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.
Here’s a solid drill from my Slovakian friend Jan Bednar. He sends me awesome drills from time to time, and they’re always exactly my style! This drill has two variations, one ends in a 1 on 0, and the other ends in a 1 on 1. Here’s the diagram:
Slovakian 3-Pass and Shot Drill:
1. Player from low line passes to the first player from the line at center ice.
2. One-touch pass back, then loops around the center circle.
3. Player from low line receives pass, then executes side-step crossovers to the far side of the circle, powerturns out of the crossovers, and hits the other player with a long pass.
Variation: Same set-up as above, except play ends in a 1 on 1 (see diagram #2)
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!!
The 2-1-2 forecheck is generally one of the first set-ups young players learn. It is simple to understand, and can be taught at very young age groups. In this video we outline two possible variations of the 2-1-2 that you can choose from based on the other team’s strengths and weaknesses.
The 2-1-2 Stack puts extreme pressure on the puck-carrying defenseman, and makes it virtually impossible to break out up the strong side of the ice. The Spread is used to combat the D to D pass behind the net. In either set-up, our F3 and our two Defensemen need to anticipate and get to the proper position quickly!
The 3 Shooter, Rebound and Recovery Drill is a great way for players to work on their shots, while goalies work on their movement!
This is a great, simple, goalie drill. It allows your shooters to work on their shots while the goalie works on his/her movement around the crease, angles and rebound recovery. Here’s the diagram and explanation:
3 Shooter, Rebound and Recovery Drill:
1. Goalie in the net, three shooters set up as shown
2. Shooter 1 shoots low glove side. Goalie tries to kick rebound into the corner, then FOLLOWS his rebound and squares up to Shooter 2
3. Shooter 2 shoots anywhere. Goalie makes the save and stays square to the rebound, wherever it goes.
4. Goalie Squares back up to Shooter 1, and this time Shooter 1 shoots low stick side
5. Goalie tries to kick rebound into the other corner, then squares up to Shooter 3.
6. Shooter 3 shoots anywhere. Goalie makes the save, then squares up to the rebound.
7. Drill repeats, with Shooter 1 alternating which side he shoots to.
1. Move the shooters closer or farther away
2. Activate shooters 2 and 3 to play the rebounds if applicable
3. Add a 4th player that passes the puck from the corner to the shooters