Coach Nielsen's Ice Hockey Drills

Competitive Drills to Keep Practice Fun

This time of year it’s sometimes difficult to keep your players focused on practice. Most teams have a two or three week break in games around the holidays but still have practice slots. So how do you keep the players motivated to practice during this downtime? I’ve done a few different things over the years to keep the players focused while having some fun and working on skills at the same time. Here are a few ideas.

2 on 0
Crease Challenge
Forwards v. Defensemen

I also like to play small ice three on three games. We break our team into four or five groups of three players and play a round robin of two minute 3 on 3 small ice games. We have our two goaltenders alternate sides every three games so the same team isn’t always shooting against the same goaltender. After the round robin we play three minute playoff games and finish it up with a four minute championship game. If you stay focused you can get this tournament done in a single one hour time slot. The players love the competition. Make sure you split the teams evenly or better yet pick names out of a hat.

Have some fun and Happy Holidays!

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

2 v 1 Drills

I like to dedicate time each practice to 2 v 1 work. We all know that from time to time a pinching defenseman gets caught up ice and his partner has to defend a 2 v 1. I think it’s really important to make sure the defenseman are comfortable with their ability to defend in those situations. Another thing that comes from these drills is as a coach you can see what defenseman are good at defending the 2v1. For instance, if you have a defenseman that just can’t defend the 2v1 very well, it might be a bad idea to pair him with a defenseman that is very offensive minded, because he is likely to be defending 2v1’s because the other D is pinching to make a play.

I have added a few 2v1 drills to the database that you can use to practice the skills needed to defend the 2v1. Make sure you coach the defenseman on proper technique and also how you want them to defend the 2v1. Some coaches prefer to let the puck carrier have a clear shot at the goaltender while the defenseman takes away the passing lane. Others like to force the shooter to make a pass once the rush has reached the top of the circles by having the defenseman attack the shooter. Whatever your philosophy is, be sure that your defenseman know how you want them to react and the goaltender knows what the defenseman is going to do or he will be caught out of position.

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

4 Corners Practice Drill

I picked this drill up from Joel Queneville of the Chicago Blackhawks.

You should run this drill at the beginning of practice after your team has completed their warm-up skate. The drill works on passing, shooting and gives a good warm-up to the goaltenders.

The drill is run in three parts and should take about 10 minutes.

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



Post Categories

%d bloggers like this: