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!

Burkart 2 on 2 Deflection

Burkart 2 on 2 Deflection

My good buddy, and assistant coach, Josh Burkart showed this one to me a couple of years ago. It’s a solid drill that has a pretty quick rotation, so not much standing around once your players pick up the flow of it. Here’s the diagram:

Burkhart 2 on 2 Deflection Drill

1. (F) passes to (D) then drives net
2. D to D pass and shot
3. (F) deflects, then stays in front
4. Other corner passes out to (D) then drives net
5. D to D pass and shot
6. Other (F) deflects
7. (F)’s swing for a breakout pass then attack 2 on 2
8. After second shot, (D)’s back up 2 on 2



Neutral Zone: Swing Regroup

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.


Neutral Zone: “Post-Up” Regroup

The “Post-Up” Regroup is a great set-up for youngsters, or less-experienced players. It can also be a supplemental “add-on” to your existing regroup set-ups.

The “Post-Up” Regroup is a versatile set-up that can be used in many ways. I’ve used this basic set-up as a “starter regroup” for my young teams, and I’ve also used it as a second set-up option (along with the Swing Regroup) for more advanced teams. In either case, is is effective when performed well, and provides good support through the neutral zone.


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/


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