Coach Nielsen's Ice Hockey Drills

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Wisconsin Head Coach Mike Eaves – AROSA 7 Passes

I received this drill from Coach Eaves last year, but thought it would be good to highlight again as we begin to prepare for the upcoming season. I use this drill a lot because it works a number of areas in a quick moving drill. Players need to concentrate on good passing and receiving skills, timing, speed through the neutral zone and attacking the net. There are a few options for this drill. You can have the D be the players in the corner so they can work on the outlet pass, or you can have all the players work both parts of the drill to gain confidence in the outlet pass. You can also have the player from the corner turn to the outside to receive the pass and attack the zone wide. Also, be sure your goaltender is concentrating on directing his saves away from the front of the net.

AROSA 7 Passes

 

Once again, I’d like to thank the guys over at www.HockeyShare.com for their animation software.

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

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

ACHA Select Team Practice

On December 26th and 27th I had the opportunity to watch the ACHA Select team practice in Albany, NY in preparation for their trip to Europe to play in the ACHA Challenge. My 22 year old son was fortunate enough to be selected to be a part of this team as one of the defensemen and I had to drive him to the facility in NY and decided to stay the night and watch all three practices. The team is coached by Mike Forbes a former NHL player and currently the head coach at Grand Valley State University in Michigan. Coach Forbes has won a national championship and been selected as Coach of the year in his five seasons at GVSU. I was really interested to see how he would structure his practice sessions since he had just three sessions to get the team on the same page before they went off to Europe to begin play on December 29th.

The first session was mostly standard practice drills to get the team skating and to give him a chance to see what his team looked like. He also spent time walking through the defensive systems he would use. The second and third practice sessions had more detailed drills for specific areas of the team as well as 3 on 3 play. The practices were up-tempo and he kept things moving along at a very nice pace. The team looked good even as they were trying to find their way as a team.

In this first installment I’ll post the drills that were used in the warm-up section of the three practices. Drills that just had the team skating and getting the goaltenders ready. In part two I’ll post the other drills that I saw him run to develop specific portions of the team game. In all I picked up ten drills to post on the site and I also watched him run drills that are pretty standard type of 2v1 or 3v2 structured drills that I won’t post. Normally I don’t post anything that I haven’t run with my team first but since I was able to watch the Select team run through these drills I have a good feel for them and think they are solid drills for any of us to run with our teams.

ACHA Continuous Line Passing

ACHA-Cross-Ice With 7 Passes And Shot

ACHA-Drive The Net WarmUp

ACHA-Goaltender WarmUp

Click to Download the Drills

Click to Download the Drills

Filed under: coaching, Drills, Warm-Up

3 Shot Warm-Up Drill

Here is a simple warm-up drill you can use at the beginning of practice to get the players skating and the goalies seeing shots from all three areas of the ice. Make sure the players are skating hard.

Dombro 3 Shot Warm-Up

Dombro 3 Shot Warm-Up Drill

Dombro 3 Shot Warm-Up Drill

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Many coaches have asked me to provide the DrillDraw files so they can import them. I’m using an external hosting company for the DrillDraw files and this is the first attempt at providing the files, hopefully it will work properly and allow you to download the files with no issues.

Please click the DrillDraw image below to download the file.
DrillDrawImage

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Filed under: Drills, Warm-Up

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

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

Warm-Up Drills

For most of us every practice starts with some version of a warm-up. For me it’s five minutes of head-up skating and then a three drill combo called “4 Corners” which I got from Joel Quennville of the Chicago Blackhawks last season. I asked around to the college coaches and Junior hockey coaches I know to see if there were any drills they liked to run at the beginning of practice to get the team ready. Below are five of those drills along with the above mentioned “4 Corners” drill.

 

 

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Filed under: Drills, Warm-Up

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