Our philosophy has evolved over the years and is best articulated with the following three points: i) it’s not about the teaching, but the learning; ii) it’s less about the “what” and more about the “who”, “why” and “how”; iii) good teaching teaches to the student, not the students.
We believe that there is both a science and an art to skating and playing the game of hockey. The science pertains to the “what” and the “how” of playing the game, while the art focuses on the “who” and the “why”. As such, it is troubling that the current discourse on hockey seems to focus mostly on the science. For the individual hockey player, this preoccupation with the science manifests itself in impersonal albeit technically skilled performance. The player is viewed through the lens of their abilities (or lack of) (e.g., fast skater, slow skater). The tendency then, becomes training what is viewed as the players’ weakness rather than the player as a whole.
In many ways, the science of hockey has pushed the art of hockey to the background. A big part of the art of hockey rests in recognizing that it involves so much more than the tasks, skills, and knowledge required. It involves a deeper self-reflection so that players can articulate to themselves the reason they do what they do and the central role that the game plays in shaping their own sense of self.
When we become more focused on the “what’ and the “how” and forget about the “who” and the “why” - hockey becomes less fun.
At The Skating Company, we keep it small, focus on the essentials and what truly is most important - the person behind the mask.