Coach Nielsen's Ice Hockey Drills

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Horacek 3 Shot Carousel Drill

Picked this one up watching former NHL player Tony Horacek running practice for our 18U AAA team. Drill runs from both ends at the same time (the video shows only one side to make it easier to see). Watch the timing and skate hard.

3 Shot Carousel

 

 

Click to Download the Drill

Click to Download the Drill

Filed under: coaching, Drills, Passing, Shooting

Drills from Miami of Ohio Coach Rico Blasi

Here are some drills from head coach Rico Blasi that he runs with his D1 Miami of Ohio team. Obviously at this level these drills are done at a very high tempo. Some of the drills we have on the site already in a similar style, but I thought it would be good to group all these drills together anyway. The drills cover  warm-up, passing, read and react, coverage and player battle areas of the game.

I use the Double Pass Wide in almost every full ice practice because it gets the players to make passes through some traffic and keeps them skating. I’ll add a player to the front of the net to track rebounds so the goalies don’t get lazy when making saves. I also use the Two Shot Drive and 4 Whistles drills many times during the season. I believe that these nine drills alone can make up a very good practice that runs at high tempo.

One Touch Passing
Double One Touch Passing
Double Pass Wide
Two Shot Drive with Stretch Pass
Miami 1on1 Continuous
5×2 To 3×3
4 Whistles
Half Ice Breakout
Player Battles

Filed under: Breakout, coaching, Drills, Passing, Practice, Shooting, Transition, Warm-Up

Robert Morris Head Coach Derek Schooley Brings Us Another Drill

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

123 Flow

Canadians Reverse 1on1

Canadian1on1

Click to Download the Drill

Click to Download the Drill

 

 

Filed under: coaching, Defensemen, Drills, Forwards, Practice, Shooting

Offensive Tactics with Chris Campanale

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.

Creating Offense

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.

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Filed under: coaching, Cycling, Defensemen, Drills, Forwards, Offense, Shooting

Combination Drill From Former NHL Player Tony Horacek

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

DIII Head Coach Jack Arena of Amherst College Offers 4 Small Area Half Ice Drills

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.

4v4 Back-To-Back

4v4 Transition

Plattsburg 2v1

3v3 Forecheck/Breakout

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Filed under: coaching, Defensemen, Drills, Forwards, Goaltender, HalfIce, Passing, Practice, Shooting, Small Area Games, Transition

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

New Drills from Robert Morris University

Head coach Derek Schooley at Division I Robert Morris University has given us three new drills that he runs with his team. Coach Schooley has been a major contributor to this site and his continued participation is greatly appreciated.

Defenseman Shot and Hinge – This drill works passing, receiving, shooting and skating skills for your defensemen in a drill that mimics game like situations. You will need three coaches to act as passers or you can have the other defensemen not running the drill work as the passers.

Kosty Lateral Transition – Nice drill designed to get your defensemen skating with the puck laterally and making the transition pass to start the breakout from the neutral zone. The drill ends with the forwards going hard to the net 2 on 0.

Pearl Small Area Game – This is a nice take on the small area game drills that many coaches use these days. Basically a 2 on 2 with a transition to a new set of two players. The drill is continuous and gets everyone involved pretty quickly.

I hope you find these drills helpful.

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Filed under: coaching, Defensemen, Drills, Passing, Practice, Shooting, Skating, Small Area Games, Stick Handling

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

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