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I work with some pro players on sharpening their skills. This is a routine I use to overload the nervous system. It is a real challenge as every ball and puck is different in weight, bounce and size.

Day One and Two

The sequence on the first two days that we didn't video was.
- one puck with big moves all around the body, in the feet, fake shots, moves, pivots.
- two pucks at once all around the body.
- two pucks then replace a puck with a ball when two balls.
- two balls, one puck on ball, two pucks around obstacles moving in all directions.
- move inside the circle around pucks, obstacles, escape moves, front and back toe drags around each dot on the rink, front and back toe drags inside and out of the 4 small nets.
- In order to practice handling the puck all around the body this is a great exercise. It also loosens the shoulders.
Do a large number 8 in each zone on each side of the ice. Start to the right on one side and to the left on the other. Do a different exercise in each zone. 1-forward moving the hands and feet. 2-backward moving the hands and feet. 3-face one end transition skating forward to back. (if there is a goalie shoot and change sides) 4-forward with the puck only on the forehand side of the blade. 5. forward with the puck only on the backhand side of the blade. 6. every third stride rotate first to the inside then face the outside all around the 8.

An example of the moves with one puck is on this video with IIHF Hall of Fame Russian coach Vladimir Jursinov leading a group of u20 and u17 players in Europe.
http://www.hockeycoachingabcs.com/filemgmt/index.php?id=6

Day Three
Overload the nervous system and challenge the player with 3 objects of varying weights and sizes.
Racquet ball, tennis ball and hockey ball are used here. Replace the heaviest object with a puck, then the next heaviest then handle 3 pucks for a lap, then 2 pucks, then go through the Russian Big Moves Warm up with one puck.

Make big moves and handle the puck all around the body.
Move around the 4 small nets inside the middle circle and focus on keeping the puck on the forehand in the triple threat position.
Overload the nervous system and challenge the player with 3 objects of varying weights and sizes.
Racquet ball, tennis ball and hockey ball are used here. Replace the heaviest object with a puck, then the next heaviest then handle 3 pucks for a lap, then 2 pucks, then go through the Russian Big Moves Warm up with one puck. Make big moves and handle the puck all around the body.
Move around the 4 small nets inside the middle circle and focus on keeping the puck on the forehand in the triple threat position.

Dary 3

Overload the nervous system and challenge the player with 3 objects of varying weights and sizes.
Racquet ball, tennis ball and hockey ball are used here. Replace the heaviest object with a puck, then the next heaviest then handle 3 pucks for a lap, then 2 pucks, then go through the Russian Big Moves Warm up with one puck. Make big moves and handle the puck all around the body.

Move around the 4 small nets inside the middle circle and focus on keeping the puck on the forehand in the triple threat position.

http://www.hockeycoachingabcs.com/mediagallery/media.php?f=0&sort=0&s=2011062308381933
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Day 4
Today we progressed to 4 objects and did them from heaviest to lightest, which is much harder.

Start with 4 pucks then replace the pucks one at a time with a.
1-Hockey ball + 3 pucks
2-Plastic puck, hockey ball + 2 pucks
3-Plastic puck, hockey ball, tennis ball + 1 puck
4-Plastic puck, hockey ball, tennis ball, racquet ball
Progress to handling 2 pucks in a small obstacle course.
Carry one puck on the forehand side in the triple threat position but always face the middle

http://www.hockeycoachingabcs.com/mediagallery/album.php?aid=17&page=1


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This was the fifth day that we went on the ice.

On Day 5 I stayed with 4 pucks and 4 other objects but changed things so there was a huge difference in the size, feel, bounce and weight. The heavy puck is at least 3 times the weight of a regular puck and the shinny puck with the middle removed is about a third as heavy. The racquet ball is very light and bouncy and the field hockey ball has zero bounce and is hard and heavy.

Handle 4 different kinds of balls and pucks, and then multiple pucks around 4 nets. Handle a puck around a circuit of 4 nets always facing the middlle in the triple threat positon. Loosen the shoulders with the puck on the forehand in the triple threat position and then continue the zig zags with the puck always on the backhand. Finish with a fake backhand pass and across the body.

http://www.hockeycoachingabcs.com/mediagallery/album.php?aid=17&page=1


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I am reposting this because it is a good example of how to practice big moves in large groups and one puck each.
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A2-A200 Puck Handling and Skating Practice from Finland

1. A200 formation and Yashin leads the big moves warm demonstrating the skill and the kid's follow.
2. A2 skating drills for balance and edge control.
3. A200 Russian Big Moves exercises. Pro player demonstrate the big moves and the players follow.

This practice was done at Juhani's hockey school in Mikkeli, Finland. It is beautiful lake country where he has his summer place. The focus is on Big Moves with Good Hard Fakes when puck handling. Many pro's including Yashin helped with his camps. Juhani is in the IIHF Hockey Hall of Fame and is a legend in Finland.

Another IIHF hall of famer Vladimir Yursinov is the one who developed this big moves warm up. He is a Russian hockey legend as a player and coach. Between them they have developed about 70 NHL players.

In my coaching experience these puck handling exercises are the most effective way for players to develop good hands. They can be done off ice as well. Big moves and handling the puck all around the body with big fakes and protecting the puck with the body are the essentials to being a good offensive player.

The video starts with Yashin demonstrating the moves down the ice and players following, then there is a few minutes of skating exercises for balance and it moves to the Russian Big Moves Puck Handling Sequence where the coaches demonstrate and the players do the same thing. This is a GREAT VIDEO for everyone to imporve puck handling.

When I talked with Iginla last week I mentioned to him that last season I saw him doing things I have never seen him do before like the back toe drag and putting it through his legs. He said that he has changed what he does at the start of each practice. Instead of just mindlessly skating and shooting the puck around now he gets a puck and practices all kinds of moves.

If players would do these big move exercises on their own for the first 5 minutes of each practice as a warm up the puck handling skills really improve.

http://www.hockeycoachingabcs.com/mediagallery/media.php?s=20080722140651119

A200-20.jpg


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This is a tournament on the same theme as the last three postings. The focus is on puck handling by using a different type of ball or puck with each game. There are some passing rules but the main idea is to play a different game every 5 minutes and change the proprioceptive challenge to the nervous system. The player has to adapt to the variations in the pucks and balls.They play 9 games in total and get a lot of puck possession.
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D5 Tournament Using Various Pucks and Ball 1-1 to 3-3

Key Points:
The different weights, size, hardness and bounce of the pucks and balls overload the nervous system to adapt stickhandling technique.

This tournament lasted 45 minutes with 9 x 5 minute games. Fun, skill and lots of skating, touches and exercise. Research has shown that cross ice games have 600% more puck touches than a full ice game.

Description:
1. Play two cross ice and one game with one goalie.
2. Games last 5 minutes then the same teams play in a different area.
3. After all have played in each area rotate who they play against.
4. Use different pucks and balls for the first two rounds and then play 1-1 where the defender regroups with the goalie before attacking or the point in the one net game.
5. Keep track of wins.

http://www.hockeycoachingabcs.com/mediagallery/media.php?f=0&sort=0&s=20130506082228769


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A short note on keeping your work space safe. I just saw one of the best players in the world go crashing into the boards after stepping on a puck that was left in the working area. No injury but easily could have been serious.

Coaches love having zillions of pucks all over the place in drills and even in games where they constantly shoot new pucks in for the next group. It is dangerous because when you step on a puck you are totally out of control.

So anticipate where the activity will be and move the pucks to a safe place.
-------------------------------------------
While I am on the subject I ask WHY PYLONS????

There are lines and dots all over the ice and on the boards that players can use as markings to turn etc. When every player goes around a pylon it tends to BREAK THE ICE and this worsens with each player who gets a turn. The ice gets rough and it is hard for the next players to do the skill. If the pylons aren't moved to new ice often it ruins the ice for the next group.

This is simply bad coaching manners.

Maybe with under 10 the ice isn't damaged badly because they are light but after that it worsens as the players get heavier and faster.


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Quote by: TomM

B600 Pass-Pass-Regroup-Shoot

Key Points:
Face the puck always and give a target. Pass and shoot while skating. Do everything at top speed.

Description:
A.. Blue and red 1's skate and get a pass from 2's in diagonal corners.
B. Pass to3's at the far blue line.
C. 1's pivot facing the puck and get a return pass from 3's.
D. 1's skate in shoot-rebound
E. 3's repeat in the other direction.

Options.
- screen for the next shooter.
- give and go with the next shooter.
- play a defensive 1-1 vs the next shooter.

http://hockeycoachingabcs.com/mediagallery/media.php?f=0&sort=0&s=20090823205116629


This is my practice warmup. Love it. Has a little everything but its also a N-Zone regroup which is a important part of my systems.

   
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Quote by: TomM

A short note on keeping your work space safe. I just saw one of the best players in the world go crashing into the boards after stepping on a puck that was left in the working area. No injury but easily could have been serious.

Coaches love having zillions of pucks all over the place in drills and even in games where they constantly shoot new pucks in for the next group. It is dangerous because when you step on a puck you are totally out of control.

So anticipate where the activity will be and move the pucks to a safe place.
-------------------------------------------
While I am on the subject I ask WHY PYLONS????

There are lines and dots all over the ice and on the boards that players can use as markings to turn etc. When every player goes around a pylon it tends to BREAK THE ICE and this worsens with each player who gets a turn. The ice gets rough and it is hard for the next players to do the skill. If the pylons aren't moved to new ice often it ruins the ice for the next group.

This is simply bad coaching manners.

Maybe with under 10 the ice isn't damaged badly because they are light but after that it worsens as the players get heavier and faster.

-----

After coaching soccer, I realize that leaving pucks around is a hockey mentality. In soccer, the kids are responsible to bring their ball(s) back to the starting spot. Keeps the area clean, reduces injuries and keeps the activities flowing. It also teaches them responsibility. "Play the same ball" or "play the same puck" instead of cheating if you lose it (play the closer / easier one.) This promotes laziness - you can't have more than one puck or ball in play during the game... so practice how you play - track your puck and bring it back! No shortcuts to success!

PS Look out Jarome!


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E300 3 on 2 Contest

Key Points:
Forwards compete with the defense and goalie. Points are awarded for shots and goals as well as defensive plays. Coach times 20" for the attack. Play ends if the puck is frozen, a goal scored or the defenders clear the zone. Record the score.

Description:

Forward Points:
1 point for each shot. up to 2 pts.
3 points for a goal.

Defenders Points:
3 points for stopping the rush before blue line
2 points for carrying the puck out of the zone
1 point for 0 shots within 20"

http://www.hockeycoachingabcs.com/mediagallery/media.php?f=0&sort=0&s=20110707074113682


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An important part of coaching using the ABC method is to use the ice efficiently. We try to use the Physical Education principle of AIM.
A - 80% activity.
I - 10% instruction.
M - 10% maintenance; things such as moving pucks, switching starting points, water breaks, etc.

The more intense the activity the longer the rest period between reps. Recovery is part of the activity when the proper w/r ratios are used.

Hockey practices are almost the opposite in activity. Studies in Canada and Finland consistently show the average drill based practice has an individual player moving from 7-12 minutes in a 60 minute practice. This isn't enough activity to improve skills or fitness.

Some coaches get upset when I say this, so I challenge you to pick out one player and time him/her when they are active within a practice plan. Better yet take a video.

So coaches must learn how to move seamlessly from one activity to another without needing to go to the board all of the time. Create routines and sequences from the same starting place. Usually start with many pucks and reduce them down to one puck games or transtion games.

Your players and your won/lost record will love you for it.
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T- Sequencing from Drill to Game B4-C1-DT400

Key Points:
Start a simple skill drill and progress to make it more complex by adding tasks, then create pressure, next create competition and progress to a game without the players moving anywhere. This is a way to use the ice efficiently, saves time and is a progressive sequence of skills to game play.

Description:
Players start in B4 formation.
1. Skate around group and finish with a shot. B4
2. After shooting give and go with next shooter. B4
3. Shoot and play defensive side while the shooter practices using you as a screen. B4
4. Shoot then defend a 1-1 vs next shooter. C1
5. Play a quick transition game of attack-defend-pass-rest. DT400
6. Move the line back to the red line and add a breakout where the defender must gain the blueline before passing. DT400
*other options like jokers to pass to, add players, modified rules, etc. can be used.


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Quote by: TomM

An important part of coaching using the ABC method is to use the ice efficiently. We try to use the Physical Education principle of AIM.
A - 80% activity.
I - 10% instruction.
M - 10% maintenance; things such as moving pucks, switching starting points, water breaks, etc.

The more intense the activity the longer the rest period between reps. Recovery is part of the activity when the proper w/r ratios are used.

Hockey practices are almost the opposite in activity. Studies in Canada and Finland consistently show the average drill based practice has an individual player moving from 7-12 minutes in a 60 minute practice. This isn't enough activity to improve skills or fitness.

Some coaches get upset when I say this, so I challenge you to pick out one player and time him/her when they are active within a practice plan. Better yet take a video.

So coaches must learn how to move seamlessly from one activity to another without needing to go to the board all of the time. Create routines and sequences from the same starting place. Usually start with many pucks and reduce them down to one puck games or transtion games.

Your players and your won/lost record will love you for it.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Tom I wholeheartedly agree. When I do my field evaluations for Hockey Canada / Hockey Alberta. I usually videotape a practice and break it down into Coaching / Teaching time; Active time; and Administrative time. Then I present the actual mins / secs for each category from each activity; along with the percentages. I might even add in the average active time per player per activity if I have time to code everything (how much time one player is active during the one drill - a work to rest ratio - so the coach can extrapolate those numbers to his whole team. A player might be active for 10-12 seconds then rest in line, doing nothing, for another 3 minutes! I try to get the kids handling the puck instead of doing nothing during this down time... then it isn't downtime!)


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This is a skating warm-up that Gaston uses at the start of each skating session. The players use all of the edges and need to be in a solid balance position to accomplish everything. It is our Jasper camp and the players range from 7-14 years old. They boy in the white who always finishes first is the best player at that age I have worked with at that age since Dany Heatley and Mason Raymond. He is amazing with his mobility carrying the puck and you can see it in these balance and edge control exercises.
-----------------------------------------------------------------

A2 Skating Warm-up for Edges and Balance

Key Points:
Good players can move in all directions efficiently because they and use all edges and have great balance on the ice. Routines for skating, puck handling, shooting and passing are efficient ways for a coach to quickly review the foundation skills and allow the players to get a lot of reps and improve at their own rate.

Description:
A2 Formation - Players start at one end and skate to the other end.
- inside edges - out and in using a snowplow.
- inside edges - sculling one leg at a time on the inside edges.
- outside and inside edges - slalom with the skates together and a good knee bend.
- balance and edges - one length of the ice on each leg.
Repeat the same sequence but skate Backward.

http://www.hockeycoachingabcs.com/mediagallery/media.php?f=0&sort=0&s=20110726073836113

The same warm up with 12-14 year olds.

http://www.hockeycoachingabcs.com/mediagallery/media.php?f=0&sort=0&s=20110423080435937


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I tryed the King's Score 3vs.3 game with our kids this week and the first time was disaster. There was no scoring and the shifts were way too long. To the next on-ice practice i did modifications and it worked better.

King's Score 2vs2 sag

-Basic rules same as in the Tom's video.
-the team that's scored against, skates hard and touch the board at the opposite end and leaves the game
-team that scored starts the attack, new pair enters to defend.
-Max shift time 30 seconds, If either team doesn't score in that time coach whistles
-both pairs leaves the game on the whistle
-from the new teams the one that wins the race for the puck gets to decides on which end they attack

hope this makes sense.
-----------------------------------------------------
Kai,
I was wondering if the length of time would be a problem. Another thought is to change on a goal or when the goalie freezes the puck the offensive team takes it and the defense changes.
I use only two colours and every player has a reversible jersey with both colours. I will have the whites change with the whites and the colours with the colours. On the time machine I will need to use pinnies.
Tom


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Kai,

If the goalie freezes the puck, both teams change. And you, as Coach and Supreme Dictator or the Rules, can make whatever rules you want... 30 seconds and no goal? Change. Or play 45 seconds. Or 60 seconds. It is up to you.

Try playing without goalies and use shooter tutors. Can't score low on the ice (no 'sliders') unless more than 20' away from the net - otherwise have to score 5 hole or top shelf.

When a goal is scored, spot the scoring team a puck to behind the net where they scored (or behind the opposite net, to create a conditioning effect).

Losers over and back, touch the wall, and out - legal line changes (1 for 1 substitution.) Or losers out hard (legal line change) - no over and back. Or losers over and back, but new defenders can come in right away (not wait for losers to clear the zone.)

Tons of things you can do... it is up to the coach to decide what elements he wishes to train, and then set the game up to reflect this (size and orientation of space, position of nets, 'out of bounds' markings, how many nets are used and what size, how the attacking team can score (#of passes / backhand only / play from behind the net / on a 1-timer, etc.), what the scorers have to do before attacking after a goal, what the losers have to do when scored on, what the incoming players have to do, etc.) What other creative options can you think about?

We also do the reverse... those that score, can change. Those who lose, must stay in. This one is really tough as the losers continue to get tired and keep getting scored on... a real 'exposer' of character. The coach needs to limit the time or number of goals against that can be scored on the losers so they don't give up / quit.

Enjoy your creative, Dictatorship Powers!


Dean
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