A: We use soccer balls and other tools to help children learn basic hockey techniques in a fun and engaging environment.
How do you learn to develop balance and coordination on ice? By placing yourself in unbalanced situations and then working to maintain balance. Every time a young player kicks a soccer ball on skates, they place themselves in that unbalanced situation. Kids may think they are just having fun playing soccer on the ice, but they are really working to develop their skating skills in an environment they find unusual and engaging.
The active game play also ties in player abilities to look around and survey the game-playing situation. Do I pass or do I kick to score? Not only are kids developing their skating skills, but also their game sense.
Soccer balls are just one of many tools in the coaches kit to help kids learn the skills of our sport without making the repetitions boring for the players. Hiding the skill repetitions in a game format helps unlock extended effort by our young players.