Coach Nielsen's Ice Hockey Drills

Almost Time to Start a New Season

Hey everyone, I’ve been quiet for some time on the blog but have been answering many questions via email the past two months. It’s almost time to start summer conditioning for my teams again so I thought I would write about some thoughts I had over the summer.

This year I decided that I was going to really commit to watching the World Cup of Soccer. I admit that I’m not much of a soccer fan but I thought that since it is the world’s most popular game and this was its biggest stage I should really try. I can honestly say that I really did give it a fair chance. I watched over 40 games in their entirety and saw parts of the other 24. I had the pleasure of watching the championship game while in Bermuda and I must say that it is different when you watch the game with real fans of the sport.

For the most part I found the games interesting and watching the world’s best players was very exciting. I have to admit that during the tournament I considered myself a fan and anticipated some of the more important match-ups. I came away from the tournament with a few impressions.

1) Most soccer players are crybabies!
2) The offside rule is ridiculous
3) The officiating is horrible

Could you imagine if an NHL player dropped to the ice and screamed in pain every time they were hit from behind or hit too hard?

Could you imagine in the NFL if a cornerback could just stop running and let the receiver get behind him on purpose and the play was called offside because the quarterback didn’t throw the ball yet? How ridiculous is it that the defense gets to determine if a play goes offside? Nonsense!

Why do they have one official who has to run the entire field to make calls? I know the two guys on the sideline make some calls but one guy on that big field! The NFL has seven or eight officials on a field of similar size.

I don’t believe that fans in most of North America would put up with a sport that has three such annoying components, then again baseball is pretty popular in the US. Anyway, after watching for a month I concluded that soccer (or football as the rest of the world refers to it)  is not for me. There just isn’t enough excitement in the game for me. I do understand how people from around the world enjoy the game, but it’s not for me.

I mentioned above that I was in Bermuda for the final game. I took my family on a nine day cruise and it was a fantastic trip. It was my 10th cruise and I am already looking forward to the next one. We hit Bermuda, Nassau and a private island owned by the cruise line. If you have never been on a cruise it’s worth checking it out.

While on vacation I received a few practice drills from Derek Schooley the head coach at division I Robert Morris university. I will post those drills in a few days. Last season the drills that came from the DI coaches were the most viewed on the site. I am going to reach out to all of them again in a few weeks and see if we can get some more for the upcoming season.

Many of you may already be aware of Jeremy Weiss and WeissTech Hockey, but if you’re not, you should check out his Coaches Training blog at
He has done an excellent job of outlining some of the basic steps to coach at most levels of ice hockey. He is also selling an E-Doc of the course for $17 and it is something you should consider. I am not getting anything from Jeremy for saying this, I actually bought one myself. As always I am trying to pass along information that you may not be aware of already.

I’m looking forward to a new season of fun and excitement and hope I can continue to help each of you in some small way to be more productive with your teams at each practice.

Filed under: coaching



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