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I'm looking for your ideas on how to raise the tempo of our Pee Wee minor practices.

We run a lot of competitive drills and small area games. Any additional ideas would be appreciated.
Start the practice right on time. Warm them up with skating exercises and puck handling.

- Only go to the board when you are doing something new. Name your drills and have a small rink board you can carry to go over the activity for a max of 30 seconds.
- Start the drill right away by having the players put the pucks where they are needed for the next activity when the previous drill ends. Coaches should never move pucks.
- Have a theme for practice and all activities centre around that theme.


It sounds like you already use SAG and competitive drills. You can keep score on each activity and track the score to see which groups wins.

I like the next comment about coaches participating. I like my asst. coaches to join the games or drills as well.


Registered: 10/09/12
Posts: 10
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Hi -

What is driving this idea? Is your team flagging in games or do they seem listless in practices? Do you have the personnel (i.e. numerous, fit coaches) to crank up the intensity and challenge the players? Are there hard dryland sessions that may be sapping the team energy?

Anyhow, my experience is that, for peewees, it's important to get the intellectually-demanding stuff out of the way early (or exclusively in the 2nd practice of the week) and to turn up the tempo with SAG's, battle stations and full-ice continuous drills, keeping a 1:2 work:rest ratio. Competetive 2-team relay-type drills to finish up with small rewards (eg. don't have to pick up pucks) for the winners keeps these players motivated 'til the Zamboni door rises.

Players need to do any drill correctly first before turning up the speed. Coaches inserting themselves into the drills helps for our team - the stronger kids love the challenge.

There are ebbs and flows in every season, of course (right now, no one is really focussing with seasonal distractions). In the end, you can measure your progress by the sweatiness of their brows!

Good luck, hope that helps

Registered: 11/24/12
Posts: 6
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Thanks for your thoughts. We are a lower half travel team in our age group (half our team is playing up an age group). We played Silver Sticks this past weekend
against top teams in our age group. Skill and tempo of play were our two biggest deficiencies.

The skill deficiency was not a surprise to the coaches. We spend 75% plus of our practice time on skill development. We run many stations, SAGs
and competitive drills. My older son, who plays Bantam major on a higher end team, skates practices as a student coach. We have 4 coaches on
ice who skate the drills as well.

We seem to be losing tempo in our practices of late which may be due to seasonal issues as you have pointed out. They are running the drills
correctly. I may need to lower the work portion of the work to rest ratio for some drills. This may allow them to work harder during the drill.
The players are tired after the practices but not exhauted. We never run dryland before practices and have switched to skill work.

They are definitely improving individually and as a team.

Registered: 10/09/12
Posts: 10
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One thought to add to your practice. I like starting practices with a competitive small-area game. This seems to get my players engaged right off the bat. I make sure the players know at the beginning of the year that they are responsible for being warmed-up and stretched out prior to stepping on the cie.

Registered: 12/12/12
Posts: 2
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That's a good thought. We use about 3 different pattern skates with pucks to warmup while goalies get warm. Maybe the players are bored with it.

Registered: 10/09/12
Posts: 10
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You can also start practice with skill games with rules such as only skate backward or scull with the skate blades always on the ice. Also play with a hockey or tennis ball.

Our last practice we started with 3 pucks each then one in the feet, then one in the feet and one on the stick and then moved to the skating a balance first no puck then with a puck and a shot.

'The Game is the Greatest Coach'
'Enjoy the Game'
Registered: 06/25/08
Posts: 3122
Location: Calgary, Canada
By: Likes:

Hey tony89,

I as well start with a SAG, it sure gets the players lather up - especially if you keep score and loser "5" push ups, while the winner counts.

Also, to break up the usual practice, is have a competitive day. Where we have our team split up, into two seperate teams (players name their team Darks- Dark Death vs Light-A Ray of Sunshine-whatever) and we have competitive games from start to finish (keep score in all games and keep a running count) - losing team has to bring the winners gear, with stick out to the car. The competitive day can have 4, 5, 6 or 10 seperate games and tally up the points.

The games are sags, but we do have some obstacle courses where they compete 1 -1, keep a running total, play for "6-8" minutes. Which ever team wins the most, gets one point - heck you can even have a simple "5" push up to the loser as well here. The obstacle course can be anything, around cones, jumping over a tire, slide under a stick held up by two cones, around the coaches and finish with a shot on net - heck anything to have them work on skating, edges, agility, puck handling under pressure, etc.

With all the indoor ice we get, spoiled, we have gone outside to play a 4 on 4 pond hockey game, goalies skate out, have two coaches play goalie and play for the "X" Cup. Loser shuvles the ice, while winning team gets the first shot at the hot chocolate the mom's make.

If you are interested I could show you a practice plan we used?

Good luck and have fun,

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