Coach Nielsen's Ice Hockey Drills

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Canadian 1 on 1 Drills

Here are two drills I received from my Canadian friends to work on 1 on 1 skills. Typically 1 on 1 drills are run with the defensemen defending the rush, but you can also have the forwards defend the rush to work on their defensive skills, because at some point in a game you will need a forward to pick up for a pinching or rushing defenseman and that forward may need to defend the counter attack.

Canadian 1on1 BO-Regroup


 

Canadian 1on1 Both Ends

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Filed under: 1 x 1 - 2 x 1 - 3 x 1, coaching, Defensemen, Drills, Forwards

Drills to Build Competitive Instincts

My team is eleven games into our season and I haven’t been happy with our competitive instincts. I feel we are not winning enough 50/50 pucks and not winning enough loose pucks. Over the past few weeks I’ve started running drills in practice specifically designed to work on these skills and as of today, I’m happy with the results I see from the players. All of these drills can be considered Small Area Games and I will post them in that section of the site for future reference.

Crease Challenge

CreaseChallenge

The team really gets competitive with this drill. I split the team into two groups and they compete against each other. The action gets pretty intense at times and really teaches the players how to win puck battles.

 

 

 

 


 

2v2 Below Goal Line

2v2BelowGoalLine

I picked this one up off the Coach Chris Hall site and it is intense. The players have to work in very tight areas and compete along the walls.

 

 

 

 


 

1v1 Battle

1v1 Battle

This drill is the typical corner battle. Using it causes the players to work on the physical part of the game as well as tight area puck protection.
 

 

 

 

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Filed under: 1 x 1 - 2 x 1 - 3 x 1, Checking, coaching, Drills, Small Area Games

Robert Morris Head Coach @DerekSchooley – Canadian Reverse 1v1

Coach Schooley brings us another drill designed to work on breakout passing and 1 on 1 play.
Drill runs from both ends at the same time. Make sure that the defensemen work the reverse pass at game speed and are positionally sound. D2 should hold the front of the net with his skates up ice until the reverse pass is made and then he should sprint to the puck, get his head up and make the breakout pass.

Coach Schooley is the head coach at Division 1 Robert Morris University and his Colonial team is the defending Atlantic Hockey Champions. If you are interested in more information on Coach Schooley, you can visit the RMU Athletics page or follow him on Twitter at @DerekSchooley .

 

Canadians Reverse 1on1

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Click to Download the Drill

Click to Download the Drill

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Coach Schooley has a terrific DVD to help develop defensemen. Every coach should have a copy of this DVD, it is really well designed and thought out. I have a copy of it myself and use many of the drills with my defensemen every year.

Click to Purchase DVD

Filed under: 1 x 1 - 2 x 1 - 3 x 1, Breakout, coaching, Drills, Passing

Robert Morris Head Coach @DerekSchooley – Reese 2v1

Coach Schooley brings us another drill today. This one works on the breakout, regroup and 2v1 play.
The drill runs from both ends at the same time. To avoid some confusion in the diagram of the drill, we only show one side skating the pattern, but both are going together. I think the attached video shows the drill in action pretty clearly.

RMU Reese 2v1

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Note: Some readers have asked me about using the PlayManager animation software over the past few days. I’ve been a big fan of this product for years, but the developers stopped working on it over two years ago. Now they give it away for free. The above video took me less than 20 minutes to create, but I have been using the software a long time and have a pretty good feel for how it works. The guys over at www.HockeyShare.com now have an animation feature to their product that works really well, but it is a paid service. Both products do the job, but I think the HockeyShare product is easier to use.

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Click to Download the Drill

Click to Download the Drill

Filed under: 1 x 1 - 2 x 1 - 3 x 1, Breakout, coaching, Drills

Double D Retrieval 2v1 / 3v2

This drill is brought to us by Peter Russo, who is an assistant coach at The Brooks Prep School in North Andover MA. Peter also runs a website where he shares his ideas about all things hockey. You can visit his site at www.coachprusso.com .

In Peter’s own words “The main focus is D1 retrieving pucks quickly and efficiently and learning how to jump into a rush”.

Double D Retrieval 2v1 / 3v2

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Click to Download the Drill

Click to Download the Drill

Filed under: 1 x 1 - 2 x 1 - 3 x 1, coaching, Drills, Passing, Transition

1 v 1 Drill Section Added to Site

From time to time you need to run 1v1 drills to work on those skills. Every player needs to know how to defend the 1v1 and how to create offense during the 1v1. Here is a selection of drills that I use throughout the course of the year to work on the 1v1 skills. As I stated in a prior post, I don’t allow my forwards to use the move where they put the puck between a defenders legs and try to go around him to pick it up again. In these drills I want my forwards to work on power moves to either the inside or the outside and to also use the defender as a screen and shoot through their legs. I also insist that they continue to work hard to the front of the net and look for rebounds. For the defensemen I want them to try and keep the rush to the outside whenever possible and to concentrate on the chest of the offensive player. My philosophy on defending the 1v1 is that the defensive player’s job is to ride the offensive player to the outside or off the puck and the backchecker should be there to pick up any loose pucks. Too often you see the defender look down at the puck to try and make a play and the offensive player goes right around him because of that look down. Keep your eyes on the chest and feel for the puck with your stick.

The one downside to running 1v1 drills is it causes a lot of standing around because only two players are working at the same time or four if you go in both directions, so be sure to make the drills run quickly and have the players clear the front of the net as soon as they are finished. I hope you find these drills helpful.

1 v 1 Drills Section

Filed under: 1 x 1 - 2 x 1 - 3 x 1, Drills

Behind the Net Forechecking Drill

This is a nice drill to help your defensemen develop good habits against a hard forecheck. The defenseman must shoulder check when he is skating to make sure he knows where the forecheck is coming from and which side of the net to exit to make the pass. Try to make sure the defenseman skates to about the hash marks before making the outlet pass so they get used to coming around the net with the puck. Also make sure you work on having them stay close to the post so the forechecker can’t squeeze in between them and the post.

Behind The Net Forecheck 2 on 1

 

 

 

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Filed under: 1 x 1 - 2 x 1 - 3 x 1, Defensemen, Drills, Forwards

St. Norbert’s 1×1 Warm-up Drill

Here’s another drill from the coaches at St. Norbert’s. This drill can be used at any time during a practice session but I like it as an early practice warm-up type of drill. Give it a try.

1on1 – 3 Passes

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Filed under: 1 x 1 - 2 x 1 - 3 x 1, coaching, Defensemen, Drills, Forwards, Stick Handling

A Few Drills From a Junior Practice

Last night my Midget 16AAA team skated with the Junior “B” team that plays out of our rink. The coach of that team is a well know guy in our area (Jerry Domish), so I was looking forward to the opportunity to be on the ice with him and his team. Most of the drills he ran were the same or similar to drills we run at our practice, but the big difference was the size of the players and the intensity levels.  I picked up a few that I wanted to share.

2 Shot Warm-up

Figure 8 – 2×0

1×1 Both Ends

2 Man Drive Passing

 

 

 

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Filed under: 1 x 1 - 2 x 1 - 3 x 1, coaching, Defensemen, Drills, Forwards, Passing, Shooting, Warm-Up

My Favorite Drills

I’m sure all of you were waiting anxiously to hear what my favorite drills to run are (LOL), so here you go. Click on the drill name to see a diagram of the drill.

4 Corners Warm-up

I use this drill almost every practice to get the players warmed up and ready to go. It incorporates skating, passing, shooting and conditioning so the players are really warmed up when you start the main part of the practice. This is really three drills run consecutively. I picked up this drill from Joel Quenneville of the Black Hawks.

Skate & Shoot

I use this drill to work on skating. The focus of this drill is to make sure the players keep their feet moving through the turn. By moving their feet they can generate power through the turn and learn how to power through turns. The drill finishes with a shot on goal but that part is just for the players to stay interested while I’m forcing them to skate outside their comfort level because most players will just coast through the turns if you don’t force them to keep their feet moving.

2v1 Czech

I really enjoy this drill because once it gets going you can really get a nice flow going with all the players. This drill helps the defensemen work on their gap control during the 2×1 portion and then perform a quick transition to a breakout pass. The breakout pass can be a quick hit along the wall or you can have the forwards work up higher and get the D to practice the stretch pass.

Jackson 5

This is another nice drill to keep the players moving and work on different skills. The drill is three players at a time and each will work on different skills during the drill. I got this drill from Coach Schooley head coach at D1 Robert Morris University. I honestly have no idea what the name Jackson 5 means, unless Coach Schooley was a Michael Jackson fan in his youth.

3 on 2 Down Low

I’m a big fan of small area games and this is one I use a lot. This allows the forwards to work on cycling and triangulation in the offensive zone while the defensemen work on support, taking away the passing lanes and clearing the puck skills.

Honorable Mention Category

Small Area Games

As I stated above, I am a big fan of this type of training and I believe you should work in one or two to your practices as often as possible. Small area games give your players the chance to work on skills in a condensed area of the ice and it can really pay big dividends in game situations.

Here is a link to an article on the importance of small area games.

15/10 Game

When it comes time for a little fun this is a nice drill to work on skills while creating a competitive atmosphere between your forwards and defensemen. Basically the forwards need to score 15 goals in 10 minutes. The progression is 2×0, 2×1, 3×2, 1×0.

 

So that is my list of favorite drills. If you have your own favorites let us know by posting a comment and if it’s a drill we don’t have on the site we’ll add it. As always, thanks for taking the time to stop by the site, I hope we can continue to provide quality information to help you run better practices. We should have a half ice drill section added shortly and we continue to get drills from D1 and D3 coaches each month so look for those as well.

 

Remember, it’s our job as coaches to help our players develop so they can move to the next level, so stay focused on developing skills as much as possible.

 

 

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Filed under: 1 x 1 - 2 x 1 - 3 x 1, Conditioning, Cycling, Defensemen, Drills, Forwards, Passing, Practice, Shooting, Skating, Small Area Games, Warm-Up

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