The 6 Puck Shootout is a fun drill that works on breakaways. Since it’s a race, players run through at full speed, and have more pressure than in typical shootout drills. I love slotting this one in at the end of practice!
6 Puck Shootout:
1. Players set up as shown, half in each bench. Goalie in each net. 6 pucks on each blue line.
2. On the whistle, the first player on each team takes a breakaway.
3. If the player scores, he or she has to race over and touch the boards before the next player can go.
4. If the player misses, he or she must get his or her own rebound and pass it pack to the next player in line.
5. First team to score all 6 pucks wins. Losing team (including goalie) does push-ups.
6. Switch goalies and play again.
I’ve got a good buddy out in Slovakia who sends me great drills on a regular basis. I usually test them out with my teams, then pass the best ones along to you guys. I’m naming this hockey warm-up drill after him, the Bednár Skating Warm-up Drill. Here’s the diagram:
Bednár Skating Warm-up Drill
1. Players skate the patterns, with pucks, as diagrammed.
2. First player of each line goes at the same time.
3. The next player goes ones he receives the pass from the first player of the other line.
4. Drill is perpetual.
Note: Make sure to have players execute at full speed, while maintaining good puck control, and staying low on the pivots.
QuickStickz is a Fun and Effective way to Develop Stickhandling Ability
I’ve been really excited to get this post out, and let you know about a cool product called QuickStickz. QuickStickz is an innovative new way to work on your stickhandling abilities off the ice, and it’s a lot of fun too!
A few months ago I was invited to take a look at QuickStickz, which is a video-game-based, hockey stickhandling development system. I had seen the product before, but I’d never had the chance to get my hands on one. The idea seemed really cool, so I was excited to see what it was all about.
How it Works:
QuickStickz uses a special infrared camera that connects up to your PC via USB jack. The camera combos up with a customized SmartHockey stickhandling ball, that has been machined out with a whole bunch of tiny reflectors all over its surface. As you stickhandle, the camera picks up the movements of the ball, and sends the signal into the computer, which allows you to see your stickhandling movements on the screen.
Set-up is pretty simple, just plug in the camera, go to the QuickStickz member’s area, and install the plug-in when prompted.
Drills and Games:
Once you’re up and running, just select a drill or a game from the member’s area, and have at it! The drills are designed to help you work on various skills such as tight puck movement, wide puck movement, dekes, toe drags, etc. The games apply these skills in a more dynamic environment.
The member’s area is a great way to track your progress. You can check your own stats and progress, or see how your top score compares to other top scores from around the world. The member’s area also tracks how much time you’re spending on QuickStickz. This makes it easy for parents or coaches to check in on the player’s efforts and progress.
Conclusion: QuickStickz is a great tool to help any player develop his or her stickhandling abilities. It’s a lot of fun, and it’s a product that I think connects with kids on their level. The one weakness of QuickSticks is that it’s fairly sensitive to the ambient lighting in the room you’re using it in. Sunlight badly interferes with the infrared signal put out by the camera, and makes the ball just jump around on the screen. So make sure you close the blinds, and rely on your “artificial lighting” (regular lightbulbs), and you should be just fine!
The Give and Go Corner Drill is EXTREMELY effective for the really young age groups!
This is an awesome drill for the really young players. It works on a number of key skill elements such as giving and receiving passes, skating to a receiving zone, power turns with the puck, and shots. Here’s the diagram:
Give and Go Corner Drill
1. Quick give and go with explosive start out of the corner
2. Skate around the cone and take a shot with your feet moving
Note: Teach your players to call for the pass back. It’s never too early to teach communication!
The Window Drill is one of my staples for working on hockey crossovers with youngsters
I love the Window Drill for a few reasons: It’s easy to set up, easy to execute, you can run it half ice, and it’s extremely effective for working on hockey crossovers!
As you run this drill with your team, make sure you emphasize that the players MUST keep their feet moving throughout the entire “window.” Also, teach them to use puck protection tactics as they execute their crossovers.
1. On whistle, first player from each line explodes full speed to the blue line
2. At the blue line, players enters into the “window” zone – and maintains crossovers through the entire window
3. After exiting window, player shoots with head up and feet moving