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.
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.
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/