Wednesday Drill of the Week: 2v1 to 4v2

2v1 to 4v2

Another transition drill, this one focuses on the offensive side of the transition game.

The drill starts with X1 and X2 (in black) crossing and attacking one D 2v1. Play out the rush.

On a whistle, X3 takes off with a puck. X1 and X2, as well as the D that played the 2v1 join him to create a 4 man rush. Two new D (in green) gap from the red line and play the rush 4v2. This rush plays out. On the whistle, two new players cross and attack 2v1. X3 provides backpressure on the 2v1 rush. The drill becomes continuous.

Areas of emphasis are quick transition from the 2v1 to 4v2. On the whistle, every player should be looking to quickly jump and attack on the change of direction. The D should activate quickly and look to get up ice to create a four man front.

Wednesday Drill of the Week: 3v2 +1 O/D Transition

3v2 +1 OD Transition

A multiple element transition drill. The drill starts with the three black XF’s and one black X D attacking the two red OD with the one red OF backchecking. On a pass, the three XFs attack 3v2 with a backchecker and X D trying to jump into the play (3v2 +1/1 rush). The rush plays out, then goes into a 3v3 down low (X D is done after rush).

Two new D wait in NZ, two red F’s move into the zone above the circles (they cannot be defended). When the red team gets the puck, they pass to the forwards and active a new 3v2 +1/1 rush (down low F joins, weak D activates and one XF backchecks). It becomes a continuous drill.

The down low forward has a larger workload in this drill – two rushes and one backcheck. It is important that everyone works through the down low segment of the drill. Additionally, you could move the “safe zone” forwards back to the far blue line to create a longer skate for them.

Focus is on the transition elements of the drill, encourage players to be active participants and anticipate getting up ice quickly as the play moves from defense to offense to defense to offense…

You Never Know…

Every person says thousands of words and has thousands of thoughts every single day. Many are good, some are bad, and most are neutral or action based.

Every day, there are one or two words or phrases that we utter that will change someones life. It might be something positive or negative. It may carry very little meaning or weight to you personally. It might seem like an afterthought or something that you didn’t even notice you were saying. But it may make all the difference in the world to someone else.

I experienced a moment like this the other day. One was an affirming comment made off the cuff by a superior and a mentor. It is very likely that the person saying it to me had no idea the true ramifications of their comment, but it sent my confidence skyrocketing and increased my self-belief tenfold.

You never know whose life you might impact with your words. Choose them wisely and never hesitate to build someone up. Confident people have the ability to outperform expectations on a regular basis. Empower those around you and watch their success grow.

How You Do One Thing…

“How you do one thing is how you do everything”

I read a study once that said people who make their bed every morning are better at managing their money and sticking to a budget.

The amount of attention to detail you put into one part of your life carries over to the rest of it. Life is all about habits. If you habitually stay on top of the little details and take care of business in one area, then you will naturally pay attention to detail in other areas of your life.

In recruiting, often the player who appears well-organized, thoughtful and attentive during a recruiting visit is the same player who is coachable and does the little things right on the ice.

It’s no accident that most college student-athletes carry a much higher GPA in season than in the off-season. Their attention to detail is higher and they have a much more fine-tuned focus due to the pressure and intensity of the season and the coaching they are receiving.

Improvement in life is in the details. Place a focus on attention to detail and you will see your success take off.

Wednesday Drill of the Week: D Agility

D Agility

Two defenseman skill drills this week. The first one is on the bottom with the shot, the second one is on the top.

First drill is a simple shooting agility drill. Place a barrier directly in front of a defenseman. Place a puck in front of the barrier. The D has to skate forward, pick up the puck and move to either side of the barrier before releasing a shot. Simple fake and pull to either side. This simulates walking a potential shot blocker and finding a lane to deliver the puck to the net.

The second drill is a D breakout agility course. This can be done a variety of ways in a variety of patterns. The one I diagrammed starts with a D at the top of the crease facing up ice. The straight black lines simulate barriers (or some other flat boundry) while the circles are tires. The D escapes from the net front to pick up a puck. He then waits before exiting the other side of the net tight to the cage. A pull fake at the first barrier brings him to the outside where he has to tight stickhandle between three tires (working on long pulls and wide evasive maneuvers). Then skating straight ahead to another barrier, he needs to pump and pull the puck to the outside before pivoting front to back, retreating behind a final barrier and firing an up ice pass hard to a target (can be a coach or a mini-net, etc). This drill can be changed or altered as you see fit – merely a suggestion for ways D can work on their skating and puck fakes while moving the puck up ice on the breaktout.

Both of these drills will work your D on their ability to be agile and maneuver around would-be defenders. Working on deception is something that needs to happen on a regular basis. A strong emphasis on deception creates a D corps that can move the puck and evade forwards with ease.

Wednesday Drill of the Week: Goalie Barrier Walk Out

Barrier Walk out

A goalie drill for this week. Players start in the corner. There is a small bumper or barrier that is placed halfway between the dots and the post with part of it overlapping the goal line. Players skate out of the corner straight at the barrier and then move left or right and attack the net. If they move up ice (away from the goal line) they should look to take a quick shot. If the move below the goal line the play is a tight stuff on the post. To add a degree of difficulty, the player can also wrap to the far side low or walk across the crease high.

This drill is to simulate players walking out of the corner and making tight plays to the net. Goalies may use a variety of post-integration techniques to play this situation. Personally, I would advocate for a tight lean with a great post seal. This allows the goalie to easily move off the line on a walk out or a wrap, while also sealing the short side in the event of a stuff. Critical to any post-integration technique is proper execution. Goalies must ensure they have a tight seal on the post with their body and pad.

Why I Love Mornings

Calm. Quiet.

Filled with potential.

A fresh start, a new opportunity.

A blank canvas ready to be painted by today’s art.

Mornings offer an opportunity for introspection, planning and thought. Before the hustle and the bustle of the day takes over, mornings are a chance for personal time and creative work. Carpe Diem.

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