By now, you probably have an idea of how to make the best out of every game.
You may be doing some of the same things you did the day before.
You’re trying to improve the skill of your linemates.
You’ve taken your time with each game, watching tape and taking notes, or even just listening to the game and reading the notes.
You think about how the opposition plays and your own game.
Or maybe you’re just learning the game as you go along.
But you probably aren’t learning it the right way.
There’s no shortcut, no simple answer to every game, no one set of tricks that will work for everyone.
And yet, I’m always curious to know how you feel about what you’re doing, and why.
So, with the help of my hockey analytics friend and fellow Hockey Prospectus blogger, David Farrar, I took the time to explore the best ways to improve.
I’ve also put together a list of seven strategies to help you out on your way.
Let’s get started.
Find your niche In the early days of hockey analytics, it was common for coaches to spend time with players who were well-versed in their respective disciplines.
This was a way to gather data about which players might have an edge over the next player, and then to identify which players would do well on certain types of play.
The idea is to get an idea for which skills you might be good at.
And, for the most part, this is a good idea.
But there’s a catch: it can’t be done automatically.
There needs to be something you can do to improve as a player in the context of the team.
So if you’ve been doing this for a while, it’s probably not going to be too helpful.
Here are some of my favorite ways to get better as a hockey player.
1) Learn your niche If you’re a hockey analyst, you’re probably already familiar with the concept of a “skill gap.”
Basically, this means that the better you are at a certain skill, the more chances you have of playing that skill effectively.
It also means that you’re better at the other skills.
If you know that your linemate plays the same type of game as your own, you can start to see which players have the best opportunities to score goals against you.
A good way to measure this is to look at which players score more often against you than against the other team.
Here’s a chart of each team’s goals against average against each of the top 10 lines in the NHL.
That gives you a sense of the skill gap.
A player with a low skill gap will likely score more than a player with the same skill gap against you, so this tells you how effective you are.
If a player has a low gap, he’s likely going to have a good chance of scoring.
So you need to figure out what your skill gap is and how much you’re willing to accept that gap.
I found this out the hard way in my first season with the New Jersey Devils.
In order to get my first point, I had to score only five goals against them, and the team had to go 0-for-5 against me in the game.
I figured I was the better player and it worked out.
The problem was, my linemates were all excellent.
I wasn’t, so they had a better chance of putting me in a scoring position than I did.
When you learn to identify your skill, you’ll be able to improve in a variety of ways.
2) Don’t give up on the ‘traditional’ play I mentioned earlier.
A lot of players do this by giving up on traditional plays.
This can be a bad idea because it can lead to poor results.
It can lead you to a situation where you’re unable to make any plays that your teammates will be happy with.
It’s also a sign of weakness.
The other problem with this approach is that you give up a lot of valuable chances because you’re afraid to try something new.
If there’s no one around you who can give you that kind of feedback, then your teammates are going to assume that you aren’t ready for this type of play and that you don’t have the skill to succeed.
Instead, you need a different approach.
Here is a chart showing the percentage of shots the team takes that are blocked by a player’s partner (or by someone else) at 5v5.
This chart shows that it’s much harder for a player to make a bad play than it is for a teammate to make one.
In other words, it makes a lot more sense to block your own chances.
If the shot was blocked by your partner, then that player has more chances to score than if the shot had been blocked by someone.
This is why a lot players try to keep their ‘traditional play’ low-risk, high-reward, and that’s what they do