August 22, 2010 • 4:44 pm
Thanks for stopping by. This site contains information and drills that I have learned over the course of my 28 years on the ice. Everything is FREE, if I have a drill I will post it and you can use it.
If you have a question you can contact me privately Email Coach Nielsen and I will do my best to answer your questions.
Filed under: General
Coach Arena has been the head coach at Amherst University for over 30 years. In 2008-09 he won Coach of the Year honors for NESCAC and New England hockey writers ECAC East. In 2011-12 he won National Coach of the Year honors from the AHCA. I contacted Coach Arena and asked him if he would be interested in contributing a few drills to our site and he agreed. I told him I’ve been receiving many requests for half ice drills because so many teams now share ice to save on cost. Coach Arena supplied us with four very nice half ice drills that go beyond just small ice games. Take a look and see what you think.
I will add these drills to the Half-Ice section and also an Amherst College section for future use if Coach Arena would like to contribute additional drills.
Filed under: coaching, Defensemen, Drills, Forwards, Goaltender, HalfIce, Passing, Practice, Shooting, Small Area Games, Transition
I just saw this yesterday and wanted to pass it along to all the readers. I’ve used the Play Manager software for years to do drill and system animations for my teams and now the developers have made the program available for FREE. You can use this software to also draw out your drills/systems and print them with the added bonus of creating animations as well. The software takes a little time to learn, but so do all animation packages, but once you learn how to use it, it can be very helpful. The developers stopped making updates to the program a few years ago but it still works fine. Bottom line is that it’s free and can be used for animations and drill drawing so it’s worth a look. Go to www.playmanager.com or click the image below.
Couple this software with some basic free screen capture software like Techsmiths Jing and a YouTube account and you can post your drills online for your team to watch.
Filed under: coaching, Practice
April 23, 2013 • 11:26 am
I purchased “The Beast” Peanlty Kill System DVD from Championship Productions two weeks ago and have watched it a few times since. My thought was that I would like to see what type of concepts Coach Arena was teaching that would be beneficial to my team. I have to say that if you are looking for some guidance on how to run a PK with your team this DVD will be a major help. Coach Arena goes through the entire system starting with the forecheck and continues through the neutral zone and into the defensive zone. His concept of keeping the 2 on 1 as far from the puck is spot on and if played properly can give your team an excellent chance to be a powerful penalty killing team.
Even though I’ve been coaching for almost thirty years I’m always trying to learn and improve, and I sure this DVD will help anyone who wants to teach his team how to be successful on the penalty kill. Championship Productions does a nice job with their video learning and if you haven’t checked them out yet you should give them a try. I recommend picking up a copy of “The Beast” Penalty Kill System, it’s well worth the small price tag.
On a personal note, after watching the video a few times I had some questions so I searched out Coach Arena and he answered my questions in detail and offered continuing help if I needed it.
Here is a link to the DVD.
Filed under: coaching, Defense, Defense, Penalty Kill, Systems
I recently watched a video by Rick Bennett head coach of Union College that describes his approach to defensive zone play. I found the DVD to be a well designed approach to the concepts needed to teach your team the proper approach to playing as a team as well as individual tactics needed to be successful. The video is about 40 minutes long and has a number of drills that you can use to work on your teams approach to playing defense.
Coach Bennett also utilizes his goalie coach to talk about what the goaltender should be doing during the play to stay involved and to communicate with his teammates. I think this is a very well spent $29.99. I suggest if you have questions about defensive zone play you should buy this DVD and learn what Coach Bennett is teaching.
On a personal note, after watching the DVD I had a few questions and I emailed Coach Bennett with those questions and within a few hours he replied with answers and an offer to speak with him directly. How often do you get the chance to interact with a DI head coach? I suggest you buy this video and give it a good look.
Here is a link to the website where you can purchase the DVD.
Defensive Zone Concepts DVD
Filed under: coaching, Defense, Defense, Systems
Every coach has their own style of play through the neutral zone along with how they want their team to work a regroup. Below are a few drills that you can use to work on your teams NZ play along with a simple document on how to run two styles of NZ regroup. Hope these drills can be helpful.
NZ Regroup Philosophy
Hinge with Regroup Passing
D Shot with Hinge
2 on 1 with Pressure
3 Shot Quick-Up
Quick Up Shooting
St Johns Shooting
Filed under: coaching, Defense, Drills, Offense, Systems
Here is an excerpt from an online article I contributed to about hockey sense. To read the entire article click here
One that I tell my players all the time is to use your speed and stay outside instead of always trying to go between defenders legs. Too many players try that same move over and over and don’t realize how much better it is to go hard to the outside and open up the ice for your teammates. Every season if I can get just one of my players to change their game away from that deke to a hard outside rush I feel like I accomplished something.
Another one I drill into their heads is on the penalty kill. Too many players are trying to score a shorthanded goal instead of just trying to prevent one against us. I tell my players to concentrate on clearing the zone first and don’t blow the zone defensively until the puck is out of the defensive zone. Too often a five on four becomes a five on three because a player blows the zone looking for the breakaway pass instead of playing his position.
Don’t be afraid to change out of the offensive zone. Too many players want to play when the puck is in the offensive zone and then are too tired to backcheck and cause the team to play against odd man rushes. I work on my guys to understand how long a shift should be and when they should exit the ice no matter what area of the ice they are in.
Don’t be shy; make sure you talk on the ice. All players need to talk while on the ice. Goaltenders need to let defenseman know what’s happening. Forwards need to talk to the defensemen when looking for a pass breaking out of the zone. Defensemen need to talk to each other and the forwards to know who to pick up on the zone entries by the opponent. Too many players are too quiet and don’t let their teammates know what’s going on behind them and around them.
Play without the puck. A good player understands open ice concepts and passing lanes. Don’t stand still when you don’t have the puck. Keep your feet moving and look for open areas on the ice where your teammate can get you the puck. Be aware of the passing lanes that your teammate needs to use to get you the puck. Don’t stand behind a defender and think you are going to get the puck. Move to open ice and keep moving until you find the right spot to receive a pass.
Filed under: coaching, hockey sense, offensive zone, shorthanded goal
February 20, 2013 • 4:33 pm
Spent some time on the ice with my buddy who coaches a junior team and he had about fifty players on the ice to run a practice. He ran a few half-ice drills on both ends to keep everyone moving and I thought I would share them with everyone. Hope these are helpful in your practices.
I will add these drills to the Half Ice Section of the site.
Half Ice 2 on 1
Dump In to 1 on 1
3 Passes and Shot
Pass To One Timer
Filed under: coaching, Drills, HalfIce
January 20, 2013 • 2:14 am
I came across this site a few weeks back and it is awesome PowerChalk.com
Sometimes it’s just easier to have your players look at video to make them understand what went wrong on a play and many of us just don’t have the time to do chalk talk sessions every week or don’t have a facility where we can get our players together and watch video. The PowerChalk® website enables a coach to upload a video and record voice and screen graphics. You can then embed that video in your own website or send an email link to your players so they can not only watch the play but also listen to your analysis of the play. This allows you as a coach to know that your players can watch the video at home so when you get to the next practice you can talk about it. I know I’ve seen a difference with my team after beginning to use this service. I post the video to our team website and have my players watch my analysis of every goal we give up. I talk on the video about where the play broke down and how we should have played in each situation. You can go in slow motion and easily rewind back to specific spots on the video.
The cost is very reasonable. They have a free version that allows you to store ten videos and record your analysis for two minutes. A number of different upgrades are available to store more videos and record longer sessions. I use the 100 video storage and five minute recording features and it works great for me. If you have someone that videos your games then I think this is something you may want to take a look at.
From their website:
PowerChalk® is the first and only web-based sports motion telestrator that lets you upload, markup, and voice-over videos without installing high-priced, hard to use (and harder to configure) software. Already in use by Major League players and teams, PowerChalk® is changing the face of sports instruction.
Filed under: coaching
January 4, 2013 • 5:01 pm
I worked this drill at practice last night and really liked the results. You have to keep the tempo high and make sure the players are focusing on making a good pass off the wall. I prefer the players to pass the puck off the yellow dasher and not up off the wall. I think you get a better pass with less flutter to the puck. You can start with the basic drill and then add pressure on F1 and even have F1 join the rush after the pass and have it be a 2-on-1 or 2-on-2. I think getting players familiar with making indirect passes off the wall is a skill that can really help your zone exits and really help a team work with speed through the neutral zone. Hope you find this drill helpful.
Chip To Speed
Filed under: Drills, Passing
December 4, 2012 • 1:09 pm
Got this drill last week and ran it in practice with my team. Drill works really well once you get the timing down. Make sure you have F2 work hard backchecking the inside lane while the D rides F1 off the puck.
Penn State Backchecking
Filed under: Checking, coaching, Drills