Ireland in Vierumaki – Day 2

Monday, 16th July

Its day 2 and we finally got to hit the ice for a little while…But it was amazing!

The Learn to Play (LTP) program is made up of about 15 participants this year and we’re split into 3 smaller groups. Each day one group is responsible for planning off-ice training, one for on ice training and the last group evaluates the on ice session by keeping track of statistics, like how many times a player gets the puck, takes a shot, skates forward or backward, etc, so that we can get some constructive feedback after the session is over.

My group was head of the off-ice today, so since it was raining again, we just headed to the gym to play games of tag or basketball before the kids headed onto the ice. There are about 35 kids in total, so they get broken into groups or play as a big group, depending on the drill.

Obviously there’s a big language barrier as most of them only speak Finnish, but with gesturing and silly demonstrations we managed without too much trouble.

After the feedback session in which we learned some ways to improve the training sessions and got some tips on what makes good and bad practices for kids, it was off to dinner before heading back to the rink to watch a game between two development teams. I was impressed with the skills I saw in those girls, so I can’t wait to see the high performance teams play tomorrow night.

Bring it on!

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