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.

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