Minnesota Hockey has announced it will be offering checking clinics at four locations this coming fall. The clinics will provide players with an opportunity for professional instruction on the skills of body contact and body checking that focuses on helping develop their confidence in physical situations, improve their all around performance and reduce the likelihood of injury.
These inaugural clinics will be primarily designed for players in Minnesota that are entering Bantams, but all Peewee and Bantam age players will be eligible to participate. For $120, players will receive four hours of on-ice instruction over a three-day period. Clinics will be held in Vadnais Heights, Plymouth and Alexandria in September, and South St. Paul will host a clinic in October.
“Checking and body contact are huge parts of our game,” said Guy Gosselin, USA Hockey ADM regional manager for Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota and South Dakota. “You can’t play this game scared. It’s imperative that players learn how to give and receive a check.”
Minnesota Hockey is excited to provide these clinics in a continued effort to make the game of hockey safer and more fun for all participants. While new rules have changed the ages where body checking is allowed and reduced the frequency of inappropriate or aggressive hits, players that are comfortable and confident in physical situations will always have a more enjoyable experience playing hockey. They are also more likely to perform at a high level and less likely to suffer injuries.
“Checking is a skill,” said Gosselin. “Just like skating, passing or any other skill, you can obtain checking skills and improve them by emphasizing proper technique, repetition and practicing with a purpose.”
The checking clinics will use station based practices that facilitate the development of body contact and checking skills by maximizing repetitions. Minnesota Hockey will provide certified ADM instructors to teach important concepts such as angling, positioning, technique, how to give/receive a check and awareness. Local associations may provide assistant coaches to supply additional support and instruction.
“Properly preparing yourself to play this game requires confidence,” said Terry Evavold, Minnesota Hockey Vice President, Hockey Operations. “These clinics will help your player develop skills and body contact confidence, and they will be a great way for players to start their season and prepare for tryouts.”
Each clinic will be limited to the first 32 participants to register. For more information, visit www.minnesotahockey.org/clinics.