Do you want to help make the early years of hockey a positive experience for young players? If you're new to the game or if you’ve played your entire life, you can become a U9 coach.
Before a coach steps on the ice, they must meet requirements to ensure the game is safe and fun for players, coaches, parents and volunteers, and they are provided with world-class resources to meet those requirements.
Head coaches of U9 teams require:
The Coach 1 – Intro to Coach clinic through the National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP) provides coaches with the tools needed to work with players in the U9 program, as well as providing instruction in the delivery of the program itself.
The Community Coach Stream clinic is available through Hockey Canada’s online Hockey University.
With a focus on providing a positive experience for young hockey players, the U9 program builds upon a number of values that provide quality experiences, including:
Resources are available to support local hockey associations and coaches in the design and delivery of a hockey experience that meets the needs of 7-8-year-old players. Coaches should access both the Hockey Canada Network and Drill Hub to ensure they have up-to-date resources to support the U9 program. A variety of materials can also be downloaded HERE.
Plans are available through the Hockey Canada Network or Drill Hub as part of the Hockey Canada Skills Manual series, mapping out easy-to-follow ice sessions. U9 players need to progress throughout the plans to ensure they are exposed to age-appropriate drills and activities that will develop their confidence. The goal is to support the development of a sound skill base so young players will enjoy the game.
The plans consider the needs of young hockey players building their skills and are designed to serve as a model for on-ice delivery. Local hockey associations are not required to follow each ice session exactly as planned. However, coaches should be encouraged to use fundamentals of the plans so players are guided through a skill-development program designed specifically for U9. Using the direction provided in the skills manuals, coaches will gain the confidence and creativity to begin designing their own practice plans.
Hockey Canada Network | Coaching App
The Hockey Canada Network is an iOS and Android app that contains a wealth of information for coaches and instructors. The entire series of Hockey Canada Skills Manuals and the Skills of Gold instructional videos are available on the Network. It includes the entire series of 32 lesson plans designed specifically for the U9 program, available to coaches and instructors at no cost. While there is a fee for full access, creating an account on the Network provides free access to all U9 resources.
Drill Hub | Online Hockey Drills
Drill Hub also provides coaches of U9 players with access to all ice-session plans for free. Coaches can sign up to have free access to Hockey Canada’s growing library of drills. Users can create their own practice plans or use suggested plans, which are easy to print or view on most devices.