Best Hockey Drills

Hockey Practice

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Ray Meyer, a men’s collegiate basketball coach from Illinois, has been quoted as saying: “Practice does not make the athlete. It is the quality and intensity of the practice that makes the athlete, not just repeating practicing.”

It is said that the seven Ps to success are Planning, Preparation, Performance, Perseverance, Passion, Perspective and Patience. If, as a coach, you bear these in mind and work these as goals into your hockey practice, your team will reap the benefits out on the rink.

Doing the job

It is a coach’s responsibility to make the team excited about practice and to combine elements of discipline and commitment into the hockey practice schedule. Players must realize the important of attending hockey practice and not just tolerate them, but enjoy them! Practice is the place to introduce new tactics, drills and plays – and practice existing skills. It is also the place to be with team mates, learn about them and their playing style, learn to be a team with them and form a cohesive bond.

It is important that skills implemented and introduced in hockey practice are practiced right: habits are formed during practice sessions – both good and bad ones. In order to get the most from hockey practice, it must be well designed and well organized. If you, as coach, can identify the training requirements of the team, these can be fulfilled with the appropriate drills.

The best way to ensure that drills are carried out correctly is to be sure to explain new drills thoroughly, allow the opportunity for questions and watch the drills being carried out. Standards may be slipping with regular exercises or a new drill may not have been understood by all. A white board is a good way to draw drills out and paper copies can be posted in the locker room for future reference.
Keep the drills varied during hockey practice; a bored team is not a motivated team!

Adrenaline rush Hockey Practice

Drills and plays cannot replace game practice entirely during hockey practice and it is important that game style, speed and conditions are replicated as closely as possible to give players the necessary experience. Players need to be comfortable with a accustomed to react at game speeds. Additionally, the adrenaline rush and competitive nature of the game will fire the players’ desire to succeed – don’t forget the ‘passion’ part of the seven Ps! Inter-team games, played during practice, introduce a healthy element of competition and bonding within the team.

It is your role to introduce and maintain the final two Ps, Perspective and Patience; an objective eye is vital as it is easy to ‘not see the wood for the trees’ when engrossed in repetitive practice. You are the director, so you are the one to tell them what they are doing wrong and, more importantly, what they are doing right.

Patience is the final element – a good coach always stays cool. Hockey practice is a good place to remember this as frustration can turn to heated tempers and you are the one who will be called on to calm troubled waters. Above all, you need to make hockey practice a great place to be.