Coach Nielsen's Ice Hockey Drills

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Drills for Defensemen

While looking at the stats for views on the site, I noticed a lot of action every day in the Defensemen section. To give you more choices, I’ve added 16 new drills, that my defensive coach runs throughout the season when we split up by group. Hopefully you find these useful in building the skills of your defensemen.

Defenseman Shooting Sequence
D Lateral Skate With Shot
D Puck Movement
D Rim Pass Shoot
Full Circle Pivot With Pass
Swedish Shooting
Puck Protection
Off The Wall Dump
Lewis D2D Support
Horseshoe Skating

Breakout Simulation Drills

Right Up
Reverse
Quick Up Option
D Over
D2D
Breakout Simulation

 

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Filed under: Breakout, coaching, Defensemen, Drills, Skating

Cornerstone Skating Drill for D

I’ve used this drill for years to help develop the skating skills of my defensemen. It works many of the fundamental skills a good defenseman needs to play at a high level. If you have the ability to split your ice to work with the defenseman, this is a great drill to add to your practice plan. Be sure to run it on both sides of the ice.

Cornerstone

 

 

Click to Download the Drills

Click to Download the Drills

Filed under: coaching, Drills, Skating

Wisconsin Coach Mike Eaves – 4 Nations Drill

Here’s a drill from D1 head coach Mike Eaves of the Wisconsin Badgers.

Nice drill to work on zone entry and getting to the net hard. It incorporates timing passes and full ice skating.

I also want to thank Kevin and the guys at www.HockeyShare.com for the animation software, so I could create the video of the drill. Very cool stuff. I’m not an expert, but it was pretty easy to use the first time I tried.

4 Nations

 


 

Click to Download the Drills

Click to Download the Drills

 

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Filed under: coaching, Drills, Passing, Practice, Skating

Pre-Practice Skating Drills

Here are a few pre-practice skating drills I like to use to get the players and goaltenders warmed up. Each drill has the goaltenders doing goaltender specific skating drills instead of skating with the team. As we all know goaltenders very rarely need to skate the length of the ice or do transition moves, so I keep them out of the team skating drills and give them specific goaltender skating drills to work on.

The entire set of four skating drills should take five to seven minutes at the top of your practice ice time and give the players a good warm-up. The fourth skating drill is a high speed drill and the goaltenders can use that time to get ready for shooting drills that are likely to come next.

Hope these help and give you ideas to work around. Remember, there are thousands of skating drills you can use, these are just a few I have had success with over the years.

2 Pattern Pre-Practice Warm-Up

2 Pattern Pre-Practice Warm-Up

Backward to Forward with Stops

Backward to Forward with Stops

Backward to Forward Crossover

Backward to Forward Crossover

BC Box Skate

BC Box Skate

Filed under: Drills, Skating, , ,

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

New Robert Morris University Drills

Coach Schooley, head coach at Division 1  Robert Morris University has once again offered his help and contributed four high level up tempo drill selections from his drill collection. These drills are designed to help your players work on skating, shooting, passing and timing. As with any high level drill, speed of execution is critical to the drills ability to help your players become better hockey players.

Coach Schooley has been a consistent contributor to this site in our two years of operation and we greatly appreciate his continued support and contributions.

If you’re interested you can follow Robert Morris Ice Hockey online or Coach Schooley on Twitter.

 

CAPS Shooting

MEANS Shooting

Middle Drive

St. Cloud Rush

View the past drills contributed by Coach Schooley RMU Drills

 

 

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Filed under: Drills, Passing, Practice, Shooting, Skating

Skating Drills

As all of you know, skating is the single most important skill a player needs to be successful in this game. As a coach it is important to spend some time every practice on skating drills. At the younger levels we should spend most of the practice on skating and at the higher levels it is still good to add in one or two skating drills to a practice to keep the player’s skills at a high level. I spoke with a number of my coaching friends and came up with this list of drills that you can use to work on skating skills. Many of these drills can also be run on half ice for those of you who share ice with other teams.

Shadow
Figure 8 #1
Figure 8 #2
Circle Two Nets
“S” Drill
Red Blue Touch
Dot Drill
2 on 0 Inside / Outside
3 on 0
Half Peanut
Full Peanut

 

 

 

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Filed under: coaching, Drills, Skating

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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