Forwards create 2-1 situations with close support and speed. One player always hard to the net on a middle drive on a shooting play and a wide drive if they are open. Headman the puck and move through the neutral zone quickly and make the first pass in the offensive zone early.
Defenders must talk and identify coverage. Protect the middle of the ice and only play the puck carrier if he is vulnerable. Give the shot from the outside. Jam the trailer with legs in the shooting lane and stick in the passing lane. It is critical to have tight gaps and not just back in.
Players are lined up along the boards in the C3 formation. Have 2 colours of jerseys and play one team vs the other if you have enough players. You can have D on one side and F on the other or they can wait on the side they will be playing.
1. Three forwards take a puck and attack 3-0. The attack is over when the puck is over the goal line. (unless the coach wants a cycle and a shot).
2. Use the same puck and go the other way attacking 3-1 vs a D from the other colour. (coach puts in a new puck if there is a goal).
3. Attack 3-2 in the original direction.
4. Three F from the other coloured team attack 3-0 on the vacant end.
5. Repeat sequence.
6. Coach time how long it takes to score 15 goals. (or how many goals in a certain time)
7. F can score on rebounds above the goal line .
8. Keep a record of the time it takes.
9. Next time if it takes longer the G and D win.
10. Next time if it takes less time to score 15 the F win.
An idea for coaches is to make a drill page by pasting the text and then the diagram on a word processor and printing it up. Make a pdf for everyone and it is even better. I will attack an example.
This transition game works on all 4 playing roles. It is a great way to teach the nzone regroup if the players regroup with the coach. Progress to regrouping with the players who follow the play into the zone. Insist on facing the puck, giving a target and making the breakout easy for the defenders. In the zone you can focus on the attack or defending principals. This is a great game when you only have one goalie. If two goalies they can alternate defending.
The players can be lined up in the order they go or better in the C3 formation with one team on each side behind the blueline.
1. 2/3 ice game of Attack-Defend-Breakout.
2. Attack 1-1, 2-2, 3-3 or in an odd number situation.
3. Player in line follow the play and give passive support above the circles to the defending team.
4. Attackers try to score and defenders defend. On a goal or after a breakout is made to the supporting players they go in the other direction.
5. Original players backcheck through the nzone and prepare to defend.
6. Regroup with one or two coaches and give good support filling each lane.
7. Coach pass to the regrouping players who now attack the original end vs the original attacking players. The original defenders go back to the lineup.
-regroup a second time.
-to practice the forecheck dump the puck in.
-next supporting players take the regroup pass instead of the coaches and pass to the other team and then follow the play.
-practice the full ice breakout by dumping the puck in instead of passing to the coach or players.
-odd man situations.
This is a timing drill where the players must face the puck and give the stick and skates as a target. Give hard firm passes. Do the drill from both sides.
1. #1 carry the puck down the ice and shoot - rebound. 2 and 3 follow and time their support.
2. #1 get a new puck (or a pass from the line) and pass to #2 and follow the pass.
3. #2 pass to #3 and follow the pass.
4. #3 shoot and both 2 and 3 rebound.
5. Coach (or first player in line) pass to 1 while 2 and 3 screen.
*you can add give and goes with the far corner or other passes.
This is a great transition game to work on all four game playing roles in all three zones. You can focus on the offense, the defense, the regroup, boxing out, cycling, tying up sticks, creating offensive 2 on 1's, defensive communication etc. etc. All players attack and defend. The jokers support and must pass or shoot within a second and can't walk in. When the puck crosses the blueline they follow the play for a regroup pass and then into the attacking zone. DT100 - 2 on 2 with Regroup
Move through the neutral zone quickly and create a 2 on 1. Defenders talk to identify coverage.
Line up in D100 Formation along the boards behind the bluelines at each end. Continuous flow game. Keep score. Vary the situations 1-1 to 3-3.
Description:1. Full ice attack 1 Offense vs 1 Defenders.
2. Offensive players 2 follow the play and are jokers who can't skate in but must pass or shoot within 1 second. Defenders only cover the original attackers and tie up their sticks and box out.
3. After a goal or a breakout the defenders 1 attack the jokers.
4. Create an offensive 2-1 on a wide defender. If coach blows the whistle regroup with 3 who follow the play thru the nzone.
5. 1 finish the attack and try to score while 3 follow the play and support.
*Coach can change the situation from 1-1, 1-2, 2-1, 3-2, 3-3 or add a dump in to work on the forecheck or rules like goals must come from plays below the goal line to work on the cycle or low coverage.
Players are inside the middle circle. Two players skate around and cross and drop then 2 from the other group leave. Leave the puck when dropping and the second player skate behind. Return to line from the wide lanes to avoid collisions.
1. Two players from one colour skate around the circle and cross and drop then 2 start in the opposite direction.
2. Drop the puck on the other side of circle.
3. Stay onside and 4 shoot then both rebound
4. #3 pass to 4 who drives to the net.
5. #2 cross blueline and pass right away to #1 who one times the shot. Both rebound.
a. One, two or three players leave at a time.
b. After shooting one or two players defend the next rush, 1-1, 2-1, 2-2, 3-2, 3-3.
c. Give + go with last shooters. Etc.
A couple of days ago I asked Bob Murdoch, a Stanley Cup winning player and Coach of the Year in the NHL and Germany if he would discuss his thought on specialty teams with me. Last year I was coaching with Pierre Page and he used a very aggressive PK that they used together as assistants on the Flames. So I wanted to compare their ideas. Mud agreed to meet with me and we went to an empty dressing room after our over 55 morning game and I listened for an hour.
I have attached a pdf file with 4 practices using the ABC method of drills and games. It doesn't matter what age a person starts hockey. They have to learn to balance and move on the ice. At the same time they learn to skate they must learn how to PLAY the game.
It is a GAME we are teaching and not a series of drills. So the drills always have to lead to the purpose of "Learning how to PLAY the a GAME."
So the two themes of the method are:
" ENJOY THE GAME"
"THE GAME IS THE GREATEST COACH"
I will post 6 practices tomorrow that continue with skating and introduce puck handling, shooting and passing.
There are video clips of all these activities in the first section of this link.
These six practices are a progression from level 0 to level 1. Focus is on skating and learning to shoot. These two skills are used in drills and games.
An example is in the video clip where Dany Heatley (#17 in red and white) is playing a full ice game with passing rules. He had just got drafted and was still in college. He attended many of my summer camps and skated with various Korean teams that I used to train in the summer time. (he was always looking for free icetime.)
I mention this because Dany, Mason Raymond (Vancouver) and Ryan Duncan (Hobey Baker winner) have all practiced with me when they were younger and I used this method. So using games in practice is OK. The players don't need to stand in straight lines and only move 7-12 minutes per hour like study after study shows what happens in drill focused practices.
This is a very popular drill especially at the higher levels using he B600 formation with the players lined up against the boards behind the blue lines. You get full ice situations. Use this drill and then create transition games with the same situations so the plays are finished by fighting for rebounds and making breakout passes.
The first pass is made by F1 and not F3 as the diagram states.
C600 - 1 on 1 to a 3 on 2
Defense must move their feet and close the gap in the neutral zone. The forwards must attack with speed.
1. F1 skate between the dots with a puck.
2. F1 pass to D2 and mirror the puck for a return pass.
3. D2 skate hard sideway or make a tight turn and pass to F1.
4. F1 attack and try to score vs D1.
5. F2 start the same drill passing to D3.
6. D3 drive skate and pass to F2.
7. F2 attack 1-1 vs D2. - Repeat in alternate directions.
- Add a regroup.
- Add players for situations, 2-1, 1-2, 2-2, 2-3, 3-2.
-Skate with the puck to the big ice between the dots and then pass.
- Pass and follow your pass.
-Stay wide until you get the pass.
1. Half the forwards at each end in three lines behind the goal line with the D waiting at the bluelines. Whites at one end and Blues at the other.
2. Middle player start by skating toward the strong side and pass to the wing and follow the pass skating behind the new puck carrier.
3. Wing skate to the big ice between the dots and pass to the far wing then follow the pass.
4. Wide wing skate to the big ice and pass to the original centre who is now in the opposite wide lane.
5. The D is skating backwards thru the middle zone and the puck is passed back to him for a regroup the other direction.
6. On regroup one player supports on the strong side boards, one mirrors the puck in the middle lane and one is in the wide lane.
7. D makes the pass and follow the attack into the zone.
8. The group at the other end leaves after the D passes up ice.
a. Add another D.
b. Add a second regroup.
c. Add a pass to the D for a point shot after the original rush.
d. When 2 D are used you can use 2 pucks to create and overload situation and have the forwards take a shot followed by the D shooting the other puck.
-Players should protect themselves while going into the corners. Don't skate straight in toward the boards.
-Contact each other before getting the puck to gain position.
-Protect the puck with the body and use quick strides to escape.
-Attack with a good move and defend with tight gaps.
Players are lined up across the red line and the coach or coaches in the middle with pucks. One team to each side of the coach.
1. The coach dumps the puck into the corner and the first player on each line races to get the puck, then the coach dumps a puck into the other corner and the next players race to the puck.
2. Whichever player wins the battle in the corner skates out over the blueline and thru the middle circle then attacks the original end while the other player defends. This happens at both ends of the ice.
3. As soon as the rush is over another puck is dumped into the corner.
4. Situations like 2-1, 2-2, 3-2, 3-3 can also be used.
-Play in small areas for short shifts of 20-30 seconds.
-Focus on offensive puck protection and defensive net side with the stick on the puck and tight gaps.
-Attackers practice creating 2 on 1's, screening and picking while protecting their stick.
1. Net is in the standard place and the extra players form a semi circle to keep the puck in play.
2. Play situations up to a 3-3.
3. Coach shoots the puck into the corner to start the game and the extra players do the same if the puck is checked to them.
4. Keep score and vary the situation by calling out i.e. "blue 2, white 1" and that many players go.
1. Divide the zone in half with one net at each side and play two games at once.
2. If the puck comes out the coach puts in another puck.
3. Play this game up to a 2-2 situation with short shifts of 20-30 seconds.
- A 2-1 is really a 2-2 because it is between the two attackers one defender and one goalie. (goalies are people too)
- The defender has to realize that he/she doesn't have to get the puck or make a check but instead recognize the most dangerous play and take that play away.
- Goalie should be saying he has the shooter.
1. Defender stay in the middle a little ahead of the attack with the stick in the passing lane.
2. Initiate the decision.
3. Move toward the puck carrier a faking you are going there to see if it make him rush and see if he drops his head and throws the puck across (many players panic and do this) then drop back into the middle and block the pass.
4. Deny the pass across and the goalie takes the shooter if he is outside. If the stick is in the inside lane the shooter may be the most dangerous player and you have to play him more.
5. Don't allow the puck carrier to go in alone; cut the ice in half.
6. Take non shooters stick on a shot.
7. Slide to deny the pass if the attackers are parallel.
Make hard passes. Players should face the puck.
A. Player 1 pass to 2 and cross behind.
B. Player 2 pass to player 3 and exchange lanes crossing with player 1.
C. Player 3 pass across ice to player 4.
D. Player 4 pass across ice to player 1.
E. Players 1 and 2 attack 2-0.
F. Player 3 pass to player 4 who repeat the other way 3-4, 4-1, 1-2, 2-3, attack.
1. Practice shoot ins and recovery by shooting in from the neutral zone and bounce to the wing or fire it wide on the short side so it comes to the player on the other side of the net.
2. Rebound. After the attack circle back and time it so you are looking to score on the rebound as a second wave when the next two shoot.
3. Game situations: one player skate out to the blue line and defend 2-1 vs the next attackers or both players meet the next attack and play a 2-2.
4. One timer practice: after the shot and rebound both players stand behind the goal line on either side of the net and give and go with the next two attackers who one time the pass.
5. Combine any of these options;i.e. one passes from the goal line on a 2-1.
The same thing happens on both sides of the ice. Face the puck and give a target.
1. F1 and F2 leave and pass the puck to D1
2. F1 and F2 fill the wide and middle lane for a regroup pass from D1
3. F1 and F2 attack 2-0 and shoot.
4. D1 follow play then skates around circle and goes to the far point at the original end.
5. Either F1 or F2 shoot and the other pass to the other D1 at the point
6. F pass and rush the point and the other F screen for opposite D1 shot.