Wednesday Drill of the Week: 3v0 Exchange Counter

3v0 Exchange Counter

A 3v0 shooting drill this week. This drill simulates a quick counter attack from your forwards. Emphasize quick transition once all three are onside and a quick decision to attack the net. Transition goals are scored within 3-7 seconds of a turnover, so the quick strike mentality is key.

The drill starts with three players in opposite corners. X1 goes around the circle and takes a shot. X2 delays and follows with a second shot. X3 completes a full lap around the circle and posts up inside the near blue line.

After the first shot, X1 skates around the far circle and finds a supporting space in the neutral zone. X2 picks up a puck from the corner and skates towards the blue line, making a pass to X3 from the opposite side. X2 then jumps onside and the three X’s quick attack 3v0.

Unspoken Communication

It’s amazing what human beings communicate through body language. Think about the most recent face to face conversation that you had – how much do you remember about the actual words spoken vs the message that was communicated via body language and non-verbal cues? I’d be willing to put money on the latter of those two choices.

Think about what you take away from a conversation – think about how much you focused on/tried to read/judged the demeanor, engagement level and interest of the other person. Think about how you felt when you walked away from that conversation based on those three things.

If body language and non-verbal cues are so important, why don’t we think about it or practice it more? When was the last time you had a conscious thought about what your body language is saying for you? When was the last time you put focused effort on presenting yourself in a manner so that the person you were talking to left with the impression you intended?

As a recruiter, you become an expert in reading the body language and demanor of the person you are recruiting. How does he present himself? Does he look and act like someone I want in my program? How interested is he in my school? Is he merely going through the motions?

Right or wrong, you have to make judgement calls on your recruits based on your limited interactions with them off the playing surface. You make decisions on their character, personality, fit, interest level, work ethic, etc based on a few in-person conversations. If a person doesn’t give you the warm and fuzzies then he likely isn’t the right fit for your program.

Thinking about non-verbal communication in the recruiting process, the way you act and present yourself can dramatically alter your life. Thinking about it on a big picture level, how you act and carry yourself around other people has the ability to determine your friends, your career opportunities and much much more. Body language and unspoken communication could not be more important.

Think about it the next time you’re having a conversation – it could change your life.

How We Recruit

A great article this morning by Ari Wasserman at about how recruiting at schools in the MAC differs from recruiting at Ohio State. Primarily dealing with the evaluation side of recruiting, it looks at how the coaches go about doing their jobs and the different environments they are in.

Is assembling a top-tier MAC team harder than building a national champion?

There is a lot about this article that reminds me of recruiting at the D3 level. D1 schools look for the best of the best, they look for and evaluate players that can be game breakers and difference makers at their level. They recruit those special few players, never managing more than a handful at a time. At D3, we try to find the best players that might have slipped under the radar – guys that can have an impact but for one reason or another haven’t caught the eye of a D1 scout. The numbers game is a very real part of recruiting at D3, just like in the MAC.

Little guys vs big guys, our challenges are different but the realities are the same. You have to recruit to win game – recruit the right players and people and you can be very successful.

Wednesday Drill of the Week: McNamara 1v0 Agility

1v0 McNamara Agility

A drill that operates out of both sides at one. Lines are on all four blue lines. X1 starts of skating backwards, exchanging a puck with X2 – goal is anywhere from 2 to 4 passes. When X1 gets to the middle of the blue line, he pivots halfway around and receives a pass from X3. After receiving the pass, X1 accelerates into the zone for a shot on net. X3 should attempt to time his pass to arrive as X1 is finishing his turn.

High pace and high tempo to this drill. Skaters should focus on quick feet and smooth transitions. Passes should be crisp and on the tape. Shots should be on net from a distance – a warmup element for the goalies.


This morning, I talked about follow through and follow up. In that spirit, I’m going to post, for everyone to see, my plans for this blog for this coming year. I want you to hold me accountable. My goal is to DWISIWD and post on a regular basis.

My posting schedule for this year:

Monday – coaching thoughts, motivational thoughts, recruiting thoughts, books I’ve read, etc

Wednesday – Drill of the Week

Friday – a video blog of some kind, either clips from the pros, clips from practice, game clips, etc

My challenge is to follow through on this posting schedule. I look forward to challenging myself and hopefully you’ll stick around to hear my crazy thoughts!


DWYSYWD: Do What You Said You Would Do

Follow up & Follow through. Two things that sometimes seem to be going extinct in this world.

Too few people Do What They Said They Would Do. Talk is cheap. It’s easy to make promises, big or small. It’s easy to talk about ideas. It’s easy to talk about what you want to accomplish.

It’s hard to follow through. Follow through requires diligence. It requires attention to detail. It requires doing things that aren’t as glamorous as big picture thinking. Follow through has risk – failure, not living up to expectations.

It’s hard to follow up. How many ideas get left in space? How many thoughts and concepts never get executed beyond a meeting and a discussion? Following up has risk – you risk being a nag, you risk annoying someone.

But how many people are reliable? I bet most of us could count our most reliable friends & co-workers on one hand. Being reliable, DWYSYWD, is a rare trait. Want to stand out from the crowd? Differentiate yourself from others?


Wednesday Drill of the Week: Four Lanes

No diagram for this weeks drill, just an explanation.

This is a great way to bring in quality skill reptitions into your practices. Can be done with any age, we do this with our players at Colby and I did it this morning with squirts. Emphasis is on quality of rep, not speed. Players have to focus on the technique of the skill they are working on.

How it’s set up: simply divide the ice into four lanes using cones. Put three lines of cones up the ice (the long way), two in line with the dots and one in line with the center of the ice. These cones can run from the tops of the circles in one end to the tops of the circles in the other. This creates four lanes up the ice.

Now start all of the players in one corner and have them go one direction in each lane (up lane one, down lane two, up lane three, down lane four and back in line). Each lane will incorporate a different skill set. They can work on any skill that you might want to practice. C cuts, ski edges, open hips, knee touches, 360 spins, stickhandling/dribbling, indirect self passes, weight transfers, etc, etc, etc. Think of any skill you’d work on and figure out a way to incorporate it into a lane setting. THen start the players from one corner. At peak capacity, there should be between 12-16 players going at once, with coaches spread out to monitor and encourage the skill reps.

Great work for players of all ages and a great way to incorporate skill and agility work without sacrificing repetitions and activity on the ice.


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