Hockey players in Batavia have a new learning tool, one that Marc Staley, head coach of Batavia United, said will help younger players improve their technique and help the high school team get more proficient in its play.
A computer and large-screen monitor players and coaches and use to review practices and games installed at the David M. McCarthy Memorial Ice Arena is a gift of the Batavia Rotary Club.
“It’s an amazing gift by Rotary,” Staley said. “It’s obviously a pretty expensive piece of equipment, but it puts our local organization and certainly our high school program on par with anyone now in terms of having technology and ability to help these kids develop.”
Staley said he’s hoping youth coaches will use it to help members of their squads improve how they skate as hockey players.
“It’s more technical — how does your stride look? How’s your head position, your knee, bend your stick?” Staley said. “I mean, all those things when they can see themselves, it’s a really impactful teaching tool than just telling a kid, you got to bend your knees, they don’t get it, right? So this is something that right after practice, coaches can come off the ice and say, This is what I was talking about. So that’s awesome.”
For the high school team, which is used to reviewing a lot of film anyway, they now have a location right at their practice site to do it so the review is better synchronized with the practice.
“In particular, where we might run the power play for a couple of minutes then bring them right off, let them watch immediately what they did,” Staley said. “Here’s where you could have more poise. Here’s the back door that’s open. Here’s where we need more movement. And then they get back on the ice and it can happen in some training. It just speeds up that learning curve for kids instead of waiting two days later when we can get the guy to the high school and they go, ‘oh yeah, I remember that.'”
Photo: Marc Staley, head coach of Batavia United, Marlin Salmon, Batavia Rotary Club president, and John Kirkwood, assistant coach. Photo by Howard Owens.