October 24, 2014 • 12:02 pm
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
Filed under: 1 x 1 - 2 x 1 - 3 x 1, coaching, Defensemen, Drills, Forwards
I really like this drill. It works individual defensive skills along with team defensive skills.
The idea is to get the puck out of the zone either by carrying it or passing to a teammate who can carry it. You don’t want the defensive team to just flip the puck out of the zone. The drill is designed to make the players work on transition from defense to offense in the defensive zone.
This drill along with the 4 Whistles drill from Rico Blasi really get the players working hard on transition.
Click to Download the Drills
Filed under: coaching, Defensemen, Drills, Forwards, HalfIce, Transition
January 2, 2014 • 1:18 am
The other day I posted a few drills the select team used in the warm-up phase of their practice. Here are a few of the drills they used during the skill assessment portion of the practice over the three days. As I said in the earlier post, the coaches also ran a number of 3×3 small area games and standard 2×1 or 3×2 type of drills that I will not include because they are similar to drills already included on the site. I did get the chance to run a few of these at my practice on Monday night and they work really well.
ACHA-Continuous 1v1 With Support Or Backcheck
ACHA-Continuous 2v1 And 3v2
ACHA-Four Part Transition
ACHA-Transition Strongside Weakside
Click to Download the Drills
Filed under: coaching, Defensemen, Drills, Forwards, Goaltender, Practice
December 11, 2013 • 3:18 pm
Last week Coach Schooley gave us the Raider Passing drill and today he offers us Canadians Reverse 1 on 1. Last night at practice I ran this drill along with a few others that are designed to work on 1 on 1 skills. This drill works on communication between the defensemen as well as defending the 1 on 1 rush. It works best with six defensemen but can work just as well with four or five also. Make sure D2 is talking to D1 and calling for the reverse. Don’t allow the D to just make the pass without the communication aspect of the drill. The D need to get used to talking to each other in practice so they can do it properly in a game. With the forwards make sure you make them use different attack options during the rush. I don’t allow my players to try the move where they put the puck between the defenders legs and try to get around them during this drill. I want the forwards to work on a power move down the wall if the D has a tight gap, or if the D has a loose gap use him as a screen and fire a shot through his legs at the goaltender. I think it’s important for a forward to have a few moves they can use so forcing them to practice specific moves during this drill will help to make them a more well rounded player. We all know that come game time they are very likely to just try and put the puck between the legs of the defender but if they practice a few other moves maybe they will attempt it during a game.
I hope you find this drill useful, I know it worked well for my team.
Here are two other drills that work on 1 on 1 situations.
Brownie Quick-Up 1×1
Canadians Reverse 1on1
Click to Download the Drill
Filed under: coaching, Defensemen, Drills, Forwards, Practice, Shooting
November 27, 2013 • 5:13 pm
I am always on the lookout for good team oriented drills and last night I watched former NHL player Tony Horacek run this drill with his Midget 16 team. Timing is very important with this drill and it may take a few rotations to get it right but once you do the drill will flow really nicely and force your players to make good passes and work on timing their approach to the receiving zones. This drill is best performed by the more advanced teams.
If you like you can add an additional regroup in the neutral zone to make the players think and create more confusion.
5 Pass 2 on 1 Drive
Click to Download the Drill
Filed under: coaching, Defensemen, Drills, Forwards
October 9, 2013 • 12:39 pm
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.
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.
Filed under: coaching, Cycling, Defensemen, Drills, Forwards, Offense, Shooting
August 20, 2013 • 4:50 pm
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
Filed under: 1 x 1 - 2 x 1 - 3 x 1, Defensemen, Drills, Forwards
August 3, 2013 • 12:54 pm
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
Filed under: 1 x 1 - 2 x 1 - 3 x 1, coaching, Defensemen, Drills, Forwards, Stick Handling
Former NHL player Tony Horacek coaches in our organization and I went out to watch his practice the other night. While watching a really up tempo session I saw his team run this drill and thought it was really excellent and worked on a number of areas of the game. I spoke with Tony about it and got the details and am sharing it with all of you. It is a multi-part drill so I did my best to make it understandable in the diagram, but if you have any trouble I also did a YouTube video explanation. Hope you like it.
Horacek Combination Drill
Filed under: coaching, Cycling, Defensemen, Drills, Forwards, Passing, Practice, Shooting, Transition
Coach Arena has been the head coach at Amherst University for over 30 years. In 2008-09 he won Coach of the Year honors for NESCAC and New England hockey writers ECAC East. In 2011-12 he won National Coach of the Year honors from the AHCA. I contacted Coach Arena and asked him if he would be interested in contributing a few drills to our site and he agreed. I told him I’ve been receiving many requests for half ice drills because so many teams now share ice to save on cost. Coach Arena supplied us with four very nice half ice drills that go beyond just small ice games. Take a look and see what you think.
I will add these drills to the Half-Ice section and also an Amherst College section for future use if Coach Arena would like to contribute additional drills.
Filed under: coaching, Defensemen, Drills, Forwards, Goaltender, HalfIce, Passing, Practice, Shooting, Small Area Games, Transition