Archive for April, 2014

A Misinformed Road To Success

Posted in Guest Authors, Hockey, MBSC News, Media, Training, Training Females, Uncategorized, Youth Training with tags , on April 11, 2014 by mboyle1959

From David Conte – Executive Vice President, Hockey Operations/ Director, Scouting. Entering 30th season with NJ Devils, 21st as team’s Director of Scouting NJ Devils, Stanley Cup 1995, 2000 & 2002.

Dave Conti – To Parents and Players

Parents and players are more interested in playing for rewards and for recognition rather than for pure joy.

When you do this, this limits chances of advancements, the very thing that parents and players seem to want,

they are precluded by a misinformed road map.

It is self-indulgent, all of this pursuit to go to Quebec to be in the supposed top tournament. What about citizenship? What about responsibility? The emphasis on winning results in players who are over-zealous and (unnaturally) aggressive. This emphasis deters skill development and enjoyment.

It starts at a young age; the play is too physical. Kids want to play with their friends and enjoy it for what it is. Look at kids in a skate board park.. There are no adults telling them what to do or evaluating them. They are uninhibited, inventive, just like when I was a kid playing pond hockey or street hockey.

We need more people with a love of the game.

Genetics play a big part in skill, but you see it evaporate in kids. Kids you see, who have ability when they are young, 8,10, 12 years of age, then it’s not there at 14 or 15. Why are kids leaving the sport at 14 or 15? There is too much emphasis on trophies.

These summer exposure tournaments are a big waste of time.

If you play in the summer it should be for fun. You have these people who run these things telling parents and players that if you do not participate that you will not gain recognition.

I will find you!

I do not go to these things. They are a waste.

People are too worried about status and jackets.

You need to do challenging drills,… that is how you get better.

Young players are lacking because too many people are telling them what to do and how to play, because of this they don’t think.

You don’t need exposure, you need to get better”.

The Slow Death of Dump and Chase Hockey

Posted in Guest Authors, Hockey, MBSC News, Media, Random Thoughts, Seminars, Training, Training Females, Youth Training with tags , on April 10, 2014 by mboyle1959

This is another great read for youth hockey coaches and youth hockey parent from the legendary Jack Blatherwick.

The best analogy in all these articles is to imagine a basketball coach screaming “pass it to the other team and defend”. How silly does that sound? That’s hockey coaching at the U-10 level some days?

If you really want your kid to be good:

1- play 1/2 ice early and often.

2- find a coach who doesn’t care about winning

3- find a coach passionate about offense who will tolerate mistakes

I have a friend in an NHL front office who said “we only draft offensive players. We can make offensive players into defensive players with good coaching in the minors but we can never make defensive players into offensive players”.


Hockey Parents PLEASE Read This.

Posted in Guest Authors, Hockey, Random Thoughts, Training, Training Females, Youth Training with tags , on April 9, 2014 by mboyle1959

I can’t tell you how many times I have the “1/2 ice conversation” with parents. Parents just don’t get it. One of the big complaints in town hockey is lack of ice time but tell some frustrated NHL-coach- wanna-be that he has half a sheet and he rolls his eyes.

PLEASE take a minute and read this. The bottom line is that everyone who actually knows anything about hockey development favors 1/2 ice practice, 1/2 ice games and small games. If you don’t, ask yourself why?

Think Small for Big Gains in Learning Hockey

Next MBSC Mentorship June 2-5

Posted in Core training, Fat Loss, Injuries, Low Back Pain, MBSC News, Media, Seminars, Strength Coach Podcast, Updates, Training, Training Females, Youth Training with tags , , on April 8, 2014 by mboyle1959

MBSC is proud to announce our next mentorship date. June 2nd through the 7th will be our last date until the fall. We are too busy in the summer to create a quality experience so if you are planning on attending a mentorship, plan for June.

To sign up go to

Why BMI is a Waste of Time?

Posted in Core training, Fat Loss, Guest Authors, Media, Nutrition, Random Thoughts, Training, Training Females with tags on April 7, 2014 by mboyle1959

One of our clients wanted me to write an article on why using BMI is a waste of time. To be honest, I thought BMI had gone the way of blood letting and leeches  ( cue Steve Martin SNL skit for those over 45) but, apparently not. Our client is a well built, strong man in his sixties who is being told by his doctor that he is overweight. The article below, although the title references female bodies, does an excellent job of poking holes in the BMI idea.



Is Sugar Good for You?

Posted in Fat Loss, MBSC News, Media, Nutrition, Random Thoughts, Youth Training with tags on April 4, 2014 by mboyle1959

If you read the Facebook responses to a Dr. Mercola article I posted recently you would think that sugar is good for you. I was really surprised that posting what I thought was a simple article could produce such a huge response. The internet nutrition experts were out in full force, bashing Dr. Mercola, Gary Taubes, and Dr. Lustig as fear mongers and pseudo scientists. One even seemed to go so far as to say that diabetes could be caused by protein if I read correctly.

The truth is, I don’t know nearly as much about nutrition as the guys who blew up my Facebook page but, I still think still think sugar is bad for you. I also think that sugar may just be an addictive substance like alcohol and opiates. I don’t think our sugar problem is pure science? Or maybe it is? Is addiction/ overconsumption of any item a scientific issue, a psychological issue or a little of both?

In any case the “don’t vilify any food item or food group” folks will probably bash this post. I will play it smart and not take the bait this time. I will say that in my experience people who have problems with weight loss also seem to have problems with sugar? I know, the “experts” will say they have a calorie problem. I’m not so sure?

Spring Hockey?

Posted in Guest Authors, Hockey, Injuries, MBSC News, Media, Training, Training Females, Uncategorized, Youth Training with tags , , , on April 3, 2014 by mboyle1959

I was quoted in this post from USA Hockey yesterday. I know we have mentioned this numerous times but, it bears repeating.

“The end of the hockey season can be a sad time for the hockey community. Even as the weather gets warmer and the days a little longer, the idea of less time at the rink is difficult for everyone.

But the changing seasons are a major opportunity for parents. Between the ages of 10 and 12, kids shouldn’t identify themselves as one-sport athletes. Looking for different opportunities to develop new skills and play a different game can be a great way to avoid the type of burnout that prevents a boy or girl from enjoying hockey later in life.

Even if a boy or girl loves to play the game, a few months spent focusing on a different sport is incredibly beneficial….”

to read the entire article, click below.

Don’t Play to Win?

Posted in Guest Authors, Hockey, Random Thoughts, Training, Training Females, Youth Training with tags on April 2, 2014 by mboyle1959

This is a great piece from the Ontario Minor Hockey Association on winning at the expense of development. Read below…


“This is where the gap between Skills and Systems begins (especially when the coach isn’t the one delivering the skills training). We now see teams with players who can all skate, and stickhandle but they play robotic hockey, they don’t use their skill in creative ways – their skill does not link with the ‘system’ the coach has put in place. Dump…chase…change. Dump…chase…change.

“I think one of the concerns that we have with coaching at the lower levels is that too many coaches are coaching to win,” said Paul Carson, vice-president of hockey development for Hockey Canada. “In doing so, they are putting hand-brakes on the offensive side of the game, trying to keep the puck out of the net, and then working for one or two opportunities a game to score.
And the gap continues to grow. “Often times, (coaches) are being measured on wins and losses, they’re not being measured on whether or not their team has great offence or loses one-goal games 5-4 or 9-8,” said Carson.

And it’s also in that gap that lies a term we hear and use all the time … ‘hockey sense’.

Hockey Canada’s Skill Development Pyramid provides a very clear progression starting at the base of the triangle emphasizing the development of fundamental skills. As the pyramid is climbed, a greater emphasis is placed on individual tactics; adding the dimension of ‘hockey sense’ to skill development.

“There is too much emphasis on ‘systems’ and not enough on creativity in youth hockey. It’s stifling”. That from Wayne Gretzky, a player who could see the ice and read and react and anticipate like no other player in the history of the game.

Bobby Orr, the player that redefined what a defenseman could do, said this “Many coaches today would never let a defenceman try some of the things I was allowed to try, and that is a pity. I often wonder if any coach would let me play the game the way I wanted to play if I were playing today. Something tells me I might be collecting a lot of slivers on the bench if I were playing minor hockey today”

So what is ‘hockey sense’ and how can you teach it? Many coaches will stop you right there! Teach hockey sense? It can’t be done!

Is ‘hockey sense’ a teachable skill? Absolutely! Once a player has developed the skills of skating and puck handling then the individual tactic can be learned. The player now understands the “why” of each tactic which means their read and react skills are being developed.

LTPD expert, Dr. Stephen Norris defines Athletic Excellence as the ability to maintain technical excellence at speed, under pressure, when fatigued. So, are we developing hockey players with this in mind?

In many cases, skills are taught in isolation, such as skating without pucks, stationary shooting, stickhandling around cones. Practicing in isolation does not reflect what happens in constantly changing game situations. Decision-making is what determines success in any sport and it is the cornerstone of ‘hockey sense’. Hockey is a fluid game that features hundreds of transition situations – offense to defense & vice versa – in every game.

This means that players today must have good physical abilities, good skills and mental abilities including the ability to think in cooperation with other players on the team. They must analyze (read) and find a solution (react) to any given situation quickly and accurately.

“The challenge is how we back off that winning is everything and say, ‘Let’s look at other performance indicators to say whether or not coaches are being successful in what they are teaching young kids.’ So it’s teaching three-on-three, it’s about small areas of games, it’s about having the puck on your stick, it’s about learning how to support the puck carrier, it’s about advancing the puck in an offensive frame of mind”, added Carson.

This is where the coach is crucial – before moving into systems – coaches need to design practices that incorporate ‘game-situations’ practices where they are empowered to think, make quick decisions and problem-solve in an highly motivated and competitive environment. If we don’t expose players to situations they will face in a game, then we are simply not maximizing the development potential of our players. Mind the gap!”


30 to 40% of US Healthcare Expenditures Related to Sugar!

Posted in Fat Loss, Guest Authors, Media, Nutrition on April 1, 2014 by mboyle1959

Take a second and read this. I think we all know we need to cut back sugar consumption but, not sure we do enough about it.

Sugar Consumption and Healthcare Costs