Musical Pucks is a great game to help youngsters work on crossovers
Working on crossovers can be hard and frustrating for many young hockey players. I’ve found that turning skill development drills into shooting drills or games can make them a lot more fun and motivating to work on. Musical Pucks is a small area game that demonstrates this tactic well. Here’s the diagram and explanation:
1. Put one less puck in the middle than you have players on circle
2. Players cross over until whistle
3. On whistle, each player tries to get a puck – whoever doesn’t get one is out
4. Make sure to run it both directions so players practice crossing over both ways.
The Overspeed Agility Drill brings in many different skating elements!
I’ve mentioned before that technical skating drills can be boring and monotonous for many youngsters. The problem is that skating ability is SO essential… you HAVE to find ways of developing it! One method I’ve found to work with youngsters––and older players too :)–is to add a shot at the end of a skating drill. This tactic turns it from a skating drill into a shooting drill, and is much more fun and motivating for the players.
Start with no pucks. As your players progress, add a puck, then start making them do 5 push-ups for each time they lose the puck. Players must be able to execute these skating maneuvers at full speed without mishandling the puck. Add more pressure by assigning push-ups if the next player in line catches you. FULL SPEED IS THE KEY HERE – PUSH YOUR PLAYERS OUT OF THEIR COMFORT ZONE!! Here’s the diagram and explanation:
First player from each line go at the same time
1. Player starts at the edge of the circle and side steps to the center ice faceoff dot.
2. Player stops at the dot, then sidesteps back to the edge where he/she started and quickly crosses over around the circle (feet moving quickly – focus on overspeed here).
3. Player continues around the circle, then skates out to the neutral zone faceoff dot, pivots and skates backwards to the opposite faceoff dot.
4. Player pivots forward and takes a shot on net.