Introduction: Skill Development Strategy

Off-Ice Skill Development Strategy

This is the 2nd of 3 intro videos for the Home Hockey Training Center. Check out the first video before watching this one. Here are the links to videos 1 and 3:

There are certain hockey skills that can very realistically be developed away from the rink, and then there are some that don’t work quite as well. You can gain an advantage over your opponent by practicing as many skills as possible off the ice. This video breaks down which skills can (and should) be worked on away from the rink, and gives a quick overview of how you might want to strategize your off-ice training plans.

The main hockey skills that can be developed at home are as follows:

  1. Shooting
  2. Stickhandling
  3. Passing Technique
  4. Some Skating Elements

Then there are a few physical performance items that should be worked on at home as well:

  1. Agility
  2. Strength
  3. Explosiveness

With the cost of ice so high, developing your hockey abilities at home is a cheap, and extremely effective way to improve your game!

Give and Go Corner Drill

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_cornerGive 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!



Warm-up Pass Exchange

The Warm-up Pass Exchange is a great way to start your practice!

This is a cool little drill that incorporates a lot of different elements such as puckhandling, forward skating, backward skating, pivots, crossovers, passing, and shooting. It can be run at a quick pace, making for limited “stand-in-line” time.


Overspeed Agility Drill

The Overspeed Agility Drill brings in many different skating elements!

I’ve mentioned before that technical skating drills can be boring and monotonous for many youngsters. The problem is that skating ability is SO essential… you HAVE to find ways of developing it! One method I’ve found to work with youngsters––and older players too :)–is to add a shot at the end of a skating drill. This tactic turns it from a skating drill into a shooting drill, and is much more fun and motivating for the players.

Start with no pucks. As your players progress, add a puck, then start making them do 5 push-ups for each time they lose the puck. Players must be able to execute these skating maneuvers at full speed without mishandling the puck. Add more pressure by assigning push-ups if the next player in line catches you. FULL SPEED IS THE KEY HERE – PUSH YOUR PLAYERS OUT OF THEIR COMFORT ZONE!! Here’s the diagram and explanation:

overspeed_agilityOverspeed Agility
First player from each line go at the same time

1. Player starts at the edge of the circle and side steps to the center ice faceoff dot.
2. Player stops at the dot, then sidesteps back to the edge where he/she started and quickly crosses over around the circle (feet moving quickly – focus on overspeed here).
3. Player continues around the circle, then skates out to the neutral zone faceoff dot, pivots and skates backwards to the opposite faceoff dot.
4. Player pivots forward and takes a shot on net.

Note: drill can be done with or without a puck



Spice 2 Shot Warm-Up Drill

Another great little warm-up drill to get the team going!

This is another nice warm-up drill that incorporates multiple elements of play, including backward skating, pivots, passing, and shooting. Simple, but effective!!


CLICK HERE for a PDF of the Spice 2 Shot Warm-up Drill

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