Ice Hockey Practice
Get your hockey players into shape with ice hockey practice drills. These will help to strengthen, quicken and tighten up their skills when on the ice.
For your defensemen, you can use this drill to quicken their breakout. It is also good for standing forwards located at the blue line -- following a quick transition. You begin with your forwards attacking three on two -- dump in the puck. Your defensemen then quickly breakout a pass and follow behind the forwards up the ice.
The two forwards, who don’t have the puck, then transition back in the direction of the defensemen (this occurs at the far blue line). They then receive a pass from the forward that is next in line.
A two on two between the forwards and defensemen goes into play; the defensemen should try to force a dump off-sides or in-sides and stand the forwards up at the blue line. This play is called the Breakout Into Two vs. Two.
When passing the puck, it is important that it goes to the location or person intended. When your players are passing the puck, they should use a sweeping motion vs. a slapping motion. Have your players start off with the puck at the heel of their stick; then while doing the sweeping motion, the puck will spin towards the toe of the hockey stick and to the other player.
It is important that the toe of the stick is pointed at the target. This ice hockey practice is used to increase speed and accuracy.
Handling the Hockey Stick
You can have your players gain better control over the handling of their hockey stick with this next exercise. To increase the team’s ability to handle their stick through traffic, they need to practice NOT hitting the puck. Simply, line up ten or more pucks in a straight line, about 12 inches apart.
Then at a comfortable speed, each player travels down the line, stickhandling in between each puck. It is important they don’t hit the puck. As they get better, move the pucks closer together to see how close you can get them.
For the Goalies
The goalie is a very important asset to the team -- after all, without them, scoring goals would be impossible to miss. An ice hockey practice for them includes a rebound game. You have three of your team players go against the goalie. A goal and save are both equal to one point, so if the goalie saves the puck and clears the rebound, he gets a point and if the players make a goal, they get a point.
If one of the forwards happen to grab the rebound and score, they receive one point. You can have the players continue this rebound game until someone reaches ten points. Whenever a forward misses a goal, the next forward tries and so on. This is a great practice for the forwards, who are practicing to shoot and the goalies who are practicing saves and clearing rebounds.
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