New program aims at improving skills

Young players within Yorkton Minor Hockey will have an organization-wide training program to improve skills this season.

The local organization has purchased the Power Edge Pro training program, and players and coaches were given their first taste of what the program offers this week.

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“Power Edge Pro is an on-ice player development system utilizing propriety equipment and training patterns. The system focuses on Reactive Countering Training™, engaging multiple motor skills simultaneously to develop a player’s small area game performance. All patterns are completed while maintaining puck control and are designed to provide five-times as many repetitions as standard drill based practices, leading to faster development of elite skills,” details the program’s website.

Program founder and president Joe Quinn said it has taken more than six years to refine the training which takes a multi-skill approach to becoming a better hockey player.

Quinn said today’s game is all about speed, especially as the defence can no longer clutch and grab offensive players to impede progress.

However, when a player is allowed to skate with speed on offence they must be able to think more quickly in terms of where to go, or to make a pass, and then be able to use their hands and stick skills to make the play.

“It’s challenging the players, to take them out of their comfort zone,” said Quinn, adding when players are pushed to use the hand and feet skills simultaneously at high speed those things become ingrained. “It’s the nature of skill development.”

If each skill is taught through a single approach, for example stick skills while standing still, they won’t translate to being employed as effectively at high speeds.

So one set of drills uses barriers which skaters move through. As the skill level increases the room between obstacles can be shortened to continue development.

The program has been utilized by the sports elite, Connor McDavid and John Tavares among them, but Quinn said the younger a player is introduced to it the greater the potential to improve core skills.

“This is excellent,” he said of having minor hockey players going through their paces at the Kinsmen Arena. He added players in the seven to 11 age range most quickly pick up new things and make it part of their game.

The patented program will be continued by Yorkton coaches who were also learning how to instruct the program.

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