Timing and Support Tactics

Timing and Support: Two concepts that can greatly enhance a player’s ability to read and react!

Timing and Support are extremely important concepts for a hockey player to understand. Having a sound understanding of these key concepts will allow him to adjust to different coaching styles and systems, no matter what the positional set-up may be.

In this video, I show an example of timing, support, and multiple receiving zones, using a simple “swing” regroup. For a more extensive explanation of these concepts, check out Hockey Canada’s “Goals” video series 1 and 2. These videos can be purchased at http://breakaway.hockeycanada.ca/


Timed Delay Drill

Use the Timed Delay Drill to introduce basic passing and timing concepts, as well as offensive attack and delay tactics

Passing and timing are extremely important concepts for hockey players to understand. This is a drill you can use to introduce these ideas at a young age. As is the case with many drills, you can progress this through from simple to more complex versions as your players progress.

The first part of this drill develops basic passing and timing skills, the second part can be progressed to work on attacking the offensive zone in “waves,” meaning if the first attack option is shut down, a player can “delay” by misdirecting, then wait for his trailer man to come in late. Here’s the diagram:

Timed Delay Drill:
1. First player in line walks in and shoots, then picks up a puck from the corner.
2. Second player in line times it, then explodes as first player is ready to make the pass.
3. After receiving the pass, second player drives wide, then delays with a misdirection toward the boards
4. First player times it to cross the blue line as the second player is coming out of his misdirection.
5. First player picks up the pass and shoots.

NOTE: Run from both sides of the ice at the same time.



Man in the Box Drill

Man in the Box 1 on 1 Drill

This is another one of my favorite 1 on 1 hockey drills. The set-up is very simple, but there are SO MANY important concepts that can be worked on… it is VERY effective!

Don’t let your defensemen complain that the drill isn’t fair––by the end of the season, EVERY defenseman should be able to keep up with the forwards. They’ll have to do this in the games… might as well work on it in practice!!

You can also do this same drill with a 2 on 1, just start two lines from the corner. Same rules still apply. Here’s the diagram:

man_in_boxMan in the Box

1. (F) starts in corner with puck – one skate behind the line!
2. (D) starts in faceoff circle with stick in the dot (as speed improves, move (D) closer and closer)
3. on whistle, forward and defenseman race to the red line, staying on their own respective sides of the cone
4. the forward can’t cut inside and the defenseman can’t begin to angle until AFTER they’ve passed the cone
5. After the cone they can play a 1 on 1



Attack Triangle Sequence

This Simple Attack Triangle Sequence Introduces many important Offensive Concepts to Young Hockey Players.

Many youngsters have a tendency to skate the puck straight at the opposing defenseman, when attacking the offensive zone. I believe that our young athletes can be taught to use structured attack systems from a very early age. The Attack Triangle Sequence is one of my favorite drills to begin teaching these concepts. Here’s the diagram and explanation:



attack_triangle_sequence3Attack Triangle Sequence

Phase 1:
1. player (F1) leaves without puck, cuts across neutral zone
2. receives pass in stride
3. drives wide and shoots
4. after making the pass, first player in other line does the same thing

Phase 2:
1. first player (F1) does same thing as in phase 1.
2. second player in same line becomes F2. cuts inside first cone, then drives wide and cuts to the net for a 1-timer

Phase 3:
1. F1 and F2 do the same thing as in phase 2
2. Player who makes pass becomes F3 and follows up the puck carrier to form an attack triangle
3. work whatever options you need