Need Help? Customer Support 1-866-236-8417

20 Case Studies For Ice Hockey!

Check out these great tips and drills for hockey players. Improve your skills, agility and overall performance!

study 1 ++

Develop a Coaches Ethics Code booklet for your hockey association. Include the following:

  • Ethical codes
  • Sign off policy
  • Grievance procedure
  • Ethics committee responsibility
  • Coaches appeal process

Submitted by: Val Belmonte

study 2 ++


You all are on an ethical review committee.

The case in front of you is the coach that has been accused of sexually abusing a player on his bantam team.

What are the facts and documents you want in front of you? How will you review this material? What are your hearing policies? Who are you ultimately responsible to? Outline in detail your entire process and procedures for this case.

Submitted by: Val Belmonte

study 3 ++

................ DISRUPTIVE PLAYER

A Peewee player's behavior both on the ice and off the ice (locker room, etc.), is very disruptive, requiring a significant amount of disciplining time and energy from the coaches. His behavior is negatively affecting the performance of the remainder of the team and causing you to invoke team discipline rules that are viewed to be unfair by the other players on the team.

Additionally, the parents see and hear this problem manifesting itself in their own son/daughter. Clearly without significant changes, this player is going to destroy both his own opportunities and the team's performance.

What steps must or should the coaches take to resolve this issue?

Some of the behavior problems include:

  • Late to practice
  • Lack of attention
  • Disruptive behavior with other players
  • Swearing
  • Lack of effort
  • Fighting
  • Destroying other players equipment


  • How much time must the coach invest in this issue?
  • Should this problem be transferred to a source better suited for the problem?
  • What type of goals/objectives could be appropriate for this player?
  • Can unique rules be established only for this one player?

Submitted by: Val Belmonte

study 4 ++

................ THE BOARD MEMBERS KID

You are a new coach of a youth hockey travel team that has kids of parents that are on the board of directors of the youth hockey program. They constantly put pressure on you to play their kids more than the other kids on the team. Also, you have to deal with those same kids who really don't want to be there.


  • How do you keep all the parents happy (board member vs. regular parents)?
  • If board members' kids should not be there, how do you keep team unity?
  • How do you handle the mental attitude of those players who are on the team because of parents?

Submitted by: Val Belmonte

study 5 ++

................ PLAYERS W/ SPLIT PARENTS

A player is from a split family and the parents share custody. A problem develops when the coach needs to deal with the parents who have differing opinions regarding the sport and the player's participation. The boy lives with one parent who doesn't care for the game, the other parent is a hockey fanatic who wants the boy to participate.


  • What problems do you anticipate with this situation?
  • How do you communicate with both parents, individually and collectively?
  • What type of relationship does the coach develop with the player?
  • Is special treatment appropriate?
  • Will the player's abilities affect your answers to the above questions? (This question should not be revealed until the previous four are answered)

Submitted by: Val Belmonte

study 6 ++

................ A DIFFICULT PARENT

This particular scenario involves a youth hockey player whose father is in direct conflict with the team objectives of the coach. The father is a former professional player that publicly displays money in an attempt to motivate his son (i.e. $5.00 per goal).

The player is of average ability and is relatively accepted by his teammates. The father's goals are in direct conflict with the objectives of the coach and other team members.


  • How do you address the team in regard to this situation?
  • In what manner does a coach approach the father?
  • What steps do you take with the player in regard to this problem?
  • What are possible suggestions to prevent this situation in the future?

Submitted by: Val Belmonte

study 7 ++

................ A DIFFICULT PLAYER

A player on the team is a discipline problem. He does not skate and seems to be a slow learner or have some type of learning problem since he does not respond to the coaches' instructions. Suddenly he uses his stick like a bat against another player's head. The coach finally talks to the parents and learns that the child has a medical problem involving a learning disability and a chemical imbalance.


  • How do you handle the learning disability?
  • How does the coach handle the chemical imbalance?
  • How does the coach interact with the parents?
  • What are the legal responsibilities of the coach?

Submitted by: Val Belmonte

study 8 ++


During an open scrimmage, two players (members of the same team playing against one another) go hard into the corner chasing a loose puck. In the struggle for possession, neither gains control and the puck continues to travel behind the net to another player and play continues.

One of the two players in the corner skates away from the contact, while the other player becomes aggressive and cross-checks the other player in the back, forcing him to the ice. The player's head snaps back and the player remains on the ice injured.


  • What was the relationships between the two players prior to the confrontation?
  • What were the events prior to the incident? Was there something that happened earlier in the shift of practice?
  • After initial contact, could the coach have done something to avoid the incident?
  • What should the coach's reaction be?
  • What are the long term implications of the aggressors and/or coaches actions?

Submitted by: Val Belmonte

study 9 ++


Youth hockey coach - bantam level - with no goaltending experience and his goaltender from the previous year has moved and he has no one that age to take his place. Also, you have no one who is willing or available to play, or all your players are too talented to be taken from their position and made the goaltender. How does he proceed?


  • Can you ask for volunteers from the team?
  • Could you move up a lower level player?
  • Can you recruit a player from another association?
  • Is there anyone interested in hockey who isn't playing but would like the opportunity?
  • Can you rotate players from game to game, practice to practice?

Submitted by: Val Belmonte

study 10 ++


Develop a pre-season training camp calendar and curriculum for players ages ___ to ___ years of age (level will be ________ ). Camp will be ______ weeks in length.

Areas to Consider:

  • Team meetings
  • On-Ice practices and practice objectives
  • Off-Ice programs and objectives
  • Any testing programs (psychological and/or physical)
  • Scrimmages, inter squad games
  • Schedule for teaching systems
  • Any special activities (team building, individual meetings, team party, etc.)
  • Procedure for making team selections
  • Introduction of team play concept
  • Position specific practices

Submitted by: Val Belmonte

study 11 ++


Design and develop a curriculum for teaching individual defensive tactics:

  • Age group will be _____ years of age ( or at ___________ level).
  • Objectives of unit must be identified.
  • Principles of defensive play to cover
  • Decisions to be made in the use of defensive tactics.
  • Pressure/Patience decisions; Contact /Non-Contact decisions
  • Posture, gapping, steering, etc.
  • What are the defending areas?
  • Design drills and practice ideas.

Submitted by: Val Belmonte

study 12 ++


Design and develop a curriculum for teaching individual offensive tactics:

  • Age group will be _____ years old.
  • Principles of offensive play to cover
  • Objectives of the unit must be identified
  • Decisions to be made in the use of offensive tactics
  • Design drills and practice ideas

Submitted by: Val Belmonte

study 13 ++

................ PLAYER ROLES

How does a coach identify a player's role within the team structure and how can a coach get each player to accept their roles?

  • Age group will be ____.
  • Develop strategies for a coach covering:
    • Identification of roles
    • Communicating
    • Delivering
    • Feedback

Submitted by: Val Belmonte

study 14 ++


Develop a specific 4-day curriculum for an elite goalkeepers camp:

  • Age group will be ______ years of age.
  • Four day camp:
    • Two - 2 hour ice sessions per day.
    • Two off-ice sessions per day, one hour in length for each session.
    • This is a residential camp.
  • Identify objectives for practices and meetings.
  • Identify drill selections and purpose of drills.
  • Teaching sequence.
  • Timing.
  • Feedback tool.

Submitted by: Val Belmonte

study 15 ++

................ HOCKEY SENSE

Hockey Sense: Can it be taught, if so, how; if not, why?

Submitted by: Val Belmonte

study 16 ++

................ DIFFICULT PARENT

Pee Wee traveling team. Dealing with one of the best players on the team. He was receiving hand signals directing positional play from his father in the stands. The player is coachable and listened as long as his father was not there. To compound the problem, after the father was approached about his activity, the father denied the hand signals and eventually pulled his son off the team.

  • What is the proper time to discuss a problem of this nature?
  • What strategy would you use in addressing the problem with the father?
  • What concerns should you be aware of with regard to the player?
  • How might this situation affect the coach's relationship with the rest of the team? Other parents? Fellow coaches?

Submitted by: Val Belmonte

study 17 ++


Interference from the president of the hockey association to a coach. The president interferes by interrupting chalk talks, talks with players, telling the coach what to do during the games and undermines the coach by criticizing him in front of the parents. This person is a powerful and successful businessman in the community as well as the state hockey association. Also he is not very knowledgeable about hockey.

  • What is the problem?
  • Why is he causing problems?
  • How could the association help?
  • What steps could the coach take?
  • How can the coach protect himself?
  • How can the association prevent this from happening in the future?
  • How does the coach address this problem with the players?

Submitted by: Val Belmonte

study 18 ++


You have been asked to start a new hockey program at ______________ and also be the coach of the team.

  • Develop your mission.
  • Develop long and short range goals.
  • Develop an action plan.
  • List all areas to be considered in the development of this new program.

Submitted by: Val Belmonte

study 19 ++

................ DESIGNING PRACTICE

In developing your practice skills and creative ideas as a coach consider and expand on the following:

  • How will you approach the designing of your practice sessions while keeping in mind the overall objectives of the training plan for the team?
  • How will you use specific and relevant game situations in understanding how to design practices?
  • What areas affect your decisions in developing a practice unit?
  • How do teaching sequences affect practices?
  • Being well prepared: pros and cons?
  • What tools will you use to give feedback to your players?

Submitted by: Val Belmonte

study 20 ++

................ COACHING YOUTH HOCKEY

Because of the tremendous diverse skills and responsibilities youth hockey coaching demands from an individual, it is often described as an eclectic vocation. Most coaching responsibilities can be categorized into four areas: technical, administrative, conceptual and humanistic functions. Society being as complex as it is and our young athletes being a by-product of society, coaches need to work with all of these functions to adequately do a good job.

Essential Functions of Coaching:
A brief description of each essential function of coaching follows:

  • Technical: This function includes technical knowledge of basic fundamental hockey skills and having the ability to teach these skills.
  • Administrative: This function comprises organizing, scheduling arrangements, budgeting, long range planning, record keeping and other administrative activities.
  • Conceptual: This includes the knowledge of basic individual as well as team tactics and strategies involved in playing the game of hockey.
  • Humanistic: This responsibility comprises all the elements in the development of the holistic well-being of young hockey players.

The above functions outline coaching as a diverse activity requiring knowledge in a wide variety of skills. While it is not my intent to suggest that every coach at every level of youth hockey be extremely knowledgeable in each of the functions mentioned, I do suggest that an increased awareness of these functions will lead to better coaching. Sometimes, coaching takes place in a haphazard manner, utilizing a "crisis management method." By continually looking for information in coaching effectiveness, the youth hockey coach will have a well-rounded experience.

Here are a few ideas I would like to leave with you to think about and also try to use in your coaching:

Include in your instruction the following principles: respect for the dignity of the individual players, create an atmosphere of fun, teach an understanding of fair play and develop an environment created for the player to expand their skills. To do anything less would be to cheat our young players of a wonderful experience.

Off-Ice Training for Youth Players:
Many states in our country are eliminating mandatory physical education classes which helped to develop our children's overall athleticism. I encourage all youth hockey coaches to help fill this void with off-ice activities. These types of activities should stress agility, quickness, balance, coordination and dexterity. It should not be an intense "work-out session." The purpose of off-ice training is to develop basic motor movement skills which will assist the players in improving their technical skills in hockey. Safety and fun should and must be a major consideration during these activities.

Improve Ice Utilization for Practice:
You must search for ways to improve how you teach and the experience you provide for your players. This can be accomplished with shared practice time and an improved use of the ice during practice. Coaches need to increase the number of practices each week compared to the trend of playing too many games. Sharing practice gives an increased number of players more time for improving their skills. It also forces coaches to work together and to plan effectively, thus improving the coaching skills of all involved.

Game Like Activities in Confined Areas:
Use game like activities in confined areas to teach techniques, tactics or concepts involved in the game of hockey. These activities challenge players, evolve more players, teach players the ability to make good decisions, enable each player to participate at his own level and also improve basic skills.

Begin and End Practice with a Fun Activity:
Coaches should consider beginning and ending their practices with a fun activity. This type of activity gets the players excited and interested in a particular practice as well as leaving your players with a good feeling at the end of each practice and has your athlete looking forward to the next practice on the ice.

The coach's goal must be to help young players become as successful as possible not only in hockey but also in their social and educational aspirations. By constantly seeking to improve yourself as a coach in the technical, administrative, conceptual and humanistic skill domain, and recognize their inter-relationship, you will be well on your way to a tremendous experience.

Submitted by: Val Belmonte