Nassau County Hockey, proud members of the Eastern Junior Elite Prospects League and Metro Elite League
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The 12U Nassau Lions recently conducted an on-ice skills combine in order to establish objective baseline measurements for each player at the start of the season
The 12U Nassau Lions recently conducted an on-ice skills combine in order to establish objective baseline measurements for each player at the start of the season. As an extension of the USA Hockey principle of Long Term Athletic Development (LTAD), the Lions are taking development at the 12U age group to the next level by combining standardized, objective skill measurement with the assessments of traditional coaching.
The pre-season combine, conducted at the end of May, featured a series of drills designed to measure a number of skills, including raw skating speed, both with and without puck possession; and two different agility skating stations. Skaters were measured for shooting and passing accuracy on both the forehand and the backhand. Stick-handling skills were also measured both in motion and on a stationary basis.
There were also goaltender-specific drills measuring a timed series of movements and a scored assessment of rebound control conducted by Nassau County Hockey Head Goaltending Instructor Carl Rappa. All skills stations were recorded to facilitate skill and player-specific coaching after the event.
An off-ice fitness component will also be conducted over the summer to measure the current state of general athletic fitness for each player. Fitness levels will also be measured again at year's end to measure the progress of each individual player.
Each player was provided with a personalized scorecard, showing their current scores in each skill compared to the team high, team low, team average and Canadian National Average for 12U-aged boys. A similar combine is conducted on a widespread basis in Canada for boys and girls from Mites through Major Junior, providing a vast data set of age-specific results for comparison.
To build upon the May baseline session, testing will be repeated mid-season during the last practice before the Christmas break, and again at the end of the season. Written results will again be provided to each player to highlight the progress made and to identify areas for continued development.