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!

Czech 1-Timer Drill

Here’s a great half-ice drill to work on 1-timers!

Being able to take a 1-time shot in a game situation is an extremely important skill. However, most coaches (myself included!) don’t allocate enough time in practices to let players develop this skill. Here’s a quick-paced 1-timer drill that will help get your players’ shots harder and more accurate! Here’s the diagram and explanation:

czech_1-timerCzech 1-Timer Drill

1. player 1 walks in and fires a hard bank pass into the quiet zone (area behind the net)
2. player 2 picks it up then hits player 1 for a one-time shot
3. coach fires a puck into the corner as the shot is being taken
4. after shooting, the player 1 peels off into the corner to pick up the dump in, then steps out and hits player 2, who has taken back some ice, for a one-time shot



Hockey Breakout Drill

This is an Excellent Hockey Breakout Drill to Teach the Patterns of Game Situations

Many hockey situations occur in patterns. This simple hockey breakout drill breaks down these patterns into their simplest form, then puts them back together in sequence to mimic a game situation. Here’s the diagram and explanation:

Hockey Breakout Progression:

1.Set up forwards on the blue line, with defensemen on the close hash mark. Defenseman who is going steps out to the dot
2.On whistle, first forward in line passes to the defenseman, then skates down around the bottom of the circle and opens up for a breakout pass
3.Defenseman skates behind the net, then passes to the forward on the boards, who skates down for a shot

Note: Teach forwards to pivot and keep their eyes on the passer while receiving the pass

1.Same set-up as phase 1
2.On whistle, first forward passes to the defenseman, then skates the same route as in phase one
3.Second forward in line plays the role of the centerman, and “shadows” the defenseman, who is skating the puck behind the net
4.Pass is made to the board-side forward, then a touch pass to the second forward, who is swinging through for support
5.Forwards attack 2 on 0

Note: As players improve, open up the option for a middle breakout to the second forward

1.Same set-up as phases 1 and 2
2.Drill begins the same as in phases 1 and 2, this time we add the third forward as a breakaway man
3.The third forward times the play so he is breaking through the middle for a pass as the second forward receives the pass and gains control of the puck
4.Players attack 3 on 0 using the attack triangle

Note: Be creative with this set-up. Try adding a second defenseman for a D to D pass in stead of skating it behind the net. Open up multiple breakout options.

1.Same set-up as phases 1, 2, and 3, except now it ends in a 3 on 1, or a 3 on 2

Note: Remind forwards to keep their heads up in the neutral zone. Work with your defensemen on judging when and when not to step up and intercept the stretch pass