Wednesday Drill of the Week: Bandits Backcheck

Bandits Backcheck.jpg

A backcheck/transition drill this week.

The drill starts with five O players stationary – two F’s below the goal line, one high F3 and two D on the blueline. X starts with the puck on the half wall.

On the whistle, X takes off with the puck. The D play the rush while F3 backpressures the puck carrier (or however you structure your backchecks). Either the D or F3 angle the puck carrier into the wall and force a turnover while the other player retrieves the puck and quickly transitions it up ice to either F. The defensive team then transitions to a 3v0 attack on net (D join the play).

To add another element to the drill, place two defensive D down low with the forwards below the goal line for a 3v2 offensive attack.

I really like this drill as a transition, gap, reattack game scenario for all players involved.

Why I Love Cooking

When you cook, you can’t really do anything else.

There is no multi-tasking, no multiple internet windows, no phone calls, no emails. Just you and the food.

Cooking requires concentration, focus and single-mindedness. Otherwise you might use a tablespoon instead of a teaspoon. You might overcook the onions. You could skip a step.

I love cooking because I get fully into what I’m doing and forget everything else. It’s hard to say that cooking is stress free, as getting everything to be ready at the exact same time takes preparation, foresight and experience. When I cook, I reduce my overall stress level as everything else goes out the window.

I don’t cook nearly as much as I should, but I did start today by preparing some pulled pork for a dinner tonight with my defensemen. A great way to kick off the week, although I’m not sure I advise chopping an onion before 6:30 in the morning…

Wednesday Drill of the Week: 10 Minute Drill


A fun competition drill this week. Forwards vs D & Goalies.

Set the clock to 10 minutes. The forwards have to score 15 goals – if they do they win, if not the D & Goalies win.

The drill starts with the two F’s closest to the Coach getting a pass and going in 2v0. They get one look at the net and then the play is done. Coach will give them a second puck where they go down 2v1 on a D (same one look at the net).

The two F’s now pick up a third from the far corner (with a puck) and go down on 2 new D, 3v2. After the 3v2 ends, the 3rd F who joined then gets a breakaway.

After the breakaway ends, the drill starts over. If the Forwards score 15 (or more!) they win.

A great drill to do to end practice, it’s fun for the team and has a great compete element. Losing has consequences!

Wednesday Drill of the Week: Peewee to Pro

Peewee to Pro.jpg

A great continuous passing drill today. Can be done with any level (hence the name…)

The drill starts with all the players lined up at the redline. The first player (black line) goes around the far cone, second player (green) goes around the second cone and the third player (blue) carries a puck around the first cone. Blue passes to green who passes to black. Black then goes in and takes a shot on net. Blue and green now continue on with purple starting the next puck. Going around the opposite set of cones, purple takes a puck around the first cone and passes to blue. Blue has moved from the first cone to the second cone, receives the pass and gives it to green. Green has gone around the third cone (from the second) and now goes in and takes a shot. It becomes continuous, with each player going around the next cone in the sequence.

As the players get the hang of the drill (shouldn’t take too long), you can then move half of the team to the other side and have both sides going at once. This will work to stress the system of your players, needing them to play with their head up and move the puck quickly to avoid head on collisions.

Wednesday Drill of the Week: Cutback Shooting

Overlap Shooting.jpg

An individual skill drill for forwards this week. The drill starts with X1 (black) carrying a puck on a wide drive outside the dots. Continuing to drive below the goal line, X1 then executes a cutback. X2 (green) times his departure, leaving so that he will arrive below the goal line at an appropriate time to execute an overlap (or scissor) move with X1. On this overlap, X1 drops the puck to X2. X2 then drives towards the back of the net and cuts back, creating space to make a play. X1 has now continued to find the soft spot in the zone (just inside the dot). X2 passes to X1 who catches & shoots on net.

Forwards should focus on their individual habits in this drill – playing with their head up, keeping their hands away from their body, making plays at speed. Coaches can add in token defensive pressure on the drive and on the overlap play to help simulate game play.

Wednesday Drill of the Week: 1v1 Conditioning

1v1 Conditioning.jpg

A cross ice conditioning game for this week.

Players start off playing 1v1. When the offensive player gets a shot on goal, he/she changes with their line. Each line shoots at the net closest to their line. This creates a constant pressure situation as well as the potential for a conditioning element for one side. It is a continuous game.

This game can also be done in a 1v1 situation where you add a player on a shot on goal, maximum of 2 on either team. This further creates a conditioning scenario, where one player often gets stuck out on the ice defending. It becomes a change on the whistle game.

Wednesday Drill of the Week: D Skill Shooting

D Skill Shooting

This drill is a modified version of one that I watch Kyle Wallack run.

The drill starts with D on opposite blue lines and Forwards in two lines in the center of the blue line. F1 and F2 exchange a puck while F1 skates towards F2 (rapid fire bumps). F1 then mohawks out to the boards. Meanwhile, D1 and D2 have been exchanging a puck while D1 walks the blue line for a shot (1). D2 then places a puck for D1 near the top of the circle. D1 surrounds it and fires a quick up pass to F1. F1 skates in for a shot on net. D1 now follows the play up ice and recieves a pass from the opposite D line as they hit the blue line, catching and shooting in stride.

The drill then alternates sides, with F2 skating towards F1 line while bumping, etc. This drill could also be done full ice just using defenseman, as the drill primarily focuses on d skills (hence the title).

D Skill Shooting works four specific skills for defensemen:

  1. Walking the blue line while passing (keep eyes up and quick release)
  2. Surrounding a puck, finding your target before you retrieve and firing a quick up pass in the neutral zone
  3. Joining the rush/activating from the offensive blue line
  4. Catching a pass in stride and quickly releasing a shot