In my travels around the midwest, I get the privilege of seeing many good practices and coaching strategies while I’m at the rink. One of the things I’ve seen far too much of lately though is coaches who leave the bench doors open during practice. Many coaches never think about just how dangerous it is to have them open while kids are on the ice. Anyone who’s ever seen a kid (or have done it themselves) hit an open door knows just how big of a hazard it can be…especially if the kids are moving fairly fast.
Another often overlooked safety aspect is allowing kids to sit on the boards during a live practice. There are several ways this can go wrong…and I’ve seen a couple personally. First, the player could get bumped off into the players bench. At best, it’s kind of funny – at worst, they crack their heads on the bench on their way down. The other possibility is that the player gets run into, and their leg(s) get pinned on the wall while the rest of their body gets knocked backwards. With their leg stuck in place and the weight of their body going backwards, it’s seldom a good ending. I’ve seen players blow their knees out like this before – not a pretty sight!
My plea – please help keep kids safe. Shut all the doors as soon as you step on the ice, and don’t let kids sit on the boards during practice. These are 2 easy things to do that can help prevent needless injuries.
Skate hard & keep your head up. See you around the rinks.