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.
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 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.
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.
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!
I use the Full Speed Power Play Passing Sequence to simulate the patterns and passing lanes players will see in game situations. The idea for this drill is to instill the mindset of “Set-up, Attack, Rebound, then back to Set-up.” All executed at top speed. Here’s the diagram and explanation:
Full Speed Power Play Passing Sequence
1. Player’s line up in proper position for your team’s power play set-up (in this case it’s the “hybrid” set-up)
2. Place cones in positions where the opposing defenders will likely be
3. Work through your attack options, in order from highest probability to lowest
4. Focus on running through “set-up, attack, rebound, and back to set-up,” with crisp passes, always executing at full speed
5-Card Skating is a great drill my assistant coach, Ryan Newton, came up with. I like this one because it lets you work on the defensive zone coverage skating patterns while getting some conditioning in. Here’s the diagram:
5-Card Skating Drill
1. Players start in 5-card formation
2. On whistle, each position skates full speed out to his or her designated attack area, pivots, then skates backward into 5-card position
3. Sequence follows, position by position. Center covers for the corner positions until they get back, and takes the seam (attack areas 2 and 5)
4. Wingers alternate between attack positions each “lap”
5. Do 4 “laps” then switch out 5-man unit for a new one
Butterfly Passing is a Simple but Effective Hockey Passing Drill
Butterfly Passing is a great drill to work on passing fundamentals with youngsters, and to iron out technical “wrinkles” in more experienced players. Although the drill itself is simple, players should use this drill as an opportunity to work on passing accuracy in stride, and should focus on precise execution at full speed. Here’s the diagram:
Butterfly Passing Drill:
1. Two lines at one end, the width of the goal posts
2. Players skate in pairings all the way down the ice, passing back and forth while maintaining stride
3. At far end, players peel off, around the bottom of each’s respective circle, then skate back making cross-ice passes back into the zone they started from