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This thread is about designing practices that work on what actually happens in a game. The three Game Situations;
- Offense
- Defense
- Loose Puck

In those Game Situations, Offense and Defense the player has a Game Playing Role.
On Offense
- Role One; Player has the puck.
- Role Two;Support the puck either one or two passes away.

On Defense
- Role Three; Closest player angles and checks the puck carrier.
- Role Four; Support the first checker either one or two passes away.

Loose Puck Situation
- Closest player on each team is in a potential Role One or Role Three situation.
- The other players support with the potential to be in either Role Two or Role Four.

The effective coach develops practices that teach the skills required in each of these Situations and Roles along with the good playing habits that allow transtion between these situations and roles. If the players have the required skills and good habits they also need to be in practice situations that simulate actual games so they learn to read the play and anticipate the next play.

What skills are required and how can they be taught in practice situations.
A - Players need to learn to skate first without and then with a puck.
B - Players need to be able to stick handle, shoot, pass, angle, check, take a pass etc.
C - Players need to be adept at 1-1 on offense and defense. They must progress to understanding playing situations from the fundamental 1-1 up to the Team Play 6-5.
D - Players need to practice all of these skills in small area games and full ice games.
E - Goalies must be trained.
DT - Situations from 1-1 to 5-5 should be practiced using only one puck, no whistles and either the offense, the defense or both offense and defense getting either passive, active or a combination of passive and active support from new players.
T - Coaches need controlled scrimmage situations to teach team play.
F - Fitness skating for quicknessand agility or endurance can also be done.

Some things that I have learned from coaching since 1974 at all levels from U6 to Pro both Men and Women in three continents. I am a Physical Education teacher who has experience from First Grade to teaching at College and the principles in a gym class are the same as on the ice.

- Two pucks per player is plenty. Start with many pucks and remove them or start with one puck and add them.
- At the end of a drill or game have the PLAYERS pass the puck where they are needed next. Assistant coaches should be either listening to the key concepts of the next activity or teaching it. It is demeaning for them to simply move pucks - Plus it is important they undersatand what is happening next. They are coaches NOT SERVANTS.
- If you use the whiteboard show a few drills or games and simply give instruction to progress to the next activity.
- Use international symbols when drawing a drill or game and these should be consistent with the IIHF symbols.
- Name you drills and create progressions from the same practice formation.
- Once your players understand where to start from and where to go the coach can add passes, new attackers or defenders, regroups etc. without having to re-organize and explain the flow.
- Stretch and anything else that can be done off ice SHOULD be done off ice. When they step on the ice they should be ready to GO.
- Pucks laying on the ice are dangerous and when stepped on can cause bad injuries. The same with open gates. So keep you work space clean.
- Players get the puck they have missed and not one laying around.
- Insist on good habits during practice.
- Comment only when something is exceptionally good or bad. Don't be irritating background noise. Stop everything if nothing is being accomplished and restart.
- When players are done with pucks then all PLAYERS put them away (unless that is a consequence of losing a contest)

Most Important of All
At the end of practice every player should be a little better than they were at the start of practice and wishing that the practice could last a little longer because they just had a damn good time.

Coaches who want to contribute some more ideas on effective practices are more than welcome to join in.

Next time I will give some examples on how to build routines that save time and use the ice efficiently.


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Excellent topic Tom!

Great first post and I look forward to more...

I will try to add some more thoughts in the future!


Dean
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Game Intelligence Training

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Using one starting point and going from simple to more complex exercises

You can start a drill or a game from one place and create more skills and situations in order to use your ice time more efficiently.

An example of this is lining up the players on the side boards. We call this the A1 formation in our ABC code but that doesn't matter but it does make it easier to find the activities.

Here is an example of using this cross starting point.
- Cross ice skating drills without a puck. Good formation for young players to start from. A1
- Cross ice skating with a puck. A100
- Partners work together stickhandling around each other.
- Partner pass back and forth. Combine pass, moves and a shot. Take turns with a partner.

Overspeed without a puck to zero resitance to situations.
Leave from the red line while waiting along the boards. Line up on either side of the line and the first players from each line leave on the whistle.
- two players from each side leave without a puck and skate as hard as they can in all directions within the neutral zone.
- overspeed in the neutral zone and then skate in and shoot. Return to the back of the line.
- overspeed and shoot, then give and go with the next shooter or shooters. B500
- 2 or 3 from each line make as many passes as possible in the nzone and then attack each net.
- overspeed in the neutral zone and then defend vs the next shooters. i.e. 2 players from the front of each line leave and skate as hard as they can in the neutral zone then attack each net. One of the previous shooters now defend a 2-1, then progress to both defending the next shooter and play a defensive 2-2. C2

This is an example of how to progress from simple skills to more complex skills to game situations.

I will attach a few diagrams.


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We code it B600 when the drill starts from the blue lines on both sides of the ice. You can do simple passing, timing, shooting drills or use this formation to regroup and attack. It is the most popular drill formation at the pro level because you use the entire ice and can create a lot of speed.

Sometimes you have the F in the B600 and D in the C3 formation or visa versa.

Here are many examples that have been posted on this site so far. As a coach you can basically create whatever situation you want from this formation.

B600 Formation:

B600 Flow Alexander 2 on 1
B600 Flow Alexander 2 on 1 Key Points: On a 2-1 attack with speed and think first of scoring, If possible make the first pass near the blue line to allow a second play when reading the defender. Defender stay in the middle and read the most dangerous player. It ...
http://www.hockeycoachingabcs.com/forum/viewtopic.php?showtopic=1983&topic=1983#1983

B600 Pass-Pass-Regroup-Shoot
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 ...
http://www.hockeycoachingabcs.com/forum/viewtopic.php?showtopic=1570&topic=1570#1570

B600 2-0 Quick Ups
I just had a skills practice with my school group. There are two definite levels in the group and I have to modify drills or make up new ones where the better players shoot on the experienced goalie and the lower group shoot on the beginning goalie. Also the games
http://www.hockeycoachingabcs.com/forum/viewtopic.php?showtopic=1470&topic=1470#1470

B600 1-0 F Regroup with Both D
B600 1-0 F Regroup with Both D Key Points: Forward always give a target face the puck and call for the pass. Shoot and rebound for the next shooter. Coach could add give and goes and one timers with the original shooters. Could also add 1-1 or 2-1 with the http://www.hockeycoachingabcs.com/mediagallery/media.php?s=20101212075342864

B600 Regroup, Hinge, Quick Up-Detroit
B600 Regroup, Hinge, Quick Up-Detroit Key Points: Hinge and push the puck up the ice quickly. Strong side F stretch and weak side give middle support. Description 1. F1 skate and regroup with D1. 2. D1 skate to the middle and pass to D2 in the wide lane. 3. D2 ... http://www.hockeycoachingabcs.com/mediagallery/media.php?s=20101128092923497

B600 Regroup, Hinge, Middle D Rush-Detroit
B600 Regroup, Hinge, Middle D Rush Key Points: Middle D comes late as a second wave and lead the rush. Description: 1. F1 and F2 leave and regroup with D1. 2. D1 pass to D2 who hinges to the wide lane then pass back to D1. 3. F1 and F2 ...
http://www.hockeycoachingabcs.com/mediagallery/media.php?s=201011280928188

B600 D Hinge up to F then D Join Play Progression-Detroit
B600 Regroup, Hinge, Quick Up Progression-Detroit Key Points: Hinge and push the puck up the ice quickly. Strong side F stretch and weak side give middle support. Description 1. F1 skate and regroup with D1. 2. D1 skate to the middle and pass to D2 in the wide lane.
http://www.hockeycoachingabcs.com/mediagallery/media.php?s=20101128092702491

B600 Skating for Quick Feet - Dukla
Key Points: Keep the feet moving all the time. The body follows the shoulder turn on crossovers. Description: 1. Three players leave at a time. 2. Skate full speed around the far circle. 3. Go to the other blue line for the next rep. 4. One group at a time
http://www.hockeycoachingabcs.com/mediagallery/media.php?s=20100915073922633

B600 Give and Go and Shoot
Key Points: Hard wrist or snap passes. Give a target and call for the puck. Follow the shot for a rebound. Description: A. 1 leave and pass across to 2. B. 2 pass the puck back to 1. C. 1 make a move then go in and shoot -rebound. D. ...
http://www.hockeycoachingabcs.com/mediagallery/media.php?s=20100913081036119

B600 Small Horseshoe 4 nets 2 groups
Key Points: Skate before you pass. Follow the shot for rebound. Circle back for next rebound. Give a target. Description: 1. 2 nets on each goal line. 2. Older group shoot 1' then younger group. 3. #1 skate and pass, then cut across for pass from #2. 4. Follow shot
http://www.hockeycoachingabcs.com/mediagallery/media.php?s=20100830111239380

B600, 3 Lane Passing and Shooting warm up
Key Points: Make one touch passes. Make sure the top hand moves away from the body. Description: 1. Three players leave and fill each lane. 2. Give and go with playes at far blue line. 3. After the second pass shoot from one lane each. 4. Third player loop back
http://www.hockeycoachingabcs.com/mediagallery/media.php?s=20090901074926133
B600 Pass-Pass-Regroup-Shoot
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 ...
http://www.hockeycoachingabcs.com/mediagallery/media.php?s=20090823205116629

B600, 2-0 Passing, shooting warm up Two players exchange pucks in the neutral zone regroup with a player at the blule line and get a return pass then attack.
http://www.hockeycoachingabcs.com/mediagallery/media.php?s=20090823205117104

B600 Timing and 1-1
Key Points: The D pivots and the forward comes back to the puck timing it so the D can make the pass. D should try to tighten the gap to a stick length as soon as possible. Description: 1. Forwards on one side and D on the other at both ...
http://www.hockeycoachingabcs.com/mediagallery/media.php?s=20090823122851174


B600 1-0 F Regroup with Both D
B600 1-0 F Regroup with Both D Key Points: Forward always give a target face the puck and call for the pass. Shoot and rebound for the next shooter. Coach could add give and goes and one timers with the original shooters. Could also add 1-1 or 2-1 with the
http://www.hockeycoachingabcs.com/forum/viewtopic.php?showtopic=1298&topic=1298#1298

B600 Neutral Zone Puck Support and Attack
B600 Neutral Zone Puck Support and Attack Key Points: Face the puck always and make hard passes. Done from both sides Description: a. #1's leave from diagonal corners and get a pass from #2 and pass back. b. 1 get a new puck from 2 in diagonal corner. c. 1's ...
http://www.hockeycoachingabcs.com/forum/viewtopic.php?showtopic=530&topic=530#530

B600 Skate Circles Exchange Pucks and Shoot
B600 Skate Circles Exchange Pucks and Shoot Key Points: Players should keep their hands and feet moving all the time. Description: 1. Leave from diagonal blue lines. 2. Drop the puck when halfway around the circle. 3. Puck up the opposite players puck. 4. Complete the circl and shoot at ...
http://www.hockeycoachingabcs.com/forum/viewtopic.php?showtopic=520&topic=520#520

B600 One Touch and Shoot Warm up
B600 One Touch and Shoot Warm up Key Points: Pass hard with a wrist or snap pass. Receiver give a target and keep the stick square to the puck with the hands away from the body. Description: Players are lined up at the four behind the bluelines in the
http://www.hockeycoachingabcs.com/forum/viewtopic.php?showtopic=517&topic=517#517


B600 Double Cross and Pass
B600 Double Cross and Pass Key Points: Make hard passes. Players should face the puck. Description: 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
http://www.hockeycoachingabcs.com/forum/viewtopic.php?showtopic=509&topic=509#509

B600 Wideman Pass and Point Shot
B600 Wideman Pass and Point Shot Key Points: Pass a hard saucer across the ice. Forward time skating so the pass comes when he is going full speed. Forwards and defense are behing diagonal blue lines on each side. Description: 1. Forwards on each side skate and pass to the
http://www.hockeycoachingabcs.com/forum/viewtopic.php?showtopic=467&topic=467#467

B5 B600 1-1, 2-1
B5 B600 1-1, 2-1 Key Points: Quick feet for both the F and D. Forwards face the puck, give a target and skate into the pass. Description: Full ice 1-1 and 2-1 1a. D get a pass from the circle. 1b. F get a pass from the boards and shoot
http://www.hockeycoachingabcs.com/forum/viewtopic.php?showtopic=455&topic=455#455

B600-C3 1-1 From Blue Line
Key Points: Defender close the gap, stay on the defensive side, stick on the puck, stay with the attacker after the shot. Attacker get the puck in the triple threat position at the side. Make moves, fakes, dekes, change of pace, use screen shots and follow the shot. Description: 1. ...
http://www.hockeycoachingabcs.com/mediagallery/media.php?s=2009082312285371

C3-B600, 1-1 x 2
Key Points: Hard passes and face the puck always giving a target. D should get a tight gap as soon as possible. Description: 1. F1 from each side pass to their D1. 2. D1 pass to D2 on the same side. 3. F1's swing to the other wide lane after ...
http://www.hockeycoachingabcs.com/mediagallery/media.php?s=20090812173641629

B600 Neutral Zone Puck Support and Attack
B600 Neutral Zone Puck Support and Attack Key Points: Face the puck always and make hard passes. Done from both sides Description: a. #1's leave from diagonal blue lines and get a pass from #2 and pass back. b. 1 get a new puck from 2 in diagonal corner. c. ...
http://www.hockeycoachingabcs.com/mediagallery/media.php?s=20090728110103634

B600 1 on 1 to a 3 on 2
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
http://www.hockeycoachingabcs.com/forum/viewtopic.php?showtopic=429&topic=429#429

B600 Warm up 1-0, 2-0
B600 Warm up 1-0, 2-0 Key Points: Pass hard, face the puck. Shoot, rebound and circle back to play rebound on the next shot. Description: a. C3 - F pass to D, give wall support, D to F who skates in and shoots and rebound. B. C3 with 2 D
http://www.hockeycoachingabcs.com/forum/viewtopic.php?showtopic=310&topic=310#310

Daily Drill Section One
This is a drill that Vladimir Jursinov used last year in our skills sessions to create flow. He came one week per month to work with the players. I have posted a video of one of his puck handling practices. B600 Jursi Flow 3-0 passing Face the puck, Lots of
http://www.hockeycoachingabcs.com/forum/viewtopic.php?showtopic=263&topic=263#263






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More options for using the B600 Formation

B600 Regroup x 2 - Hinge 2-0
Forwards regroup with the D at each end who hinge and pass up and then attack 2-0.
http://www.hockeycoachingabcs.com/filemgmt/index.php?id=81

B600 Double Regroup Attack 3-0, 2F and 1 D
The forwards leave from the blue lines and cross, then regroup with the far D who hinge and pass up. The same forwards regroup with the D at the other end who hinge, pass up and the middle D joins the forwards and they attack 3-0.
http://www.hockeycoachingabcs.com/filemgmt/index.php?id=80

B600 Continuous 3-1 with 2F and 1D - Finland U20
Finland U20 Team does a continuous 3-1. D1 passes to D2 who passes to F1 or F2 and joins the rush 3-1. D1 follows to take the 3-1 the other way. It continues end to end with each colour going one way.
http://www.hockeycoachingabcs.com/filemgmt/index.php?id=76



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Continuing with the B600 Formation Variations. I have made a pdf with diagrams plus empty rink diagrams at the bottom where coaches can add their own variations.

The idea is that you do not have to teach the players where to stand but instead can simply gather them in the middle for 30 seconds to tell them the next variation. At my last practice we started with everyone doing both the F and D roles out of the B600 formation. We started with a double regroup. The players in the defenseman roles had the option of quick up, hinge out and pass back, hinge to the middle and pass up, switch with partner who crosses behind for a drop pass. We attacked starting 2-0, moved to 2-1, changed to a 2-2 and then instead of the second regroup the forwards dumped the puck in and we worked on D to D options of Over, Reverse, Counter.

Here are the names of the diagrams in the pdf.


To add competition the coach can have the D vs F or one colour vs the other colour. Keep score or calculate various aspects of the drill.

B600 Variations

(For detailed descriptions of these diagrams search them in the forum section.)

B600 Regroup with both D

B600 Face the puck passing

B600 Pass and shoot

B600 Continuous 3-1 2F and one D

B600 Double regroup options.
-attack 2-0, 2-1, 2-2,
-dump puck in on second regroup and do breakout options.
-regroup with 1 to 3 players on offense and 1 or 2 as defense.

B600 pass pass regroup shoot

B600 Regroup quick ups

B600 small horse shoe – 4 nets

B600, 1-0 F regroup with both D

B600 Regroup hinge, middle d rush

B600 Regroup-hinge-up, Detroit

B600 Timing and 1-1

B600 1-1 x 2

B600 1-1 from blue line

B600 Skating for quick feet

B600 – 3 lane passing and shooting

B600 Give and go shootout

B600 – 3-0 Jursinov Flow Passing

B600 – Nzone support and attack

B600 Double cross and attack

B600, 1-1, 2-1

B600 Warm up 1-0, 2-0 Regroup

B600 Cross ice and pass

B600-B5, 1-1, 2-1

B600 pass pass pass

B600 Murdoch pass-pass-pass drill

B600 One Touch and Shoot

B600 Wideman and Point shot

B600 Circle shot and drop

B600 1-1 to 3-2 Options


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I have been working with a nearby PeeWee Tier 1 team for the past few weeks. They felt they were one of the most skilled teams in their league; however, they weren't competing 1 v 1 consistently. The coaches wanted professional development, knowing this would trickle down to help their players.

My first practice observations showed me they wanted to try to 'jam' several different drills (with different formations) into one practice. According to the coaches, they often didn't 'finish' the practice plans as they ran out of time. (On the positive side, they did try to go through the plan before practice (off-ice) with the players. So they were prepared and organized!)

These two things contributed to players not getting enough reps per drill and wasting precious ice time to management time ('herding cats' - I mean players!, moving pucks, explaning the drill again, providing feedback, etc.)


I showed them that you really only need a couple of components in one practice. I opened with a fun skill warmup (making it competitive whenever possible); then moved into games for the bulk of the time (preferably, using a common formation). For most teams to start, I typically run a series of 1 v 1 'competitive games' with different looks over a number of practices - one formation per practice. Once the players understand 'my rules', I can quickly and easily move between 1 v 1's... but I try to spend the entire practice with one version to provide a fuller understanding and many reps.

A coach can never understate the need to learn and practice a 1 v 1! Remember, Igor's PhD work (published on this site) showed that in games at the U 20 level, 1 v 1 situations occur 45% of the time - so we should plan practice proportionally!

http://www.hockeycoachingabcs.com/forum/viewtopic.php?showtopic=1113&topic=1113#1113

With our PeeWee "supergroup" on Friday mornings, we have 55 minutes of ice time. We start with skating and puck control skills for 15 minutes; then play one game (1 v 1) half ice at each end from our sequence. This eliminates time to change formations. We play 10-minute games, get the score and hold losers (skaters AND goalies) accountable to pushups and situps (winners get a drink), then switch the teams around so by the end of 30 minutes, each team has played the other (4 teams total). The other 10 minutes are used as time between games, instruction questions to the kids / debriefs, and any other punishments (today, the kids had two separate punishments: one for shooting a puck long after the whistle and for not executing the rules. We provide the rules clearly and are quite strict as 'paying attention to details' really helps raise the intensity and focus of the kids - with much success!)

Another thing to help save time is use the "last man" command... meaning, that when you blow your whistle and raise your stick in the air to signal that you want everyone to come in, they all hustle in... those who don't put in an honest effort or the last couple in, have to do a quick punishment (1 hard lap, over and back, jumping jacks, other ABC activities, etc... age and skill dependent). Having players slowly drift in wastes A LOT of time!

By planning your practices in advance, taking into account common formations, you preserve more time for activity!

(As you move towards becoming a more efficient coach, even if you shift the formations around somewhat, highlight the puck placement on your practice plan so your coaches can easily see where they go next... this will help save time too!)


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

"Great education depends on great teaching."

   
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I attend a lot of international coaching seminars etc. and just spent time reviewing papers analyzing a game. A lot of the stats are from the Finnish research where they film games and then break them down. So it is elite hockey and the percentages will be a little different at various age levels but essentially hockey is hockey and the game is similar everywhere.

What Happens in a Hockey Game?

Before we make a season plan or design a practice or decide what kind of offensive and defensive stucture we want out team to play it is important to have a basic understanding of what ACTUALLY HAPPENS in a hockey game.

Some statistics about a Hockey Game:

- the average game has about 5.5 goals scored. So if you can average 3 or more goals for and keep it to 2 or less goals against then you will have a good winning percentage. The old adage about winning 2-1 with great defense is bunk.

- each team will get the puck for about 180 attacks which means the puck turns over about 6 times per minute. Your player must have good habits like facing the puck, getting open, and follow the transition principle "you must defend so that you are ready to attack and attack so that you are ready to defend."

- in a game your team is on;
offense 35% of the time.
defense 35% of the time.
the puck is loose 30% of the time and the battle for loose pucks puts you on offense or defense.

So the question is what kind of forecheck will you use. Does a nzone trap make sense when the counter attack from there is successful 7% of the time.

Success of shots.
So the question is 'how do you get your team to shoot from the slot and put in rebounds and prevent the other team from doing this?

Attacks
- 60% of goals come from 30 counter attacks. (should you work on Quick Transition)
- 40% of goals come from 120 organized attacks (should your first choice be North-South or East-West.)

10% of these goals come from won face-offs.

Goals from Scoring area
5% of goals come from breakaways
35% of goals come from one timers or bang ins
30% are scored shooting in stride.
30% of rebounds or deflections.

Teams score on about 11% of the shots from the scoring area and the goalie stops 89% of the shots.

The players constantly switch from
Game playing role one - puck carrier.
Game playing role two - supporting the puck.
Game playing role three - checking the puck carrier.
Game playing role four - covering away from the puck.

Six transitions per minute from offense to defense to loose puck is a LOT of transitons between game situations and game playing roles.

It is easy to work on one way drills where you pass and attack vs zero opposition and these drills are important to get the basic skills of passing, skating, taking a pass, shooting, rebounds, etc. but if a coach only does this he isn't really preparing the team to 'play the game'. The same with playing defensive one on ones. They are important skills but the game continues after the 1-1 battle and those players will be in a different game situation and a different game playing role.

So it is a huge challenge to prepare players to be successful in an actual game. They need:
- the individual offensive and defensive skills.
- the ability to read the play and recongnize who to cover away from the puck on defense and how to effectively support the attack on offense by getting open, going to the net, giving width or depth to the attack.

Players also have to be able to play within the team structure in even and odd man situtations. This requires skills, game awareness and the ability to create opportunities to regain the puck or get a scoring chance.

So our challenge as coaches is to practice every situation in all three zones on offense, defense and loose puck battles.


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Well done Tom. I was just writing something similar to this as a key component for my private mentorship work. Neat coincidence!

In the immortal words of Dickie Dunn, "I tried to capture the spirit of the thing!"

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0076723/quotes?qt=qt0378759

You certainly did, Tom!

Understanding 'what actually happens in a hockey game' should rank right up there as one of the first (critical) things a coach needs to know when planning for the season.

Equally important, and often overlooked, is the philosophy of the individual coach. John the Colombian ran a soccer coaching clinic this past weekend (18 coaches in attendance) and NONE OF THEM HAD A CONCRETE (and written) PHILOSOPHY! These were people who have been coaching for years!

If you don't 'know' your own philosophy; and / or if you don't 'understand' the game and how you will plan your practice sessions... you are dead in the water before you start.

It is never too late to identify and formalize these two items. Take Action Now!


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 have added to my last post so I attached the original to keep it together.

I attend a lot of international coaching seminars etc. and just spent time reviewing papers analyzing a game. A lot of the stats are from the Finnish research where they film games and then break them down. So it is elite hockey and the percentages will be a little different at various age levels but essentially hockey is hockey and the game is similar everywhere.

What Happens in a Hockey Game?

Before we make a season plan or design a practice or decide what kind of offensive and defensive stucture we want out team to play it is important to have a basic understanding of what ACTUALLY HAPPENS in a hockey game.

Some statistics about a Hockey Game:

- the average game has about 5.5 goals scored. So if you can average 3 or more goals for and keep it to 2 or less goals against then you will have a good winning percentage. The old adage about winning 2-1 with great defense is bunk.

- each team will get the puck for about 180 attacks which means the puck turns over about 6 times per minute. Your player must have good habits like facing the puck, getting open, and follow the transition principle "you must defend so that you are ready to attack and attack so that you are ready to defend."

- in a game your team is on;
offense 35% of the time.
defense 35% of the time.
the puck is loose 30% of the time and the battle for loose pucks puts you on offense or defense.


So the question is what kind of forecheck will you use. Does a nzone trap make sense when the counter attack from there is successful 7% of the time.

Success of shots.

So the question is 'how do you get your team to shoot from the slot and put in rebounds and prevent the other team from doing this?

Attacks
- 60% of goals come from 30 counter attacks. (should you work on Quick Transition)
- 40% of goals come from 120 organized attacks (should your first choice be North-South or East-West.)

10% of these goals come from won face-offs.

Goals from Scoring area
5% of goals come from breakaways
35% of goals come from one timers or bang ins
30% are scored shooting in stride.
30% of rebounds or deflections.

Teams score on about 11% of the shots from the scoring area and the goalie stops 89% of the shots.

The players constantly switch from
Game playing role one - puck carrier.
Game playing role two - supporting the puck.
Game playing role three - checking the puck carrier.
Game playing role four - covering away from the puck.

Six transitions per minute from offense to defense to loose puck is a LOT of transitons between game situations and game playing roles.

It is easy to work on one way drills where you pass and attack vs zero opposition and these drills are important to get the basic skills of passing, skating, taking a pass, shooting, rebounds, etc. but if a coach only does this he isn't really preparing the team to 'play the game'. The same with playing defensive one on ones. They are important skills but the game continues after the 1-1 battle and those players will be in a different game situation and a different game playing role.

So it is a huge challenge to prepare players to be successful in an actual game. They need:
- the individual offensive and defensive skills.
- the ability to read the play and recongnize who to cover away from the puck on defense and how to effectively support the attack on offense by getting open, going to the net, giving width or depth to the attack.

Players also have to be able to play within the team structure in even and odd man situtations. This requires skills, game awareness and the ability to create opportunities to regain the puck or get a scoring chance.

So our challenge as coaches is to practice every situation in all three zones on offense, defense and loose puck battles.

Another important factor that I want to add is Decision Making.

Bob Murdoch coached after a successful playing career (2 Cups in Montreal) and 10 years in NHL. He then coached in the NHL and Europe for twenty years and was NHL coach of the year once. Bob came to my college coaching class and gave a presentation.

I have taken about ten minutes of his presentation where he talks about Transition and Decision Making.

When the player has the puck the decisions he makes with the puck determine the success of the team.
Good Decisions; i.e. make a play, regroup, gain a zone.
Bad Decisions; i.e. turn the puck over trapping your team.

If the Team makes this % good decisons the result will be.
60% - you will lose convincingly.
65% - you have a good chance of winning.
70% - big win.

http://www.hockeycoachingabcs.com/filemgmt/index.php?id=85 is a ten minute video where Bob explains this. He refers to Dale Hawerchuk as rookie offensive minded player. Howerchuk learned how to play the whole game later but started as a one way phenom.


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B202 is a Neutral Zone Formation

Skills can be worked on between the blue lines or drills can start with passes in the Neutral Zone and then shots or game situations at the net.

Some variations:

B202 Breakout Pass and Shooting Warm up

B202 Luhowy Puckhandling and Passing Circuit

B202 Nzone Regroup 1-0 and 2-0

B202 Passing continuously

B202 Nzone Overspeed

B202 One Touch 2-0 Sweden U20

B202 - 3 on 0 Nzone Passes

B B202 Skating for Quickness

B202 Chaos Puck Handling

B202 Conditioning Agility Skate

The pdf attached has diagrams of the activities.


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Yesterday we had a very good session with the theme of offensive 1-1's in our skills class.

10 minutes:
Individual time to work on skills. I brought them in to show them a move a Calgarian, Jared Aulin did in a game in Europe http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RxU3Z4Tc2Q8 (the highlight video and the move is about a minute in) He shoots left and put the puck back into his feet and did a soccer kick pass behind his left foot with the inside of his right skate over to a player on his left. It isn't that hard to do but I have never seen it before. I showed the players and they tried it with a partner. I then sent them to try to invent their own signature move. They did this for a few minutes and then played keepaway with a partner.

Placed 2 nets on each goal line, so the ice was divided into two lengthwise halves.

10 minutes -1-1 drill
20 players in 2 colours. 5 black and 5 green lines up against the boards in the neutral zone on each side. Each group did 1-1's at the same time on their half of the ice.

- offensive player leave from the red line and skate back to the blue line then turn back and attack the defender who skated back to the other blue line then up to close the gap then back to defend the 1-1 attack. As soon as they cross the blue line repeat in the other direction.

This is a very efficient formation to get a lot of 1-1 reps. No whistles as the players leave when they see the group ahead cross the blue line.

10 min
DT400 1-1 Game of Quick Transition
I instructed the players to break into 4 groups with no less than 4 and no more than 6 and half of each colour.
The extra players wait at the blue line for a breakout pass and the sequence is. Black attack 1-1 vs green. After a goal or transition the green pass to the green team mate at the front of the line at the blue line. The original black attacker must close the gap and defend 1-1 vs the new green. This is going on at all four games at once.

10 min.
DT400 1-1 Game where the Defender must gain the blue line before passing.
The line up moved back behind the Red Line and now the defender has to carry the puck out over the blue line before passing to a team mate at the start of the line. This adds more 1-1 puck carrying and puck protection skill.

10 min.
DT600 1-1 Transition Game with Passive Offensive Support at the Point
The players line up against the boards at the red line. Greens on one side and Blacks on the other side. Now we combine 2 black and 2 green groups; so two full length games going on at once.
Rotation: the front of the line is the red line on the boards. Have a NHL faceoff and when the attacker crosses the blue line he is followed by a team mate at the point. They battle 1-1 and on transition or after a goal the defender attack 1-1 vs the opponent waiting at the blue line. The original attacker tries to regain the puck until the attacker crosses the blue line and then returns to the back of the line.
This transition game can be used for situations up to 3-3 and the supporting players can be activated to create point shots and low play etc. (in my team practice later we did full ice 2-2 and passes to the point were allowed creating lots of new low situations - the point players are jokers and must shoot or pass only)

10 minutes
D6 - We finsihed with two full ice games of 5-5 at once with the rule there must be at least one pass in each zone.

It was a great practice that the players and the teacher in charge really liked.


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This is a video of the beginning of a practice by the Finnish U17 Team. It is a great way to warm up in stations.

B Skills Warm up Finnish U17

Key Points:
This is a great way to warm everyone up at the start of a practice. Defense do the various breakout options and read where the pressure is coming from. Pass the puck back to the coach and move thru everyone. Forwards pass with good technique and eye contact. Goalie coach work on technique and rebound control.

Description
A. Defense work with two doing breakout options vs one forechecker.
B. Forwards lines of 3 work in the neutral zone.
1 - Stationary pass with eye contact.
2 - Pass while moving always face puck.
3 - #8 around partners give and go.
4 - Keepaway 2-1 in four areas.
5 - Two lines move and pass to other two lines on the blue line.
6 - Two lines of 3 pass while skating on one side of the neutral zone.
C. Goalies work with coach at one end.

http://www.hockeycoachingabcs.com/filemgmt/index.php?id=88



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The reason I started this site was as an extension of the Hockey Coaching ABC manuals. Once a book is out you cannot change it. They other reason was to continue the lively discussions we used to have on Dennis Freeds site hockeycoach.com.

We used to have debates about hockey topics from parents to team play to drills ideas or how to sharpen skates.

We have lost this and now it seems this site is used by coaches for information and to read the many articles that Dean posts.

All of this is fine but I invite coaches to start topics about things they are concerned with and other coaches give their views. If I give an opinion it is only an opinion and I want to hear what other people think.

So coaches please feel free to use this site to help your coaching and assist other coaches.

Tom

If you happen to speak German here is a link to the Austrian Association drill manual that Juhani Wahlsten and I prepared for them and went to Vienna to implement with coaches from the various clubs.
http://www.eishockey.at/fileadmin/Redaktion/downloads/ausbildung/Uebungsbuch%20Teil1%20verkleinert.pdf

Link to the Austrian Ice Hockey Association homepage and the entire program.
http://www.eishockey.at/oeehv-informationen/veroeffentlichungen/


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I posted a drill yesterday with the Canadian U20 Team doing a breakout after a coaches whistle and then the D pass to the 2 F who attack with the D following. After they shoot they pass to the point and screen. This is the typical type of drill from the 80' and 90's that we did over and over again when I coached men's college and was at the U of Calgary. It was coach directed with no decision making; just simply perform the skill at high speed.

Coaching has changed a lot over the last 30 years and these same skills can be practiced in progressively more realistic situations that require increasing decision making and competition.

Below is an example of how a coach can introduce the skill with the command style and move toward a game situation.

Progress from a simple coach directed drill to decision making drills then transition games and games.

B600 Breakout 3-0 with 2F 1D - Point shot-Canada U20
http://www.hockeycoachingabcs.com/filemgmt/index.php?id=97

B600 Continuous 3-1 with 2F and 1D - Finland U20
http://www.hockeycoachingabcs.com/filemgmt/index.php?id=76

B6 1 on 1 to 2 on 2 With Both Offensive and Defensive Support
http://hockeycoachingabcs.com/mediagallery/media.php?f=0&sort=0&s=20101007154527928

Progress to a transition game with passive support from 2F who will attack vs 1 D and the original D join the play to make it a 3-1 both ways.

Change this transition game a little and have the 2 supporting forwards be active instead of passive to make it a 4 on 3 at each end.

Play a full ice game of 3-3.


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This is a video of a ABC practice with U18 Girl's. They go from A puckhandling to B passing for individual skill then team skill, C contest in front, DT Battling transition game, D games in one zone and E a team shootout.

http://www.hockeycoachingabcs.com/mediagallery/media.php?f=0&sort=0&s=20120221145808551

B6 Puck Handling:
Loosen shoulders and increase reach.
Two circles in each zone opposite ways
1. Puck only on the forehand side of the stick
2. Puck only on the backhand side of the stick
3. Fast hands and fast feet
4. Alternate facing inside and outside each quarter of the circle.
Finish with a shot on the net.

B6 Diagonal Double Pass

Exchange the pucks twice with diagonal corner.
Progression is to pass to the corner give and go and shoot.

B600 2-0 Double regroup.

1. Double regroup and attack 2-0.
2. Double regroup and attack 3-0 with the middle D joining the play.

D400

Game with the rule to go onto offense you must pass to a joker behind the net who passes.
1. Play 3-3 with the jokers behind.
2. Play 3-3 but with one player at the point who can jump in and a joker behind the net. Jokers are not checked.

D200 Game with varying Situations

From 1 to 4 players are sent out for each team.
Play 20-25” shifts.
Use only one puck and pass to the teammates coming on.

DT400 3 on 3 With a Player at the Point

Use only one puck.
Coach dumps the puck in and the first 3 players from the lineup race and battle. The 4th player play the point.

- First team to get the puck can score.
- To transition to offense you must pass the puck to your point man.
- Do not check the joker at the point.
- On the whistle players race out and the goalies change. Pass the puck to the coach who dumps it in when everyone has cleared the zone.

D400 Scoring Plays from Behind the Net.

Contest with a player behind the net and a team mate in front vs opponent. Try to score.
Play a game where goals must originate with plays from behind. Each team has a joker behind the net.

E1 Shootout.

Change on the go.
-Place 8 pucks on each blueline
-players wait on the bench.
Rules:
-If you score race to the bench and then next player pick up a new puck from the blue line.
-If you don’t score pass to a player


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This is a link to a data base of the drills and games that I have already posted on this site. They are all coded according to our system of organizing the material. Every month I put the new ones into the folder; so it is constantly updated.

https://skydrive.live.com/redir.aspx?cid=bd6fa116988317e9&resid=BD6FA116988317E9!3014&parid=BD6FA116988317E9!111&authkey=!AEx0OA9DMEE18FY is the link to the pdf's.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
My diagrams are coded in the ABC format. This is like a library coding to make it easier to find things. Sometime you have to click on the diagram and read the code above as I sometimes forgot to put the code on the diagram itself.

A - Skating and individual skill
B - Partner skills
C - Game situation drills
D - Games full and SAG
DT - Transition games
E - Shootouts and contests
F - Skating for fitness
T - Teaching drills and games where the coach is controlling the situation and giving instruction on individual skills or team play.


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