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After going over all the Small Area Games that Tom has posted , I am really excited about adding some of these games next season. Some off the Transition drills or games look great.

Every coach has some favorite drills or games that work well and the young players have fun doing.

So, For the coaches that have already used these SAG games , does anyone care to share the one's that they enjoy using the most ?
Also the one's that the players seem to respond to the most ?
Yes I know it depends on the concept or theme of your practice and also the age , but just those games that seem to work well and you as a coach can see the development of your players.

My teams always like to do what Tom calls the jokers at the points. ( something like that) I called it a box game.
- One goalie,
- Two teams lined up on the blue line with coach having pucks.
- 2on 2 battle in the corners
- I like to have a rule that before they can score they must pass back to their line or the joker first. Create a 3on2 .
- rules -No guarding other teams joker. Can play 2on2 , 3on2, 3on3 etc.
- works well on battles , triangulation, getting open or support, quick puck movement.
- 15-30 second-
-puck must stay inside the blue line

Another game is a Quiet Zone 3on2 low

_ one player starts in the quiet Zone with the puck
- on the coaches whistle two fowards support him and try to score against two defenders.
- One player must stay below the goal line in the quiet zone. He can come out if a supporting play comes in.
- works give and goes, cycling , redirects, and D defending down low.
I have used others and see some of them are similar to the one's that Tom has posted.

One thing I do know is, Young players always always pick up the tempo and excitment when they play these SAG games. You also can see the development in a game and players trying what they have learned . These SAG games are the the teaching of small parts of the whole concept, and the players love it.

This is the part of the whole concept. They could then learn in a game that redirecting down low getting the opposition out of position , then moving it back to the point.
- I tell them , if there is no passing option available, or no support and you are under pressure , don't give it away , redirect the puck down low or behind the net. After playing thse small games , the player in front is now ready and waiting for it .

I know other coaches have great ideas or favourite games , anyone care to share their thoughts?

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RookieCoach, I really like using transition games. Like you say the game has to suite the players age, situation etc. This may not answer the question but I just watched the first period of the Van-Bost game and my grandson is with me. I asked him if he wants to see Mason Raymond practice when he was a few years older and he said sure. I showed him Mason playing a full ice transition game of continuous 1-1 http://www.hockeycoachingabcs.com/mediagallery/media.php?f=0&sort=0&s=20090726085538618 is the link and I am sure you can recongnize the player in white doing the tight "Gretzky Turns" as his dad Terry called them and his bent of skatin style that also imitates the 'Great One'.

Another NHLer I coached loved the 3 o 3 with a pass to the point to go on offense.It is very competitive with lots of battle.
http://www.hockeycoachingabcs.com/mediagallery/media.php?f=0&sort=0&s=20090726102317243

I always like to use this game to get ready to compete.


'The Game is the Greatest Coach'
'Enjoy the Game'
   
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Registered: 06/25/08
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Quote by: TomM

RookieCoach, I really like using transition games. Like you say the game has to suite the players age, situation etc. This may not answer the question but I just watched the first period of the Van-Bost game and my grandson is with me. I asked him if he wants to see Mason Raymond practice when he was a few years older and he said sure. I showed him Mason playing a full ice transition game of continuous 1-1 http://www.hockeycoachingabcs.com/mediagallery/media.php?f=0&sort=0&s=20090726085538618 is the link and I am sure you can recongnize the player in white doing the tight "Gretzky Turns" as his dad Terry called them and his bent of skatin style that also imitates the 'Great One'.

Another NHLer I coached loved the 3 o 3 with a pass to the point to go on offense.It is very competitive with lots of battle.
http://www.hockeycoachingabcs.com/mediagallery/media.php?f=0&sort=0&s=20090726102317243

I always like to use this game to get ready to compete.

Tom, Thanks for the input. That 3 on3 battle is much the same as I use with my Atom age kids. But the only difference is when they pass it back to the point that player can join in on the play as a odd man situation (3 on 2). Players loved this game and I could see it develop their vision or at least looking to make a hockey play . Not to mention puck protection and quick changing from offense to defense.
I have seen first hand how well these SAG games work. The best part is these young players have a smile on their faces and you can see them making up their own strategies in these small competitions.
Thanks Tom , GREAT site . Keep up the great work.
Rookie Coach
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Rookie Coach
Thanks. I like to have between 50-75% of my practice with games and transition games. I talked with a Swedish coach and their research has shown that players touch the puck 600% more in the cross ice games they play instead of full ice.That is why they only play cross ice with the young players.
My grandson played with a boy who scored over 140 goals last year. Usually after walking around two or three players the rest was breakaway while his teammates watched. If they had played cross ice the tighter spaces would require a lot more battlles and close support.
The files section has a pdf with many games including full, cross, 1/3, 1/2, 1/4 ice as well as a transition game pdf. To me the transition gamws are the logical progression from situation drills but for some reason not that many coaches use them, even at the highest level. I think I saw two transition games used by other coaches when I was in Austria.

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Tom, I like and use a number of of small games in my practice's. But I really seem to like the DT 100 Continuous type games. Games that have transition form D to O etc. I have used the 1on1 D joins the rush and F backchecks continuous. It works great. Also good as a 2 on 1 - 3on3 continuous also.

Have you with your DT 100 continuous games that have passive support , kept your support in the N-zone for a stretch pass ?
Would that be a way of teaching that option also?

Do you stress the quick transition part with your players and supporting player must be ready and go quickly ?
You mention earlier about watching that Van- Bos. game last night. You really see how important transition really is.
Thanks

RookieCaoch

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Transition doesn't all change the direction of the play.
I love transition and small area games and often I like to combine them.

with these games I try to teach the prioritys of the game ( these prioritys are common to many "invasion games" e.g. soccer, hockey, basketball etc).

When in offense
1. scoring

if your not in a position to score

2. win space toward the opponents net, playing fast forward by passing or skateing with the puck.

if you can't win space ( why play the puck forward to 2vs4 1vs3 situation?)

3 create space so that you can win space. by pass diagonally or toward your own end.

4. defensive readiness.

when in defense

1. prevent scoring/ take the puck

2. pressure, don't give time and space to win the space

3.steer, deny big ice

4. offensive readiness


here's a good game for creating space ( it can be played with 3fs )


Kai

   
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Registered: 06/10/09
Posts: 159
Location: Finland
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Kai , Great points you have made about transition.

I have used a similar game that you posted. Depending on numbers I usually run it as a 3 on3 . Coaches as the jokers and the pass can be made to any joker for a return pass.'' But the way I run it most players only think of going to the net by themselves and forget the pass.

But I really like the twist that you have shown. That if you win the battle for the puck below the red line you must pass to the D for a regroup. That forces players not to always push forward into pressure , and it teaches them a regroup and getting open and support the puck with speed. Also creating time and space.

Anything over the red line they just attack ?

All four jokers must pass to the team who they receive a pass from ?

Simple, but great option for this drill...

Thanks Kai

RookieCoach

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Rookie Coach and Kai,

I like to focus on a game playing role. If I want to practice role 2 puck support or role 4 covering away from the puck I use jokers or various passing rules like on 2 touches or 2" with the puck. To practice role 1 rules that limit passes or require the puck carrier to do specific moves or to gain a zone work well. Role 3 games include things like an angling game or games with the sticks upside down for a certain amount of time.

I like to introduce transition games with passive support so the players get the idea of flowing in and out of the game. In odd man situations one player can be active and one passive. i.e. a 2-1 and the defending team F1 actively supports the D low and F2 is passive waiting for the pass or to join F1 on the 2-1 the other way.

I agree sending a stretch man can be effective. I often practice a power play starting 5-5 and one forward from the defending team stays in the nzone so there is a 5-4 at each end. He can go for a stretch pass.

There are so many possible variations and you can invent options; depending on what you are trying to practice.


'The Game is the Greatest Coach'
'Enjoy the Game'
   
Admin
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Tom,
I too have focus on playing roles. when you learn playing roles you learn those prioritys.
like these attack - defend - break out and forecheck- defend- attack games

here is win space transition game


Kai

   
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Registered: 06/10/09
Posts: 159
Location: Finland
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Good comments... pick an area of focus (or principle or tactic, etc.) and use this as a theme for your practice. For example, emphasize scoring chances; therefore, perhaps provide a slight advantage to the players on offense (continual 2 vs. 1's / 3 on 2's, etc.) and reinforce shooting / positional cues off the rush. If defense is the focus, then design the activity to reflect that.

As a coach, have your staff alert to their responsibilities for each activity. Who provides feedback for getting shots through? Who keeps track of the number of scoring chances and goals, per team (make it into a competition.) If your A/C's 'know their role' it will immensely help you to achieve your practice objectives.

When you bring the kids in before / after the activities, ask them questions about how successful (or not) they were and why (or why not). This promotes the importance of your theme, keeps reminding everyone about the importance of the theme today (focus), and helps develop the players understanding of the game!


Dean
M.Ed (Coaching)
Ch.P.C. (Chartered Professional Coach)
Game Intelligence Training

"Great education depends on great teaching."

   
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Registered: 08/05/09
Posts: 2063
Location: Calgary AB Canada
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Tom , Kai And Hockeygod ,

Thanks for the insight into these games and drills. Great comments by all and much appreciated.

I was just thinking that we all could run the same games or drills , but the difference would be the little things.

Like - Roles , theme , skills etc.

Mine would look like just a drill with lots of flow. It would be lacking the finner details. Given the same drill done by all three coaches it would have a totally different look and outcome.

With a 50 min practice per week (Two Games), I must say that I am guilty of having two or three themes per session sometimes.
I see many coaches that don't a have a theme at all. Just drills for the sake of doing drills and to keep the players busy.

Tom, I really like the Transition games section . There are a number of great game like situation patterns or movement. Looking forward to adding this to my practices.

I think that I will have to make some adjustments and pay attention to the theme or roles for each game /drill.
Thanks again
RockieCoach

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Quote by: Kai K

Tom,
I too have focus on playing roles. when you learn playing roles you learn those prioritys.
like these attack - defend - break out and forecheck- defend- attack games

here is win space transition game

Kai,

Just looking at your win space game. Seems to have allot of different situations in this game.
A few questions for you.

I follow the game into the OZ where two new forwards move in and one D (their Dzone).
With one D who joined the rush leaves at the OZ zone.
Now it is a 2on1 until three new defensive players arrive ( 2 F's and 1 D) for a 2 on4 ?
From here how does it play out ?
With a shot on net or goalie freezing the puck.
Is it a fast break back the other way with one D leaving the play and one joining the rush the other way ?

Is it one puck ?
No whistles ?

Thanks Kai. Looks like a good game with allot of different elements.
I want to understand it before I try it.

RookieCoach

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Quote by: RookieCoach

Quote by: Kai K

Tom,
I too have focus on playing roles. when you learn playing roles you learn those prioritys.
like these attack - defend - break out and forecheck- defend- attack games

here is win space transition game

Kai,

Just looking at your win space game. Seems to have allot of different situations in this game.
A few questions for you.

I follow the game into the OZ where two new forwards move in and one D (their Dzone).
With one D who joined the rush leaves at the OZ zone.
Now it is a 2on1 until three new defensive players arrive ( 2 F's and 1 D) for a 2 on4 ?
From here how does it play out ?
With a shot on net or goalie freezing the puck.
Is it a fast break back the other way with one D leaving the play and one joining the rush the other way ?

Is it one puck ?
No whistles ?

Thanks Kai. Looks like a good game with allot of different elements.
I want to understand it before I try it.

RookieCoach

It is one puck continious game. The two attacking F's forecheck under the blueline after they loose the puck ( their OZ) and can again try to score.
if there is a goal goalie starts the 3vs1.
yes one D supports one leaves the play.


Kai

   
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Posts: 159
Location: Finland
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With my 9 year olds skill group I am stressing good habits in playing the game. At my last practice they played a 2/3 ice game of ringuette. The nets were on the goal line and the far blue line. And the players carry heir sticks upside down so they can put the but end inside the ring.

The rule in ringuette is that you must pass the puck from zone to zone and can't carry it.

We used the blue and red line as the lines they had to pass the ring over (you could do this with a puck also). The benefit of this rule modification is that teammates have to get open for a pass and the player with the ring has to have his head up and make the play.

It is necessary to skate hard to open ice when they get the ring and the players were having trouble with this and want to stand still to pass and skate to carry. Ringuette made this bad habit more pronounced because the defenders were on the ring carrier quickly unless they skated forward or did an escape move.

I highly recommend using ringuette to work on good playing habits. Canada, USA and Finland are the main places that play ringuette. You can google to order a few rings. If you can't get rings use the same rule but with a puck or ball.


'The Game is the Greatest Coach'
'Enjoy the Game'
   
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If you can't get rings use the same rule but with a puck or ball.

You can also find "rings" suitable for ringuette at a pet store. That's what I use.

   
Junior
Registered: 03/30/10
Posts: 34
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Tom ,

Great way for young players to learn support , passing , and having their head up .

Also teaches them to move from zone to zone quickly and making themselves available for a pass.

Did your young players have fun playing ringuette ?

Thanks
RookieCoach
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Rcmat,
Thanks for the information on getting rings at the pet store. I will check it out.


Thanks
RookieCioach-
__________
Our last practice of the spring, I did a 30 min review of stickhandling doing the Russian big moves sequence and then added a shot at the end. I think skating and good mechanics while handling the puck are the cornerstones for being an effective player. The pass and shot are extentions of Stickhandling.

Good habits i.e. facing the puck,skating to open ice when u get the puck and good sticks on O and D are the Tool Box that make effective players.

We played a 45 min tournament after with 9 games of 5 min. 3 games going on ot once. 2 cross ice games using small nets and one game using one net. Each game had a different task. There was one goalie, so we played 2 pass at his end. There were 12 skaters so it was 3 games of 2 on 2.

Different puck each game area
Series 1. Hockey ball, tennis ball, rubber and sponge puck
Series 2. Plastic puck, ringuette ring, racquet ball
Series 3. 1 on 1. One play goal. You must regroup with your goalie to go on offense. At the end with one net they had to regroup with their point man to go onto offense.
Same pucks as in game 2. Switch when sc ored on or your team gets 2 goals.

Finished with a 2/3 ice game using regulation puck and 3 pass rule.

I will post a video of the practice.

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Yeah I think they sell them (or something very similar to ringette rings) as chew toys.


Dean
M.Ed (Coaching)
Ch.P.C. (Chartered Professional Coach)
Game Intelligence Training

"Great education depends on great teaching."

   
Active Member
Registered: 08/05/09
Posts: 2063
Location: Calgary AB Canada
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Thanks for the ringette / dog toy tip! I will try it out.

Here are a couple of SAG booklets I found when cleaning up all my hockey materials......a lot of it has been posted here before, but there might be a few new ideas in there.

-------------------
Dave thanks for the game booklets. There are a lot of good ideas and the USA booklet states the philosophy of using games in practice well.

   
Regular Member
Registered: 08/24/09
Posts: 79
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