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.
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.
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.
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.