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:
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.
A few Offensive Zone Faceoff options that have worked well for me in the past
Here are a few of my favorite offensive zone faceoff options. Remember, it is up to the centerman to make sure everyone is ready, and on the same page before the puck is dropped. I recommend naming your faceoff plays so the communication is quick and simple before the draw.
I’ve always been a fan of the “T” PK Forecheck. If done correctly, it is very effective at stopping the other team’s breakout, and causes a lot of turnovers in the neutral zone.
Over the years, I’ve developed a slightly “beefed up” version of the “T” Forecheck, that is more aggressive, and just as safe (if not, safer!). In this video, I show you both versions. As you’ll see in the video, the second version can actually cause a lot of offensive-zone turnovers and odd-man rushes… ON YOUR PK!!
Use the Swing Regroup to create multiple passing options and to provide solid support through the neutral zone
The Swing Regroup is a more advanced set-up for players who understand timing and support tactics, and can present themselves as passing options in multiple receiving zones. If your team is ready to learn this style of regroup, it can be extremely effective, and will set you up to enter the offensive zone with great positioning!
If your team is younger, or less experienced, set them up on the “Post-Up” Regroup first, then work toward adding this one later on.
Use the 1-2-2 “Foosball” Forecheck to trap your opponent in his zone
The 1-2-2 “Foosball” Forecheck is a great forecheck to add to your hockey systems repertoire. When executed correctly, it is effective at all levels of play, from youth all the way up through Junior and College level hockey.
The key to making this forechecking system work is to have everybody know, understand, and execute their roles properly. When this happens, the 1-2-2 “Foosball” Forecheck works similarly to a neutral zone trap – except that it happens in the offensive zone!
CLICK HERE to check out our “FAQ” on the 1-2-2 “Foosball” Forecheck (expanded discussion).