Team USA is playing some great hockey right now in the 2014 Winter Olympics. A lot of their systems look just like the stuff we’ve laid out in the Coaches’ Training Course, especially their offensive attack structure.
In this play you see a textbook Attack Triangle, with F1 driving wide, and pulling the opposing defenseman deep; F2 driving wide to the far post, pulling his defenseman deep, and F3 filling in the vacated space in the high slot. From there, it’s a drop pass, and a one-time snipe. Beautiful setup, beautiful goal!
The Cycle Give and Go Drill is an awesome way to introduce cycling concepts, and offensive attack patterns. Here’s the diagram:
Cycle Give and Go Drill
1. Player from line 1 leaves with the puck and walks up the boards, then cycles back to player from line 2
2. Player from line 1 drives through the seam for a give and go pass, receives the pass from player 2, then executes a one-time-shot
Variation: After receiving the pass back from player 2, player 1 touch-passes to player 3 or 2 for a one-time-shot
Let players be creative within a structured offensive framework
I’ve mentioned a number of times that I like to give players set positions and responsibilities in the defensive zone. This helps keep players accountable when breakdowns occur (it’s easier to pinpoint the problem and say “why wasn’t the “sagman” in the low slot?” for example).
However, as the play progresses into the offensive zone, I like to encourage players to be creative within a structured framework. I like to attack using the “Attack Triangle,” which is based on solid front-side and back-side support. There are many different attack options that can be executed within this framework.
So… teach your players to attack using the triangle, and make sure they understand proper support tactics, then let them do their thing!!
CLICK HERE to check out our video on “Timing and Support Tactics” CLICK HERE to check out our “Attack Triangle Sequence” drill.
Use cycling to draw opposing players out of position and create scoring chances
Cycling could be called the “pinnacle” of executing support tactics. The concept completely revolves around a team’s ability to properly provide both front-side and back-side support. This is an advanced concept because the type of support each player is providing is constantly changing.
Although it is a complex concept, cycling can be taught at relatively young ages, if Timing and Support tactics have been explained and properly developed. Here’s a great cycling drill that will help you along the way!
CLICK HERE to check out our “Perpetual Cycle” drill.
A few different attack options stemming from the attack triangle
I love the attack triangle because it can be branched off into so many different attack possibilities. I usually like to outline 8-10 of these possibilities for my players, just to get their minds moving in the right direction… then I let them get creative on their own, always encouraging more and more creativity in the offensive zone.
Having a solid understanding of support tactics will allow your players to “improvise” effectively within the offensive framework you have given them.
CLICK HERE to check out our “Attack Triangle Sequence” drill.