IIHF Level I Coaching Program

Welcome to the IIHF Level I Coaching Development Program. This is the second of the four levels of coaching education that is offered by the IIHF.

The four levels are Introduction to Coaching, Level I, Level II and Level III.  The four levels are taught in a seminar format with tasks and take-home assignments.

There are Coaching Manuals for each level which the coaches can use as a reference guide to help them in their development and education. Also included here are the presentations used to teach.

The information that is offered in Level I will refine in a progressive manner the information learnt during the Introduction to Coaching. It will also introduce new material that is necessary for coaches to improve their coaching skills and knowledge that will progress into Level II.

The IIHF Coach Development Program Level I Coach Manual is divided into nine subject areas that include the following major coaching areas of emphasis:

These nine subject areas are further divided into different topic areas that will enhance the dedicated coach’s knowledge and expertise in the many exciting areas of coaching.


Structure of IIHF - This chapter explains the structure of the International Ice Hockey Federation and the five components of the IIHF Sport Development Program.


Role of the Coach - identifies the major roles the coach must play in the development of the athletes.


Communication Principles - Looks at various communication techniques such as effective use of the voice, listening techniques and verbal and non verbal communication techniques.


Teaching Techniques - Identifies the factors which influence learning and the importance of planning.

Learning Through Play - Explanation of how to create a learning environment for entry level players. This is the first step towards Developing Hockey sense and offers an understanding of the advantages of cross-ice and small area games.

Organization and Planning

Practice Organization - How to effectively design the practice. Shows when to do what in the layout of the practice session.


Skating Skills - An introduction to the key points of edge control, starting, stopping, and correct skating techniques.

Stick Handling - This section concentrates on correct stick selection, stick handling, puck protection, fakes and deeking

Passing and Receiving - Being able to pass and receive the puck successfully enables a team to keep control of the puck and thus the game. These two skills are necessary for the delivery and reception of the puck. Both are equally important.

Shooting - This section concentrates on the various type of shots; including wrist, snap, slap, flip and backhand and how to teach them.

Checking Skills - Looks at the many different types of checking skills, from angling to stick checks and onto body contact.


Individual Tactics - This section concentrates on the offensive and defensive individual tactics a player should process and describes a progression method of teaching these tactics.

Athlete Safety and Protection

Safety and Risk Management - Guidelines in developing an injury prevention program, allowing the athletes to play in a safe environment.

Athlete Abuse and Harassment Procedures - Focuses on the main types of child abuse and harassment and identifies correct procedures to take if they are detected.

Rules and Regulations

Rules - Looks at the basic rules and any new rule introductions and rule changes.