Coach Nielsen's Ice Hockey Drills

What is needed at the grass roots of hockey….

The following article has been contributed to us by head coach Bob Emery of Plattsburgh University

Coaches need to work on skills, skills and more skills.  You cannot work enough on skills.  Do not worry so much about the game’s systems, such as fore-check, breakout, etc.  In the end your team will not perform well on any system if they do not have the skills.

Work on skating, shooting, stick-handling and passing over and over and over.  By the end of any season if a team works on their skills repetitively they will be a much better team by the end of the season and the systems will be fine.

Get your team on the ice as much as possible.  It is much better to be on the ice three times in a given week sharing 1/3 of the ice then to be on the ice one time having the whole sheet.  If it is done right the cost should be the same.

Incorporate small games in your practices as much as possible.  This is a great way to work on skills especially passing.  Emphasize that it is just as much the responsibility of the receiver to get open as it is for the passer to get him/her the puck.  Small games incorporate many more puck touches in a given game situation.  A player has to have the puck to get better.

Lastly make your players end all drills in practice with a stop in front of the goalie, even if they miss the net and the puck goes into the corner or they score.  Humans are creatures of habit.  We must get them to stop in front of the net, because that is where the rebounds are.  In practice they get in the habit of skating behind the net or peeling off to get back in line.  We need them to stop on the net, getting themselves in the habit of (game situation) scoring goals by rebounds.

Filed under: coaching, Shooting, Skating, Stick Handling

One Response

  1. Esko Piippo says:

    Hi there. I totally agree with you that the individual is the most important skills for young players. Playing a team can develop only when the basic skills are good enough.

    Sincerely Esko Piippo

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