Drill Design for Hockey Coaches: How to Modify Drills to Fit Skill Capacity and Space Constraints

Drill Design for Hockey Coaches: How to Modify Drills to Fit Skill Capacity and Space Constraints

Coaches' Corner, Philosophy
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_qOVOe-OMYc "I'm a new coach. I played at some pretty high levels, including pro. Now I'm a dad, looking to coach my kids. I have lots of drills, but they're too advanced for the group I'm working with... I'm having a hard time scaling them down to the skill level of my team; and we're sharing ice too, so I need to downsize the drills for a half-ice or station setting." I received this in an email from a coach a couple of weeks ago. Modifying drills for less experienced players, or downsizing drills to fit in smaller spaces can be tricky. It definitely takes some trial and error, and can often push us outside our comfort zones. I've actually been functioning in this state of "discomfort" for the past…
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“Precision” Practices, and When to Use Them

“Precision” Practices, and When to Use Them

Coaches' Corner, Hockey Drills, Individual Skill Drills, Passing & Timing, Philosophy, Regroups, Team Systems Drills
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hclx8eHPPnc I sometimes get questions about practice planning, and how to decide what to work on in a given situation. Here's a quick look over my shoulder for a practice I ran, as a guest coach, this past Saturday. I was asked to run a practice this past Saturday for my friend who coaches the local high school team. Their playoff schedule had changed, and this practice was scheduled at the last minute. Unfortunately, it was scheduled when he would be out of town with a prior engagement. Normally, this wouldn't be a huge deal. But in this case it was. This was what will end up being the last practice of the season. And if the team wins out the rest of their games in playoffs, it will have…
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The “Backbone” Elements of Hockey Development

Coaches' Corner, Philosophy
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aurUNqgckVU We're diving into some "Coaching Philosophy" on this one... Anytime we get into philosophical discussions, I like to point out that there are many, many ways of doing things. So, as always, take this information and use it however makes sense with your players. You might decide it fits your coaching style, you might decide it's not for you... or maybe there's a nugget or two that you can plug in with your team... or maybe not! Also - some of the planning methodologies I mention in this video are talked about in more depth in our Season Planning Workshop. You can register free here: SEASON PLANNING WORKSHOP REGISTRATION Regardless... this stuff has been working well for me over the past 6 or 7 seasons, so I figured I'd…
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ZigZag Touch Pass – Quarter Ice

ZigZag Touch Pass – Quarter Ice

Hockey Drills, Individual Skill Drills, Passing & Timing
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T6gSZO7PI0Q Here's a great alternative to the Circle Passing Drill if you're working in a condensed-space setting. I came up with this as a modification to the Circle Passing Drill, which I shared last week. Use this variation if you’re working with a condensed ice situation, like half ice or quarter ice. ZigZag Touch Pass Coach starts the sequenceTouch pass and follow your passLast player shoots and peels out for a breakaway DOWNLOAD PDF PRINTOUT HERE
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Circle Passing: 5 & 6-Man Versions

Circle Passing: 5 & 6-Man Versions

Hockey Drills, Individual Skill Drills, Passing & Timing
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iMt4QPKanQs This drill is can be used for working up to more complex passing-in-motion drills. When teaching new passing skills, I generally like to start with stationary passing. We may spend more or less time at this phase, depending on the age and skill level of the players I'm working with. But the intent is to workout the mechanics of the skill, without any other variables. The eventual goal is to be able to perform complex passing and timing drills, game situation drills, area passing, with game like speed and game like pressure... but we have to build up to that point. This Circle Passing Drill is a great "interim" drill to build from stationary drills to the more complex stuff described above. It incorporates a bit of movement, and…
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