Off-ice Hockey Agility Drill

The Dot Drill is One of my Staple Off-Ice Agility Drills

The Dot Drill is one of the most effective off-ice hockey agility drills I’ve ever seen. This drill is easy and inexpensive to set up, and only takes about a minute of the athlete’s time each day – so there are no excuses not to do it!

Remember, the dots should be placed in a 2′ x 3′ rectangle, with one dot in the middle. Each dot should be about 5″ in diameter. You can spray paint the dots onto your garage or basement floor, or onto an old piece of carpet. You could also use something less permanent such as sidewalk chalk or tape.

I prefer the rubber dot drill mats because they have better grip and are more durable. If you decide to get one, make sure you pick up one of the thicker ones with the dots embedded in the mat itself – not just painted on.

The Dot Drill:
The Dot Drill consists of 5 movements, performed 6 times each. Here are the 5 movements.
1. Hour Glass (always facing forward) – over and back equals one rep
2. Right Foot “Slalom” (in, out, over, in, out, over) – back to the original dot equals one rep
3. Left Foot “Slalom” (in, out, over, in, out, over) – back to the original dot equals one rep
4. Two Foot “Slalom” (in, out, over, in, out, over) – back to the original dot equals one rep
5. Hour Glass with Spin – over and back equals one rep

As your Dot Drill begins to improve, you’ll definitely want to compare your times to the national averages. Here’s a time chart to help you track your progress:


9 thoughts on “Off-ice Hockey Agility Drill

  • Eggert Steinsen

    Hi there and thank you for a great site and books.

    How many times would you have your players repeat this routine in an off-ice session (for example before you get on the ice)?

    regards from Iceland,
    Eggert Steinsen

  • Mark

    I want to thanks you for giving all this info on your web page. I have been coaching for seven years and I needed to bring my coaching level to the next level. With all of this info I have learned a great deal and I can\\\’t thank you enough for it. I have been out of work for nine months and without hockey and coaching I would have gone crazy. Thnak you very much again. I needed this. I do take my coaching and teachng with my players very serious. I\\\’m always trying to improve and learn as much as possible. I am a level for coach and have had the chance to coach mite to bantam level players. Thanks for everything.

  • Jeremy Weiss

    Pete – I really like your idea of making a cardboard template, that’s an easy way to make a lot of dot drills quickly! That back room sounds awesome… please keep in touch and let me know how your team progresses with their foot speed. How old are they by the way? I suspect you’ll notice a considerable improvement pretty quickly. Thanks again for sharing this!

  • Pete

    We have a room in the back of the arena where the team skates that has very old carpet on the floor. We made a cardboard template and spray painted the dots right on the carpet. The room is big enough where we have dot stations for half the team located around the perimeter of the room, so we just split them into pairs and the first group does dot drills while their partner counts, then switch up. It’s worked out great. Thanks,

  • Jeremy Weiss

    Dave – I love the Mastercard reference… and this is awesome info to be able to make your own dot drill mat. Thanks for doing the research on that!

    I’ve never thought of trying the dot drill while stickhandling, that could throw an interesting twist into it. You wouldn’t be able to focus as much on quick feet, but it would definitely help to develop stickhandling ability and coordination – plus it would encourage the players’ hands to operate independent of their feet, which is another important skill to develop.

  • Dave P.

    I’m always looking for dryland drills that will improve agility and conditioning and are somewhat competative (always helps to improve the fun factor). This is a great one and I’m definately going to try it. My players love ladder drills and this will add to that. One suggestion is to try it while stickhandling. I do that as a progression with ladder drills and while it slows the drill down a bit it helps with puck control.

    The mats are a bit pricy online, so I ran down to Lowes to see what I could find.

    I found a nice rubberized 3’x4′ doormat with a good none slip surface – $15. Rubber/plastic based spraypaint – $5. Cardboard to cut a six inch circle template – $0. Homemade dot-drill mat for under $25 and a great way to improve the conditioning and agility of your players while having some fun – priceless!

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