On December 26th and 27th I had the opportunity to watch the ACHA Select team practice in Albany, NY in preparation for their trip to Europe to play in the ACHA Challenge. My 22 year old son was fortunate enough to be selected to be a part of this team as one of the defensemen and I had to drive him to the facility in NY and decided to stay the night and watch all three practices. The team is coached by Mike Forbes a former NHL player and currently the head coach at Grand Valley State University in Michigan. Coach Forbes has won a national championship and been selected as Coach of the year in his five seasons at GVSU. I was really interested to see how he would structure his practice sessions since he had just three sessions to get the team on the same page before they went off to Europe to begin play on December 29th.
The first session was mostly standard practice drills to get the team skating and to give him a chance to see what his team looked like. He also spent time walking through the defensive systems he would use. The second and third practice sessions had more detailed drills for specific areas of the team as well as 3 on 3 play. The practices were up-tempo and he kept things moving along at a very nice pace. The team looked good even as they were trying to find their way as a team.
In this first installment I’ll post the drills that were used in the warm-up section of the three practices. Drills that just had the team skating and getting the goaltenders ready. In part two I’ll post the other drills that I saw him run to develop specific portions of the team game. In all I picked up ten drills to post on the site and I also watched him run drills that are pretty standard type of 2v1 or 3v2 structured drills that I won’t post. Normally I don’t post anything that I haven’t run with my team first but since I was able to watch the Select team run through these drills I have a good feel for them and think they are solid drills for any of us to run with our teams.