working with the coaching staff this season or next season, or who have questions about the practices are invited to contact Will Fish at

Southern Minnesota Elite Development Project

Serving over 40 high school players from District 9, the Southern Minnesota Elite project is run by a coaching staff of Doug Zmolek, Steve Howarth, Chris Ratzloff, Bob Haskins, Jim McPeak, Matt Notermann, and Will Fish.  The program is based in Kasson and includes a 3-to-1 practice to game ratio.  Practice plans are listed below.  Feel free to contact the coaches via for further information.

Useful Hockey Links

 If you come across links you find valuable, feel free to send them along to for posting here.


Feel free to share info on camps--we'll post them here.

A Few Good Principles

Article from May 29, 2000 issue of Forbes ASAP regarding Marine Training and its relevance to high-tech industry--applies to hockey as well.

How David Beats Goliath

Article by Malcolm Gladwell (The Tipping Point, Blink, Outliers, What the Dog Saw) in the May 11, 2009 issue of The New Yorker Interesting approach for District 9 teams and an example of insightful coaching

How to Land Your Kid in Therapy

Article from July/August 2011 issue of The Atlantic

A sample intro to hockey program--with video examples

  Just as you wouldn't jump right into life-saving if you hadn't yet learned to swim, you won't be jumping right into full-ice hockey games until you've learned the skills that you'll need in order to play effectively.  If you pay attention and work hard, you'll develop those skills relatively quickly, and you'll have lots of fun as you improve.
   Level 1 shows the skills you will need to earn a stick. Most of them involve balance and basic skating stride. Learn to do these well without a stick and you'll have better balance than you would if you were using a stick as a crutch to lean on. To see what the Level 1 test looks like, click on the "Level 1" link to the right. Click on each test to see a video clip of that particular skill.
   Level 2 shows the skills you will need to earn a puck. Most of them involve skating well with your stick. Learn to do these well without a puck and you will have better balance, mobility, and control when you get a puck. To see what the Level 2 test looks like, click on the "Level 2" link to the right. Click on each test to see a video clip of that particular skill.
   Level 3 shows the skills you will need to earn full-ice games. To be effective in games, you have to skate well, take good care of the puck, look up at the game around you, and make good decisions. Once you can skate well in all directions and share the puck with your teammates, you'll be ready to learn the game. The games are great fun, especially if you've prepared yourself to make the plays that you see can be made.  To see what the Level 3 test looks like, click on the "Level 3" link to the right. Click on each test to see a video clip of that particular skill.
   See you at the rink.

Strength Training

 Three Phases