Coach Nielsen's Ice Hockey Drills

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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

A Few New Practice Drills

Sorry it has been so long since I posted new drills, but have been very busy coaching two teams plus games, I’m sure you all know the feeling. Here are a few drills I received from coaches associated with Team Canada and I ran each of these the past two weeks at my team practices to see how they worked. All four are very nice and force the players to skate hard and pay attention.

Team Canada Rush – This one I like a lot. It has two parts that are run simultaneously and it creates traffic in the neutral zone while working on shooting / passing and skating. Make sure the defenseman who starts the breakout skates hard to get to the far blueline.

Team Canada 3×1 – This drill works on teaching the defensemen to jump into the rush off a neutral zone regroup. On the play the defensemen has the option of passing to a wing or skating with the puck, but make sure no matter what he does he jumps into the play.

Canuck 2×1 – This drill works on passing and tempo. Make sure the forwards are skating hard coming out of both zones and make sure the passes are hard and on the tape. Once this drill gets going it flows real nice.

5 Passes Warm-up – This drill is designed as a beginning of practice passing and receiving drill. It gives the players a chance to skate / shoot / pass & receive all in one cycle around the rink.

Hope you find these drills helpful. Enjoy the remainder of your season and good luck if you are in the hunt for playoff spots!

I will add these drills to the Canadian National Team section and the 5 passes drill will be added to the Warm-up section.

Filed under: coaching, Defensemen, Drills, Forwards, Passing, Practice, Shooting, Skating, Warm-Up

Half Ice Drills Section Added to Site

With more and more teams going to shared ice practices to save money, the need for solid half ice drills has become more and more in demand. Those of you who follow my site know that I try very hard not to post drills that I haven’t already run myself with one of my teams. Before I post a drill I want to be sure it serves a purpose. With that being said, I have spent a good deal of time since September trying different half ice drills so I could be sure I was giving you good drills to work with. Here is a collection of 40 drills to start with and I will continue to add more as I go along the remainder of the season. Remember to also add small area games to your half ice practices (even full ice when you can) because they are a great way to incorporate game type situations into a fun drill.

 

Half Ice Drills

Small Area Games

 

 

 

 

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Filed under: Checking, coaching, Cycling, Defensemen, Drills, Forwards, Goaltender, Passing, Shooting, Skating, Small Area Games, Stick Handling

New Drills from the Coaches at Robert Morris University

Division I head coach Derek Schooley at Robert Morris university has been a contributor to our site for over two years and now his assistant coaches Mark Workman and Josh Brown have contributed a few drills.

The first drill Brownie Quick-Up is designed to work on neutral zone transition and 1 on 1 defensive rush play.

The second drill Worky Rush ID is designed to make the defensemen read the rush and determine how to defend it.

Both of these drills are designed to run at game speed, so make sure you force the players to work at a high tempo.

Brownie Quick-Up 1×1

Worky Rush ID

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Filed under: coaching, Defensemen, Drills, Forwards

Coach Eaves of Wisconsin Contributes a Nice Flow Drill

Division I University of Wisconsin head coach Mike Eaves has contributed another drill to our site. This one is a full ice flow drill that works on supporting the puck in all three zones of the ice. Coach Eaves tells me that he uses this drill every practice right now to get his players in the habit of supporting areas of the ice during the breakout. He suggests that at first you run the drill from only one end at a time and then when the players become proficient in the concepts and positioning you run it from both ends simultaneously. Check it out, hope you find it helpful.

FINN 3×0

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Filed under: Defensemen, Drills, Forwards, Passing, Shooting, Stick Handling

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

Canadian National Team Part II

Here are a few more drills from the Canadian National Team. Each of these drills fall under the category of “Battles”. They are each designed to create battling situations in different areas of the ice.

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Filed under: coaching, Defensemen, Drills, Forwards

Canadian National Team Drills

I received a few drills run by the Canadian National team and wanted to share them with our readers. There will be a few more over the coming days. The first batch of drills is designed to work on the transition game from defense to offense.

 

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Filed under: Defensemen, Drills, Forwards, Passing,

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

US National Team Development Drills

These drills come courtesy of the USNTDP.

2 on 2 Continuous

2 on 2 One Puck

All Purpose

Hi-Low

Long and Short

Filed under: Defensemen, Drills, Forwards, Passing, Shooting

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