Hockey IQ is something that can make or break a player. Scouts look for and value Hockey IQ. If a player does not have great skating, hands, shooting, etc but have GREAT hockey awareness (Hockey IQ) they will consider the player or at least show some interest in the player.
One of the more difficult things to teach in players is Hockey IQ because it is like trying to teach math, science, or any other subject. Hockey IQ is not something that you can teach like skating, shooting, stick handling. Hockey IQ is developed with years of experience playing the game, failing, making mistakes and learning from those failures. It also comes from watching hockey more often, any type of hockey, your little brothers game, little sisters game, college hockey, NHL, AHL, whatever it may be. Watching hockey will immensely increase your hockey IQ and understanding of the game.
Like anything with practice, failure, mistakes and diligent coaching you will increase your hockey IQ. It is tough to teach younger players what hockey IQ is and how to increase their hockey IQ or even understand the concept of hockey IQ. They have a hard enough time trying to listen and learn when it comes to fundamentals and the basics. Now trying to teach hockey IQ is definitely another project in it's own.
One of the best ways to teach Hockey IQ in young players is when they make a mistake in a game or practice, simply ask them "why they made that decision or did X in that situation" then ask them is there something else they could have done to not make that mistake or turnover, etc. Basically have them problem solve, ask them questions they can answer and think about. Therefore when they are in that same situation again in the game, they will think twice before they make the same old mistakes over and over again!
Hockey IQ in the short definition of things is essentially "knowing where to be, thinking ahead of the game, being able to read offensives players eyes and know where they are going, thinking two steps ahead of the game.
When you think of Hockey IQ you think of someone with
- (A) great problem solving ability (decision making)
- (B) Ice awareness (knowing where to go, be, where you are on the ice, etc)
- (C) Understanding of the game
In the video below you'll see a lot of examples of explaining Hockey IQ and getting an understanding of what hockey IQ is and how it can help you!