The Answer Should Be Obvious
Of Course Hockey Skills Can Be Taught
The teaching of complicated physical skills involving the arts, sports and other activities has been going on for hundreds or years now. In the earliest of times the teaching techniques were more based on trial and error and modified based on the extent success or failure. In modern times (like a great many things) scientific principles, research and computer technology has improved the learning curve.
Here’s Basically (In My Opinion) How It Works
Think about an activity such as learning to play the violin. (I believe the same principles would apply to just about any athletic or artistic endeavor requiring precise and controlled physical movement such as piano, ballet, golf, javelin throw and endless more.)
The playing of violin has been around for hundreds of years and undoubtedly the teaching has evolved during that time most probably from some trial and error leading to achievement of success.
It’s not hard to imagine a young boy or girl being taught by an accomplished violinist who has become a proficient teacher. They would be taught how to hold the violin and the bow. They would be taught the various details of holding the violin and the movement of the hand on the finger board and movement of the bow across the strings. Various exercises would be given for practice of these movements. Since every physical endeavor is an exercise in controlled tension; surely the teacher would be describing points of pressure and those areas of the body requiring relaxation. A good teacher would find visually descriptive imagery to relay the relative points of tension and relaxation to the student help advance the learning process.
Finally when enough of the basics have been accomplished; notes are strung together and actual music begins to be made. From there it’s not hard to imagine a continued progression.
Rising To The Top
I’m certain that everyone that rises to the top of any endeavor will more than likely have experienced the following; starting at a young age, having received competent teaching, put in a lot of time in practice, had support and encouragement throughout, and had an absolute passion for the activity and desire to achieve excellence. In the end a few rise to the top.
Here’s How It Goes – An Analogy
There are hundreds of violinists playing in orchestras across North America. If you would listen to any one of them play, it would be impressive. Everyone one of them has gone through the essential elements leading to success as outlined above.
From all of the accomplished violinists in the world, how many are considered “virtuoso” performers? The reality is that there are just a handful considered “virtuoso” artists. In the hockey world this would equate to the Gretzkys, Howes and Orrs. (I’ve picked players that have stood the test of time because of my belief that greatness must be measured over time.)
While there are only a few “greats” there are plenty of spots on teams for those that are highly competent. I’m not suggesting it’s at all easy to make it to the professional ranks for the reality is that a very small percentage ever make it there. But remember there are also other great opportunities for athletes such as scholarships and don’t ever underestimate the incredible life learning experience of the journey.
Of Course Hockey Skills Can Be Taught
There’s a lot more to come. In Part 3B I’ll be more specific about the hockey skills learning process and it’s history of development.
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