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Monday, October 3, 2016

Game Day Nutrition Guidelines

Parents can buy the perfect gear and give their child the best trainer to help their child excel at a sport, but one thing that always seems to get lost in the shuffle is proper nutrition: Sufficient breakfasts, lunches, pre-game and post-game snacks, and post-game meals are essential if you are serious about the sport you play.

Pro Stock Hockey offers a great meal plan to take advantage of for those of any age. These gameday guidelines are taken straight from NHL trainers and staff, and are sure to give your children the strength they need to play.

Game Day Nutrition Guidelines from Pro Stock Hockey, a company that offers
Pro Stock Sticks, Hockey Gloves, and Hockey Pants

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Tips for Selecting Hockey Equipment

Top Hockey Equipment Tips And Tricks

Ice hockey requires a high-skill threshold in order to succeed, meaning that your equipment needs to be able to keep up with your feet and hands, or else you won't get the velocity or acceleration needed to score goals. Hockey equipment is durable by nature, seeing as how it's worn in freezing temperatures and designed to block 80-mile-per-hour pucks, but everything breaks down eventually and even the most expensive set of pads or gloves are no exception. Get the most out of your equipment during a long season by following these tricks:

Goalie Pads
The purpose of goalie pads is to protect a team's keeper from slapshots, meaning that the pads can endure a lot of wear and tear. The weak areas of pads, however, deteriorate faster than others. Usually, these are the clasps and straps that allow pads to fit snugly. Most vulnerable are the straps that attach through the skates, as these are prone to being stepped on with sharp blades. The easiest way to keep skate straps intact is to tie them slightly loose so that none of the excess can be wedged under a skate during an in-game pivot. The clasps that buckle on the legs, by contrast, are more vulnerable to the plastic bits breaking when a puck is hit at an unsteady angle. Keep these clasps working by pulling the straps farther outward so that they lie behind the goalie's legs rather than on the side, making it much more difficult for a shot to hit them and break the plastic.

As the most important piece of any gear in a hockey player's arsenal, helmets need to be carefully inspected before and after each game. Keep a screwdriver in your gear bag to tighten the rivets that attach the plastic shell of the helmet to the padded interior, as well as the rivets that connect a cage or a visor to the frame. Inspect a helmet around the ear protection for any signs of cracking; including the white stretch marks indicating that the plastic shell has been weakened by a shot. Finally, always air-dry a helmet so that the sweat from your head does not rust the metal parts — and to reduce the smell.

Elbow Pads
While elbow pads are some of the easiest pieces of gear to wear — strap them in and they're ready to go — the straps have a higher failure rate than other pieces of gear, due to the elbows’ range of motion. Ensure that the Velcro attachments do not start to lift off the pads’ fabric; while superglue can temporarily keep these attachments in tact, it is not a permanent solution. When putting on your jersey, firmly press the elbow pad with the opposite hand so that the friction does not pull the Velcro.

The amount of contact between your hands and stick in a hockey game will give gloves a shorter lifespan than some other pieces of gear. In addition to air-drying gloves after games to eliminate moisture, players can increase the lifespan of their gloves by sewing small leather patches (no larger than the size of a coin) into the seams between the palm and fingertips. The first NHL gloves were nothing but leather; today's mitts are lighter and easier to maneuver, but lack the durability of gloves from yesteryear.

One of the easiest ways to ensure expensive sticks survive is to tape them often. Tape prevents ice from melting and seeping into the wood or composite core of a stick, chewing at the interior. Also, consider using a double layer of tape to cushion the pass, if you find that you're bobbling too many outlets. Tape the heel and the toe thoroughly, as these bear the brunt of pressure from shots. You can tape the stick shaft, as well, in order to get a better feel for your release and the flex point of your stick.

About the author:
AJ Lee is a Marketing Specialist at Pro Stock Hockey, an online resource for pro stock hockey equipment. He was born and raised in the southwest suburbs of Chicago and has been a huge Blackhawks fan his entire life. AJ picked up his first hockey stick at age 3 and hasn’t put it down yet.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Inline Hockey Coaching Position

Inline Hockey Coaching Position:

We have 5 affiliated clubs in the country accommodating close to 500 players. These players range in age from 5 years to 70 years. Te teams play in different age groups and we are currently playing a league system, 5 league tournaments a year and the top 4 teams progress to the annual Champs.

The following Clubs form part of the "NIIHA family” and all but one can be found on Facebook  Badgers (not on FB) Cazadores , Coastal Pirates, Kamikaze and Scorpions.

The club that is currently looking for a coach, is the Scorpions Inline Hockey Club, with the possibility of one other club possibly having to recruit another coach too. The Scorpions have had the privilege of being  coached by Zach Sawyer, from New Jersey, for the past three years. They are also the current Guinness World Record holders for the longest inline hockey game being played, being 27 hours!! 

The club consists of 74 players, making up 15 teams - these would all be the responsibility of ONE coach. Training is only in the afternoons and early evenings and also only 4 days a week. This would give the coach an opportunity to explore the country over weekends - but only if no organized Hockey activities are taking place.

The coach would commence his duties during the last week of January and these will end at the end of November 2016. The coach and club do however have the option to extend this work relationship. Duties of the coach include:
  • coaching all Club teams ranging from "learn to skate" to adults
  • drawing up of own practise plans
  • coordinating all club activities related to Inline Hockey (games, tournaments, camps)

What do we offer:
  • market related monthly salary
  • housing
  • car
  • return flight to home country of coach
  • 5 weeks vacation time during May and August (coaches could even travel home)
  • medical insurance

The Scorpions have just materialized their dream of getting a roof over their open air court and also installing sport court within the next three weeks.

If there is any other Info you would like, please do not hesitate to ask.

Sporting regards

Heike Dedig
NIIHA Sports Officer
Cel: +26481-2877557

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

1 on 1 Battles - Backchecking & Beat your Man

This drill runs 2 separate drills on each half of the rink.
Left side is a 1 on 1 battle (defense strong)
  1. Defense starts at the Blue line and Offense starts about 5 steps inside the blueline
  2. On whistle, O is using speed and body position to beat the D
  3. D skates backwards and tries to contain making sure to push outside and turn forward at the correct time.
  1. D must focus on Good body position
  2. Forcing the O to the wall
  3. Making a good transition at the correct time
  4. O should focus on using speed to beat the D
  5. O should also control the speed of the play
Right side is a 1 on 1 battle (offense strong)
  1. Offense starts at the Blue line and Defense starts about 5 steps inside the blueline
  2. On whistle, O is using speed and body position to beat the D
  3. D must backcheck and try to chase down the forward with the puck.
  1. O should focus on speed with the puck so as not to get caught from behind
  2. D needs to backcheck hard and get to the stick side of the O so he can 'pop' the stick and gain control of the play
Goalies typically will get more work on the O strong side.

Related Drills:
Half-rink Backcheck
Breakaway to 2 on 1 drill

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Last Minute Puck Races

  1. Lineup pucks down the middle of the rink between the blue lines
  2. Make 2 lines of players in each corner
  3. On whistle, players race for the puck
  4. First player tries to score on a breakaway
  5. Second player backchecks
  1. Speed to a loose puck
  2. Speed carrying the puck on a breakaway
  3. Speed on the back-check to breakup the play
Remind your players that this drills is designed to make them think about chasing a puck in the last minute of play and they have the chance to end the game, stop a goal, etc. 

I always run this the last 5 minutes of practice when they are tired.  I remind them there is no time to be tired and out of breath at the end of the game.

Related Drills:
The Admiral II (Russian Suicides)

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

What evaluators look for during try-outs

I've been asked a lot over the years what I look for in a player during evaluations.  After watching my son during various AA & AAA Ice try-outs, I've been thinking more about this topic and wanted to share a bit of what I look for and some other information that I've found or has been shared with me.

My friend Graham Acres (gacres99) also shared his thoughts with me.
  1. Whatever it is you believe you do best, do that every shift.
  2. Listen to what the coaches ask you to do and do that
  3. Bring energy and never stop working every shift. Regardless of talent, coaches are attracted to kids who consistently work hard. 
All good advice and greatly appreciated.  So what is it that I look for when I run my evaluations?  I can teach you to shoot, pass and skate.  It's those intangibles that will earn you a spot on my team.
  1. Aggressive play - Be willing to battle for pucks. If you are on the forecheck, get on the puck.  Don't sit back and wait for them to come to you.
  2. Backchecking -  If you won't backcheck, it's the fastest way to get off my list.  I need you to skate harder than you've ever skated when you are backchecking.  It makes a HUGE difference.
  3. Don't give up - I don't care if you just messed up, mistakes happen.  It's what you do after that mistake that I look at. Did you slam your stick? Throw you head back?  Yell?  Get back in the play and make up for the mistake you made.  No one will remember the mistake if you made if you hustle back and make a difference in the play.
  4. Come out to Earn your spot - Don't think because you've been playing for xx number of years, you deserve a spot on the team.  No on deserves a spot, you earn it. Everyone there is fighting for your spot, go out and get it. 
  5. Communicate - Talk to the coaches. Talk to the other players.  Talk when you are on the rink and involved in the play.  Call for pucks, direct the play.  Be vocal.
  6. Don't be selfish - Yes it's a tryout to earn a spot on a team, but that doesn't mean showing off your ability to skate through every player every time with your head down.  Be a play maker.   Make passes. Make good decisions.
A few tips for trying out:
  1.  Relax and have fun.  I know it's easier said than done but remember, you can play the game so just go out and do your thing.  
  2. If a coach gives you some advice, make sure you go out and do that.  They are hinting to you of what they want to see you do.  At least try to do it. It shows you are coachable.
  3. If a coach asks you to play a position like Defense, please, under no circumstances respond 'I'm a forward' or 'My Dad says I'm a forward'.  Just go out and do it.  Coaches want a team player.
A few other resources that give some inside can be found at:
Inside Edge
Ontario Minor Hockey Association.

Try to remember these tips as you go through your try-outs.  Good luck.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Pass and Crash

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

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

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

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)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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