Swing Regroup: FAQ




Some Frequently Asked Questions on the Swing Regroup

In our Coaches’ Training Course we outline the fundamentals of the Swing Regroup, which is one of my favorite regroup set-ups. Over the past few weeks, I’ve received a number of emails with questions on the Swing Regroup. So I figured it was time to put together an FAQ video.

The problem many coaches were having, was differentiating between the “textbook version” and the “read and react version.” In other words… in a perfect world, we draw up the play, and the players perform it exactly as diagrammed, AKA textbook execution. However, in the actual game, sometimes it happens as planned, but many times it doesn’t. In these cases there’s a degree of improvisation that needs to be accounted for… this is where the read and react comes into play.

So, let’s start with our ideal, textbook diagram, then we’ll go from there:

swing_regroupSwing Regroup
1. Defensemen drag skate puck back and toward the middle, passing D to D as needed
2. Forwards swing through the receiving zones, presenting themselves as options
3. Defensemen read pressure, and pass up-ice to one of the forwards
4. Forwards attack the offensive zone under control

Obviously, players must understand the textbook version in order to make proper decisions in the game. This idea holds true with any system you’re looking to implement. I recommend teaching and practicing the textbook version of your set-up, then also going through some of the possible variations in chalk-talk. Make sure your players understand that they’re allowed to adapt to the game situation! Your objective should be to provide them with the system framework, then to encourage creativity within it.

Good luck!

Mohawk Agility Drill



Mohawk Agility Drill

The Mohawk Agility Drill can be used with cones, sticks, “Attack Triangles,” SweetHands, or any other hockey obstacle. More creative obstacles produce more creative players in this drill. Here’s the diagram:

Mohawk Agility Drill

1. Players line up as shown.
2. Puck carrier puts a move on the first stick, skates down around the second stick (putting a move on it), skates up around the top stick (putting a move on it), then shoots.
3. ENCOURAGE CREATIVITY!

Enjoy!


USE THIS DRILL IN YOUR OWN PRACTICE PLAN:



X-Deviator Hockey Stickhandling Aid



Develop Stickhandling Abilities with the X-Deviator

I’ve mentioned this before, but there are a number of skills that can easily be developed off the ice. I’m a strong believer that players who don’t take advantage of off-ice training time are leaving precious skill development on the table. Stickhandling is one of the easiest skills to work on at home. XHockeyProducts has put together a great line of hockey training aids that is both fun and effective, which means players will be more motivated to work on their skills off the ice!

The X-Deviator:
The X-Deviator is a new take on hockey stickhandling aids. The biggest difference between the X-Deviator and some of the other stickhandling aids out there is that the X-Deviator is adjustable. Each joint on the X-Deviator swivels, this feature opens the door for increased creativity by allowing for an endless variety of configurations.

Size Options:
The X-Deviator is available in two sizes; Standard – 7 segments, and Mini – 3 segments. Either can be used on or off the ice. Pick the one that fits your needs and matches the space you have available.

Integration with the X-Line-up:
The X-Deviator is part of the X-Line-up. All of the products in the X-Line-up are designed to be used together, and can be configured to work on whatever skill you’re looking to develop. If you already have (or plan to purchase) the X-Tiles, make sure you pick up an X-Pocket to go along with your X-Deviator. The X-Pocket will allow you to hook up your X-Deviator right into your X-Tiles system.

Conclusion:
I’ve been a big fan of XHockeyProducts’ X-Line-up for a long time, and the X-Deviator didn’t disappoint! The concept is fantastic, and the product is well put-together. One minor word of advice would be to make sure to tighten the nuts that hold the segments together from time to time. They can get loose from using the X-Deviator and changing configurations. If the nut falls off, the segments come apart. Not a huge deal, but just something to watch out for. All in all, another great product from XHockeyProducts!


QuickStickz Review




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.

Member’s Area:
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!

X-Passer Hockey Passing Rebounder



Introducing… the Best Hockey Passing Rebounder on the Market!

Over the past few years, a number of Hockey Passing Rebounders have made their way to the off-ice training market. These rebounders offer many fun and effective ways of working on your passing both on and off the ice, and I highly recommend owning one.

The passing rebounder I want to show you in this post is by far and away the best one on the market today. The X-Passer is a heavy-duty, versatile passing rebounder, that has improved on some of the design flaws of other rebounders that are currently on the market. It’s a lot of fun to use, and it works REALLY well. I’m excited to show you what this is all about, so let’s jump straight in!

First Impressions and Design Features:
The first thing that struck me about the X-Passer was it’s weight. This thing is heavy duty! It’s obvious that XHOCKEYPRODUCTS intended this to be used with real pucks, and full-speed passes. The weight and design of the X-Passer make it so you can literally throw it down in the middle of the floor, and fire hard passes at it… and it won’t move around on you. This feature allows you a lot more placement and configuration options, and definitely beats the “clip on” rebounders!

Next, the X-Passer uses a bungee system as its rebounding mechanism. This helps to keep the rebounds true and flat. In fact… it’s almost impossible to have a puck flip up on you, even with HARD passes (something other rebounders have been known to have issues with). So long as you’re sending it in flat, it will always come back at you flat and hard.

Third, the X-Passer has a “retractable spiking system” which allows for easy conversion for on-ice use. All you do is twist the screws in the top of the X-Passer, and spikes pop out the bottom. This feature can open up all kinds of new doors for creativity in practices!

Using the X-Passer:
The X-Passer is a blast to use. It’s a lot of fun when things “just work” the way they’re supposed to. I use the X-Passer to work on pretty much every type of pass; forehand and backhand “cushion and sweep,” touch passes, you can even get creative and combine it with other products to work on your saucer passes!

Conclusion:
A few people have asked me if the X-Passer is worth the higher price when compared to some of the other, “cheaper” rebounders on the market. In my mind, if you’re serious about your off-ice training, it’s absolutely worth paying a premium for a product that is going to work the way it’s supposed to, and last as long as you’ll need it to. When you pick up your X-Passer, that’s exactly what you’re getting!


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