Coach Nielsen's Ice Hockey Drills

Wisconsin Badgers Half Ice Drill

Coach Mike Eaves of the Division 1 Wisconsin Badgers has contributed a drill to the site that works in a half ice setting and incorporates passing, shooting, transition and skating all into one drill. I ran this drill with my team the other day and it works very well. Take a look and give it a try and let me know what you think.

Coach Eaves has offered to give us additional drills each month throughout the season, so we look forward to those contributions.

Wisconsin Badgers Half Ice Drill – AROSA


Filed under: Drills, Passing, Shooting, Skating

What is needed at the grass roots of hockey….

The following article has been contributed to us by head coach Bob Emery of Plattsburgh University

Coaches need to work on skills, skills and more skills.  You cannot work enough on skills.  Do not worry so much about the game’s systems, such as fore-check, breakout, etc.  In the end your team will not perform well on any system if they do not have the skills.

Work on skating, shooting, stick-handling and passing over and over and over.  By the end of any season if a team works on their skills repetitively they will be a much better team by the end of the season and the systems will be fine.

Get your team on the ice as much as possible.  It is much better to be on the ice three times in a given week sharing 1/3 of the ice then to be on the ice one time having the whole sheet.  If it is done right the cost should be the same.

Incorporate small games in your practices as much as possible.  This is a great way to work on skills especially passing.  Emphasize that it is just as much the responsibility of the receiver to get open as it is for the passer to get him/her the puck.  Small games incorporate many more puck touches in a given game situation.  A player has to have the puck to get better.

Lastly make your players end all drills in practice with a stop in front of the goalie, even if they miss the net and the puck goes into the corner or they score.  Humans are creatures of habit.  We must get them to stop in front of the net, because that is where the rebounds are.  In practice they get in the habit of skating behind the net or peeling off to get back in line.  We need them to stop on the net, getting themselves in the habit of (game situation) scoring goals by rebounds.

Filed under: coaching, Shooting, Skating, Stick Handling

Evaluation/Tryout Season is here

I’ve been asked by a number of coaches for drills that they can use during the evaluation process. Each age group is different but for me the first thing I look for is an ability to skate well. I feel that if a player is a good skater, then a good coach can teach that player how to play hockey, but a poor skater is working from a disadvantage that is hard to overcome without specialized attention and skill development camps.

I’ve put together a page of drills that I find helpful in the evaluation process I go through each year. I hope you find them useful and if you have any of your own personal favorites please send them along and I will share them on this site.

Visit the Evaluation Page




Filed under: coaching, Goaltender, Passing, Shooting, Skating, Small Area Games, Stick Handling

Competitive Drills Part II

Here are a few more drills that you can use to build on player skills while creating a competitive environment for the players to compete against each other.

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

Drills for Forwards

Recently I’ve been asked by coaches to provide drills to work on skills for just the forwards. I got together with a few coaching buddies and came up with a list of some drills that will help develop skills specifically designed for forwards. Many of the drills on the site already have the forwards working in conjunction with the rest of the team to build team concepts, but these drills go to the specific parts of the forward play that can help the overall team concept. We hope you find them helpful.

Keep in mind some of the best drills to work on skills for forwards are included in the small area games section, so be sure to look at those as well.

Also cycling is a major part of the forwards skill set so be sure to work on some of the drills in the cycling section.

Filed under: coaching, Drills, Forwards, Passing, Shooting, Skating, Stick Handling

New Drills from Robert Morris University

Robert Morris University head coach Derek Schooley has given us three new drills for this season. One is an excellent half ice shooting drill, one is an interesting version of a regroup drill and the third is a hard skate with a shot warm-up. Each of these drills is designed to be run at game speed, so keep your team focused on hard skating when running any of these drills. I want to thank coach Schooley for his time and consideration. As a Division 1 head coach he has lots of responsibilities, so I appreciate his offer to provide content for our site.

Philly Phantom

Philly Phantom

Jackson 5

Jackson 5

Regroup with Shot

Regroup with Shot

Filed under: Drills, Passing, Shooting, Skating

Crossover Skating Video

Kevin Muller from just posted an excellent video to help coaches teach proper technique on the crossover stride. From time-to-time I like to share material that I come across if I think it is helpful. If you don’t already belong to you should check it out.

Filed under: coaching, General, Skating

Defense Escape Turn Drill

Here is a drill I found on another very good drill site ( Those who have read my posts know that I am big on working defensemen basic skills and I think this drill really does just that. I used this drill with my 16AA team and it worked very nicely along with some of my own skating drills for defensmen.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Defense Escape Turn Drill “, posted with vodpod

Filed under: Defensemen, Skating, Uncategorized, , , ,

Skating Drill for Defensemen

Here is an animated look at a drill I like to run with the defensemen every second or third paractice that works on skating moves specific to the defensemen. The drill works on short passing, backward skate while carrying the puck, pivots and escape moves. I have posted other defense specific drills in the drill section as well.

6 Part Skating Drill

Filed under: Defensemen, Skating, , , , ,



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