Coach Nielsen's Ice Hockey Drills

5 Star Tips by Roger Neilson

This is Roger’s 5-star plan
for the player who wants to have a
really solid season.

1. Determination

You want to be the best player you
can be. This means being the hardest
working player at practice and in the
games. You should get to the arena
early and be one of the first players
ready to hit the ice. Everyone should
know that you play hard every shift
and never give up no matter what the

2. Leadership

To be a good leader, you must be a
good example both on and off the
ice. This means supporting your
teammates, following the game plan,
giving encouragement when
necessary, communicating to your
line-mates on the ice and respecting
the officials. Good leaders are always
alert to all that happens in a game.

3. Setting Goals

In pre-season tryouts, you should
have a clear plan on what you have to
do to make the team. Play to your
strengths. If you’re a scorer,
concentrate on scoring goals. If
you’re a skater, use your speed by
driving wide or busting hard through
the middle. If you’re a checker, do a
superb job of checking whether it is
an alert stick or a solid body check.
As the season progresses, the time
will come to work on improving your
weaker areas.

4. Team First

Be a good team player. Pass the puck
to the open man. Keep your shifts
the proper length. Listen to your
coaches. Help your teammates in
battles along the boards. Try and
encourage your goaltender. Avoid
selfish penalties. Coaches love a good
team player.

5. Have Fun

Many players who I coached in
minor hockey years later have told
me that those were the happiest years
of their lives. There’s nothing better
than playing on a team where
everyone works hard and has lots of
fun. So have fun this season!

Filed under: coaching

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