Coach Nielsen's Ice Hockey Drills

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D Under Pressure Half Ice Drill

We all know how important it is to have defensemen who can play under pressure. Many times we run drills that don’t really put the D under any real pressure to make passes and come game time that causes bad decisions and bad passes that can cost games. Here is a drill I use to help my defensemen learn how to compete under pressure. We use this drill to teach them how to communicate with each other and the goaltender and how to handle a hard forecheck. Make sure the D are doing proper shoulder checks while skating hard to retrieve the puck. Also listen to make sure the players are communicating with each other. You can also use this drill to let your forwards practice proper positioning for the forecheck system you use for the forwards. Personally I use this drill just as a way to help the defensemen learn how to play under hard pressure and the goaltender is used just to work on his communication skills with the defensemen, but you can have the offensive players cycle back into the zone after the successful breakout and play 3v2 against the D while the original three forechecking forwards vacate the zone. Either way it’s a great drill to help your defensemen build confidence when playing under pressure.

D-Under Pressure Breakout

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Click to Download the Drill

Click to Download the Drill

D-UnderPressure

Filed under: Breakout, coaching, Defense, Forecheck

Post-Up Half Ice Passing Drill

Every week when I look at the site statistics I see that the half ice drill section is always at or near the top for views. I know many organizations are going to more shared ice practices to save on cost and get players on the ice more often. This new dynamic is causing coaches to seek new drills to work on skills for the whole team while keeping it to half a sheet of ice. I ran this drill with my team last night and it worked nicely once we got the flow right. Make sure F1 comes up high between the D so he can better time his entry back across the blue line. This is a drill that works on quick passing skills as well as a play that your team will use during games, posting up and chip passing to an incoming skater.

If you don’t have access to two nets you can run this with one net in the normal spot, just have all the players on one side of the ice.

Post-Up 5 Pass Drill

PostUp5PassDrill

Click to Download the above Drill

Click to Download the  Drill

Filed under: coaching, Drills, HalfIce, Passing

3 Shot Warm-Up Drill

Here is a simple warm-up drill you can use at the beginning of practice to get the players skating and the goalies seeing shots from all three areas of the ice. Make sure the players are skating hard.

Dombro 3 Shot Warm-Up

Dombro 3 Shot Warm-Up Drill

Dombro 3 Shot Warm-Up Drill

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Many coaches have asked me to provide the DrillDraw files so they can import them. I’m using an external hosting company for the DrillDraw files and this is the first attempt at providing the files, hopefully it will work properly and allow you to download the files with no issues.

Please click the DrillDraw image below to download the file.
DrillDrawImage

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Filed under: Drills, Warm-Up

Offensive Tactics with Chris Campanale

Recently my team was having some trouble consistently creating offense. We have a lot of talented players but they were getting lazy and falling back on old bad habits. Sometimes a coach needs to bring in a new voice to speak to the team about some of the concepts he is trying to teach. Chris Campanale is a local professional player who lives in our area and works out at the facility in our rink. I asked Chris if he would be interested in coming out to practice once a week and working with my team on offensive tactics. Chris was very willing to step up and help the younger players develop their offensive skills.

Chris worked with our players once a week for the past three weeks. In the four games before I invited Chris out to skate with us we scored nine goals and went 2-1-1. In the four games since Chris started working with the players we scored 25 goals and went 3-0-1. Now, that is a major turn around and multiple factors played a roll, but Chris’ fundamental tactics were instrumental in the surge in scoring.

Some of the key points.

  • Shoot  the puck from good areas of the ice
  • Shoot from inside the dots (especially the D)
  • Play in the dirty area in front of the net
  • Talk, Talk, Talk on the ice

Here are some of the drills Chris ran with the team to work on these fundamentals.

1 on 1 Four Times

3 on 2 Down Low

4 Shot Net Front Battle

Dump In 2 on 1

Three Quarter Ice 3 on 2

In addition to the above drills that Chris worked on here are two others from Coach Cronin former Northeastern University head coach and current assistant in Toronto, that develop similar skills.

Creating Offense

Three Rush Concepts

Also don’t forget about teaching cycling concepts in the offensive zone. Here is something I put together last season for the progression of cycling drills.

Cycle Progression Drills

Teaching offense is always a difficult task for a coach. So many factors play a role in a successful offensive attack, but if you work on fundamental skills and tactics the players can begin to incorporate those ideas into their general knowledge and start making better and smarter plays in the offensive zone. The offensive game isn’t black and white, it’s mostly gray and centered around the fundamental idea of read and react. Try working on drills that teach specific parts of offensive zone play and I think you will begin to see an improvement in your teams ability to create offense.

Unfortunately for us Chris leaves this weekend to start training camp with the Bloomington Thunder and won’t be around to continue helping us out. We all wish him the greatest success and look forward to working with him again in the future.

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Filed under: coaching, Cycling, Defensemen, Drills, Forwards, Offense, Shooting

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