Neutral Zone: Backchecking




Some simple Backchecking tips to improve effectiveness

Believe it or not, there is actually some technique to backchecking in hockey. Most players just put their head down and get back into the defensive zone as quickly as possible… this is a good start, but players need to do more if they want to REALLY stop the scoring threat. Here are a few key points from the video:

1. Backcheck with a purpose: Keep your head on a swivel while backchecking, and pick up any loose opponents along the way. Make sure you stick with them ALL THE WAY back into the zone (many players release their man at the blueline for some reason).

2. Revert to “5-Card” Formation: I explain this in the video, but use the “5-Card” set-up as your failsafe. Backcheck into 5-card formation, then adjust once the initial threat has been nullified.

3. Communicate: Let your teammates know who you’ve got (especially your defensemen). This can help eliminate confusion on odd-man rushes.

Enjoy!

Perpetual Backcheck Drill



Perpetual Backcheck Drill

The Perpetual Backcheck Drill is a great competition drill to keep players motivated and having fun while working on their conditioning. I use this one quite often with my own teams. Here’s the diagram:

Perpetual Backcheck Drill
1. First player in each line leaves and receives a pass from the coach.
2. Each player skates full speed down the ice and takes a shot.
3. Next player in line can’t leave until the shot has been taken.
4. After the shot, the shooter will peel off and backcheck the next player in line.
5. Drill continues perpetually.

Enjoy!


USE THIS DRILL IN YOUR OWN PRACTICE PLAN: