While there will most likely always be a debate about when body contact should be introduced, it should not change the original intended purpose of this skill. stopconcussions.com stressed the primary function of body contact is to have your players use their body strength to separate the opponent from the puck in order to gain possession. Once possession is gained, your player then has the ability to create a scoring chance.
Some people and athletes may believe that delivering a big body check during a game may intimidate the opponent or set the tone for the game; this creates a mentality that, the most extreme hits are the only ones that are valued. When done correctly, the use of properly timed contact, with the intent to gain control of the puck, can be most intimidating factor when the opposing team cannot get anything set up.
Stress to your players that using their body improperly to gain possession of the puck, can be extremely dangerous. There is an important process to follow in order to safely, and effectively separate the opponent from the puck.
Remember: check for a purpose, not to injure.
Teach your players to get into the proper position in order to effectively separate the man from the puck. Improper
positioning can put them, and other around them, at risk for injury. It is important to judge their positioning based on the opponents intentions and never position themselves in a way that increases their risk for injury.
When approaching the opponent for contact, stress they must maintain their focus to separate the man from the puck. Never enter a contact situation maliciously or with the intent to injure the opponent. Players must use their body in a manner that eliminates the opponents’s ability to keep control of the puck, but does not take them out of the play.
After they have eliminated the opponent’s ability to control the puck, teach your players to focus on gaining puck possession. This can be accomplished by the player skating with the puck away from the area of initial contact or passing it off to a teammate. Your team then continues to attack the opponent’s net for scoring chance.
Read The Situation
Teach your players that they must always be aware of their surroundings during a game situation. It is even more important to be aware and read the play during the checking process. They need to know where they are, where other players are, the speed of the play and any obstacles that may be around them.