What is Stick-and-Puck?, News (Athens Youth Hockey Association | Athens Ohio | Bird Arena)

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What is Stick-and-Puck?
Submitted By Valerie Young on Thursday, August 29, 2013
Bird Arena offers stick-and-puck 5:15 - 7:15 pm on Mondays and Wednesdays in September, for $7.50.  After the start of the AYHA season on September 30, Bird Arena will offer more limited times for stick-and-puck and for private hockey lessons.  But what is stick-and-puck?

Stick-and-puck is ice time set aside for hockey players to work on individual skills. Players of all ages are on the ice together. Players are expected to respect one another's space and skill level.  These are not coached sessions; this is time and space for individually-directed practice. Players may work in pairs or groups to practice skills, but a group should not interfere with other players' practice.  Team vs. Team games are permitted only if everyone on the ice agrees.  Disruptive players will be asked to leave by the staff.

Full gear is not required for stick-and-puck, but helmets and gloves are required. 

Obviously, some maturity is required to successfully participate in a stick-and-puck session. Young players are permitted, and often work themselves surprisingly hard given an opportunity to build a self-directed practice with one or two friends. They will try drills they have done at practice, and make up their own variations.  However, young players are also more likely to lose track of the fact that other players are using the ice and need space and consideration. A parent should be actively observing them if not on the ice with them, and should stop them if they are interfering with other players.  In particular, young players may need to be specifically warned not to skate between another player about to shoot and a nearby goal, and not to attempt to "play goalie" without proper gear against older players. Hockey player gear is constructed to protect a player in competition with other players of similar age and size. A Mite in player gear is not properly protected to stand in goal against a Bantam.

In southeastern Ohio, where the weather is rarely cold enough for long enough to build up a safe thickness of ice on local ponds and lakes, stick-and-puck time is a close as our players come to the kind of free time on backyard ice experienced daily by kids in rural areas to the north. If your player spends two hours doing nothing but working on a couple of tricks to impress the rest of the team at the next practice, the time was not wasted. It is said that the ice is the best teacher. Stick-and-puck can be an important opportunity for your player to build both skill and enthusiasm.
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