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I decided to start a new topic as I could not find a similar topic that would solve one of my team’s (11-12 yrs - peewee) biggest problems in the defensive zone. Our wingers are having a heck of a time getting the puck out of our zone when the puck is sent along the boards by our defensemen. They seldom are on the puck first, or when they are they are more concerned about being on the receiving end of a check by the opposing defensemen - they just make a timid attempt at clearing the puck.

Can you suggest a drill to work this? Is it a matter of being quicker to the puck and stronger on the stick?

Thanks

   
Newbie
Registered: 05/02/11
Posts: 4
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Don't allow your D to rim the puck. Emphasize and insist on tape to tape pass; otherwise, look to go D to D / skate it out. A friend of mine (Gary) coached a community bantam 2 team (mainly first-year kids, so 13 years old) a few years ago and reinforced this rule to great success! It drastically eliminated turnovers.

Gary said to watch the higher levels... a rimmed puck, especially a wide rim, was almost 100% equating to a turnover... so why do it? Work on the skating, puck control and passing skills; along with supportive decision-making.

Other points... The strong side winger should make sure they come down low to support. Also have the centre curl low so the D has two options on his side... his D partner also needs to be an option (drop off the front of the net) while the far winger can stretch behind the D and come across to the puck side.

"The game is the best teacher"... not contrived, patterned drills with no pressure! Playing without pressure is de-training them! "Play is the foundation for developing talent." Play lots of scrimmages where your D and F's have to break out under pressure. Award points for successful breakouts.

Tom has provided lots of realistic games on this site - check his Daily Drills Section. Better yet, buy his Book 2!

Good luck and please report back!


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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I think there are a few things that can help. First of all like Dean says try to eliminate the rim as much as possible but sometimes it is the only option. When they do rim the winger has to try to pick it up as quickly as possible and if the pinching D is coming then you have to protect the puck with the body. the low forward has to come and give close support for a short pass and the strong side D should also be an option.

In minor hockey (my team included) the player tends to shoot the puck out of the scrum to the point, which essentially is a great pass for the opposition who will have a player standing there.

I like doing the Murdoch Breakout sequences but insisting the D skate hard before passing. I think designated Tasks are important before moving to Guided Discover Style instruction. So do the Murdoch and then play games such as;
1. you must take at least 3 hard strides before passing.
2. you must make an escape move before passing.
3. Play a game either full or half ice with the rule that the offense must dump the puck in and forecheck to put the defense in the situation of beating the first checker.

The defense going back must have the mind set to beat the first checker. This causes them to drive the back of the net, or make a quick turn.

The most common problem I see in minor hockey is that players skate when they are going to carry the puck and coast when they are going to pass it. So the habit we have to teach them with drills and games is to move to open ice as soon as they get the puck. Create contests and games where they do this and introduce it with drills to teach the techniques top players use.

If you look at the practice my team did last night, moving with the puck under pressure in a small space was a major theme.

I posted a video of our game last Sat. vs the top team in our league in the files section of this site. They have almost the whole team back while we have 7 returning players. Their D moves with the puck and makes good tape to tape passes and their forwards move into open areas. When we stand still and pass we get into a lot of trouble. I think that is what you are talking about. It is the most common problem in minor hockey.


'The Game is the Greatest Coach'
'Enjoy the Game'
   
Admin
Registered: 06/25/08
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Location: Calgary, Canada
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MMB - Dean & Tom give great advice. My experience has been that ringing the puck is usually a panic reaction on the part of the D when they don't see passing options. I have seen noticeable improvements by focusing on having the forwards always face the puck (somethign I learned from Tom), and by teaching the D to support each other. These habits can be emphasized in drills, but stopping play when it happens in a controlled scrimmage or game situation really points out to players where and when the bad habits occur, and what difference it makes. Many times the player is not even aware that they have been doing this (turning back on the puck, not supporting puck carrier) for years. Games that reward successful breakouts would then be an opportunity to do this without any guidance, and both Dean and Tom have great ideas for this.

A coach I worked with this summer had a great method of stopping play, questioning what went wrong, waking them through it the correct way slowly, then sending the players back to line (if it was a drill) or back to the original position (scrimmage) and starting play back up with a successful pass/play. I liked this method because it went beyond pointing out what players did wrong, walked them through doing it right, then started back up at a pace closer to competition. The one drawback to this is the players not involved in the play need to be paying attention or they will recreate the same errors. Also the players tend to get frustrated with all the stoppages of play, but it sends a strong message that you need to do it right or we'll stand around all day/night until we do and everyone is accountable. If they really can't perform the skills needed to do what you are asking, then then it is time to back up and do more simple skill drills. Then come back and try again. (Tom's books have great ideas for teaching the skills through progressions and games to apply them in, by the way.)

Another thing this coach really emphasized (and I can't believe I haven't heard this before) was "removing all panic from the game." In essence, nothing good happens out on the ice when we panic. "Eating the puck" in the corner is in many ways preferable to throwing it around the boards without success. This might be another approach that helps if you think that's part of the cause.

Hope this helps,
Dave

   
Regular Member
Registered: 08/24/09
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Good additional insights, Tom and Dave. I tend to go more toward the 'games' continuum earlier than Tom but it is just a different style. One has to ensure the players are competent with their basic skill sets... I like the ideas about practicing an escape move (deception, puck protection, move the feet, etc.) and these are all things I have implemented in the past.

See my Game Intelligence topic for more... I will post more thoughts over there.


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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Thank you all for the great feedback. I believe we have the necessary skill but it looks like we have not practiced it properly by either using controlled scrimmages or games.

Since we are currently in the “panic state” that Dave refers to, I may even tell the players to take the route of "eating the puck" until we can instill some or all of the good habits you’ve all mentioned.

I hope to share some insight in the coming weeks. I’ll be sure to check on Dean’s Game Intelligence topic for more insight.

Thanks again!

   
Newbie
Registered: 05/02/11
Posts: 4
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MMB

Yeah, eating the puck is another option. A safe option because at least it won`t result in an immediate turnover... hopefully it buys time to outnumber around the puck or get a whistle.

I am not recommending this one, but it has been done with some level of success. The late Roger Nielson had a breakout tactic called counter pinching where he encouraged the D to make a hard rim (on the strong side); ensuring the winger who was breaking out was up high on the opposing D. The goal was to rim the puck along the dasher and the winger would time it such that he would create a gap between his body and the dasher (jamming the offensive D out and away from the boards) so the puck could scoot out. The next closest support player would try to regain the loose puck in the NZ... create a footrace for the puck and maybe a breakaway or a 2 vs. 1 against the remaining D. I think Perry Pearn at NAIT (back in the 1980`s) used a similar system for awhile.

At the end of the day, face the puck, make tape to tape passes and support the puck (multiple options) are still better options. If these can`t happen, eat the puck!


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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Just an update to share:

We seem to have somewhat reduced the turnovers in our zone but not entirely. It looks as if our players revert back to "panic form" when under pressure. We have only had a couple of practices and games to re-enforce the methods we want to employ such as the D moving to open ice and making a tape-to-tape pass. The forwards seem to struggle with facing the D during defensive zone coverage and re-groups.

My players really like the transition games I have introduced with the help of this site. Can you suggest a game we can play that would help with some of the issue we have? Or perhaps introducing a rule to some of the games? Our next practice would have a goalie trainer using 1/3 of the ice for the first hour and then the next 20 mins would be full ice.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

   
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Registered: 05/02/11
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When the goalie coach is working at one end I would play some games and do a few movement drills.

Have about 5 or 6 players around each circle and have them pass with eye contact and with everyone giving a target. Then pass one puck and follow the pass, then repeat both with 2 pucks.

Break into groups of 2 on 2 or 3 on 3 and give each group an area of the ice to move in. Play keepaway where a team gets a point when they make 5 passes in a row. Rotatate groups every minutes and change the rules. i.e. only forehand, must take at least 3 strides before passing, only 2" with the puck, must pivot (all the rules require them to move before passing.

Do the Detroit regroup drill with everyone (I posted how to do this about two weeks ago where 2 skate and regoup with opposite 2 at the far blueline. They hing and pass back then get a pass and do the same the opposite way. You could shoot into the empty net at one end.

when you get your goalies play full ice 3 on 3 or 4 on 4 with the rule that you must take at least 3 hard strides before passing and can't rim. Another rule is that you can't pass until you have beaten at least one player, then at least one pass per zone. You can also play that one pass per zone is needed but you can't pass until you have carried over a blue line and only one pass is allowed in the offensive end.


'The Game is the Greatest Coach'
'Enjoy the Game'
   
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9 posts :: Page 1 of 1