Drills, Skills and Articles

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Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Pass and Crash

Drill:
1. Player 1 starts backward skating to blue line with puck
2. Stops at cone and passes to next player in line
3. Player 1 crashes the net looking for a pass from behind the net
4. Player 2 starts their backward skating once they receive the pass

Focus:
1. Skating backward while carrying the puck
2. Good hard passes to the corner
3. Crashing the net looking for a pass, deflection or tip

Notes:
Replace the coach with a player to make the passes from behind the net
Switch to other side to get used to working this from both sides

Friday, January 30, 2015

Skate and Tip

Drill:
1. Players start at blue line and skate toward puck
2. Once they get to the puck and the take a slap slot (SS)
3. Next they skate to the front of the net looking and get position
4. Look for a deflection or rebound of shot from the Coach (C)

Focus:
1. Taking a slap shot while skating up to a puck
2. Getting position and working on deflection and rebounds
3. Goalie works on lateral movement
4. Goalie works on getting clear view of puck from player standing in front

Notes:
Run the drill from one side and then the other so they get used to shooting and moving from both sides.
Also, you have player move out to point and take shot on goal (after they have tried deflection/rebound.)

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Using the Wall

Drill:
1. Player 1 skates toward Defender (Coach (C)) on the blue line
2. Player 2 in the middle skates toward the middle
3. Player 1 passes the puck off the wall and steps around the coach
4. After getting control of the puck, Player 1 looks for Player 2 heading down the middle

Focus:
1. Getting around defenders
2. Using the boards/glass to make a play
3. Getting control of the puck and looking for the player breaking down the middle

Notes:
You could add 2 trailing players. 1st would establish position in front of the net while 2nd would float top of the circles. This would give Player with the puck another option.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Fueling your body

Nutrition is a huge pare of any athletes daily life.  Most players drink fluids during the game, but how many are worrying about pre-game and post-game foods and liquids to get their body ready and to help it heal?

Thanks to Peter Dale over at Farm Tough Company who shared out this tip card to help you and your players with the process.    Below are the tips from the card.

General Tips
Don’t eat fried foods (french fries, chips, chicken fingers, fried fish, etc.)
Don’t drink alcohol, soda, or other drinks filled with sugar
DO chew your food until it is a liquid; this will make digestion much easier
DO drink 1-2 glasses of water upon waking and ½ cup every 30 min during the day
DO eat something within 1 hour of waking that contains protein
DO eat good meals with lots of veggies/salad, flesh protein (fish, chicken, turkey best),
whole grains, good fats (avocado, olive oil, coconut oil, nuts & seeds); this will help your
body repair during the day and overnight
DO get to bed – your body needs sleep to recover; give it as much as possible

Pre-Game
Food Intake: Light snack 45-90 min before game. It’s ok to be a little hungry, bad to be full.
Good Snacks: 1-2 pieces of fruit, 1 cup almond/soy milk with 1 Tbsp protein powder,
applesauce with 1 Tbsp protein powder, ½ Farm Tough Energy Bar
Fluid Intake: Drink 2-4 oz of Farm Tough Energy Drink 15-20 minutes prior to game
Physical Preparation: Dynamic movement warm-up and foam roll

During Game
Take deep breaths on the bench between shifts; Repeat Farm Tough power thoughts:
I am...Strong, Fit, Powerful, Fast, Focused, Relaxed, Smart, Confident, Energized
- Drink water between every shift: 2-3 gulps
- Every 3rd shift drink 2-3 gulps of Farm Tough Energy Drink
If you are going into OT or in a close game, drink Farm Tough Energy Drink every shift

Post-Game
Fluid Intake: In locker room, drink ½-1 quart Farm Tough Energy Drink
Food Intake: Within 15-45 minutes after game, eat/drink one of the following:
- Smoothie with 1-2 cups fruit, 1 scoop protein powder, 1 scoop Farm Tough Super
Food and mix with your liquid of choice
- Mix 1 cup liquid (almond milk, juice or water), 1 scoop protein powder, 1 scoop
Farm Tough Super Food and have a banana or a piece of fruit
- Farm Tough Energy Bar or Original Farm Tough Protein Bar
- 1 packet instant oatmeal, ¼ cup soy/almond milk, 1 Tbsp protein powder
If you have at least 3 hrs before your next game, eat a light meal 1-2 hrs after game
Physical Recovery: Roll out – use a foam roller to help speed recovery

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Iron Cross

Drill:
  1. Players start at the bottom of the circle and skate to the top
  2. Then they skate backward to the side of the circle
  3. Next they do side-steps to the other side of the circle
  4. Then backwards to the bottom of the other circle
  5. Skate to other circle and repeat

Focus:
  1. Skating footwork and speed
  2. Focuses on movement in all directions which will only help them in their game

Notes:
This will improve their footwork and speed over time.
If you have the full rink, use all 5 circles.
You can also run the entire drill in one circle.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Skate 8 and Deflect

Drill:
1. Line 3 Defenseman up at the points (D location is based on skill level of players and how far they can shoot.
2. Forward passes puck to point man and skates around first circle and then stops in front of net looking for a deflection from the D shooting from the top of the circle he just skated around.
3. Forward now skates toward the corner, picks up a puck and passes it to the point man. He continues around the circle to the front of the net again looking for a deflection
4. Last he moves toward the middle of the net looking for a deflection from the last Defenseman.

Focus:
1. Puck movement to the Point man.
2. Getting to the front of the net and looking for deflections/rebounds.

Notes:
I found a variation of this drill on another site and will give credit if I can locate it again.

Related Drills:
Drop and go
Skate and tip

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Passing Forward/Backward Tandems

Drill:
1. Put players in 2 man teams
2. Player 1 skates forward while Player 2 is moving backward
3. Players are making passes back and forth as they skate up to the blue line
4. At Blue line, Player 1 skates backward toward Goal line and Player 2 skates forward
5. Players continue to pass back and forth

Focus:
1. Works on skating and passing
2. Keeping head up as you skate to see where to make pass or to receive pass

Notes:
Left side of diagram just shows skating as a team. Right side has passing incorporated into the drill. Depending on the skill level, you can decide where to start.

Related Drills: 
Passing Work Lateral Movement 
Passing Work - Forward/Backward Movement

Friday, January 2, 2015

Conditioning - Michigan Mile

Those that have played for me know I'm all about conditioning.  I would run my hardest drills and skating drills in the last half of practice.  "Why you ask?"

Because, when the game is on the line, I want to know you still have something left in the tank.  Anyone can skate hard and fast right after you hit the ice.  But what about when there is 1:30 left on the clock in the third period?  What if you need to protect a 1 goal lead, or score a late one to tie it up. I want my players to know they have it in them to feel the burn in their legs and the drive in their heart to get to the puck and win battles.

Jeremy over at WeissTech Hockey has a great drill to help with this.

Michigan Mile

Monday, December 22, 2014

Optimal Safety: Getting The Right Hockey Gear

Optimal Safety: Getting The Right Hockey Gear

Hockey offers a host of benefits, including teamwork, sportsmanship and improved physical fitness. But playing the game comes with risk: according to UPMC, the number of youth hockey injuries has doubled in the last 15 years. As noted by USA Hockey Magazine, however, hockey ranks as one of the safest contact sport for kids to play, with only two out of every 100 players each year sent to the ER. Basketball, meanwhile, sends four kids to emergency rooms, while football is responsible for eight injuries per 100 players every year.

Bottom line: playing hockey comes with risk, but remains one of the safest sports to play. Why? The right gear. Here's what you need to know about choosing protective equipment.

Heads Up

Get a head injury, and you've got a big problem. Concussion research indicates that the effects are cumulative, not short-term, meaning the more hits you take to the head the worse it gets. For kids, multiple concussions can mean the end of a potential career or great pastime before they even get started.

Choosing the right helmet is critical. First up is brand choice — this applies to any gear, but it's worth mentioning here — while there's nothing wrong with going off-brand, you'll find better selection with high-end brands like Easton, Bauer, Reebok or CCM. All utilize solid technology, and preference here really comes down to fit and feel. Especially when it comes to helmets, however, you don't want to skimp on features to save a few bucks.

So how do you choose the right helmet? Start with fit. Try on a few and find one that can be adjusted to fit snugly without feeling uncomfortable. All helmets can be adjusted front-to-back, meaning you can lengthen or shorten the fit as desired. Many also include width controls, which allow you to adjust the helmet for better fit over the ears. Properly fitted, a helmet should not move around on your head, even during quick turns or vigorous motion. If you find a style you like but that doesn't fit, opt for something else.

Shoulders, Shins and Elbows

Here, you're looking for a balance of mobility and protection. If you play in a no-contact league or for kids just starting out, maximum protection may prove too bulky. When it comes to shoulder pads, elbow pads and shin guards, you need two things: solid fit and the right features. Solid fit means something that won't move when you're playing, even when you're going all-out. Comfort is important here: if the gear hurts, you're wearing it wrong or it's not the right fit for you.

When it comes to protection, meanwhile, you have a choice. High mobility players, such as forwards, often choose lightweight pads and guards to maximize range of motion. Defensemen may opt for bigger shin pads to block shots or harder shoulder pads to help them while checking.

Toe Picks

Another critical area? Your skates. If you fall down a lot you'll get hurt more often, and improperly fitted skates are a huge risk. First, consider your needs: recreational hockey skates are great for starter leagues and kids, but won't offer the same level of foot protection and padding necessary to endure high-speed collisions and the occasional puck. Always buy skates that offer slightly more protection than a player needs — as their skill increases, so does their risk.

When it comes to fit, snug is the key. You don't “grow into” hockey skates, because this extra room means risk of foot movement on contact and therefore injury. While all the major brands offer a range of skate sizes with similar features, fit varies significantly even among models from the same company. Err on the side of caution here. Keep trying on skates until you find the ideal pair: they're your first line of defense.

Disclaimer!

No gear is foolproof. High-quality, performance-built equipment offers the best chance of mitigating injury, but risk is part of the game. Best bet? Choose equipment that's authentic, backed by solid science and has the right fit.

About the author:

Nate Puskaric is the Marketing Coordinator for Pro Stock Hockey (prostockhockey.com), an online resource for pro stock hockey equipment. Nate, an expert in hockey gear and equipment, has a passion for hockey and the Blackhawks. The company offers authentic pro stock equipment, including protective gear, stocks and jerseys.

Friday, August 8, 2014

You Get What You Give!

I've always been a big believer in you get what you give.  The harder you work, the better things will work out for you.  I've talked with my players in the past about the work they put in off the rink will make them better players on the rink.  I've always tried to get them to realize that they are playing for something bigger than themselves too.  For those days when you don't feel like pushing anymore, think about the players that share the room with you, the coaches behind the bench and the Parents/Fans that come to watch.  They expect more. They want more.  So do you.

This video was recently sent to my son by his AAA Ice coach and I think it says it all.


 

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