Hockey drills for Speed and Agility
Every year the NHL holds a competition to find out who is the fastest skater. This event is held the day before the NHL’s All-Star game. Each skater is timed on how fast they can finish skating one lap around the ice. There is a certain form of irony in this race because hockey players hardly ever skate laps around the ice! Most of the time hockey players will skate very fast across the ice, or to a different location chasing the puck. The focus of their training is not on how fast they can skate in laps, but to improve speed for short distances, and agility. The next few paragraphs are going to detail a few drills that will increase speed and agility.
Simple Sprints and Uphill Sprints
We’ll start off our training with some simple sprints. On a flat, level surface, place two cones or markers ten to twenty feet apart. Sprint as fast as you can from the first cone to the next cone then jog back to the first. Perform this drill five to ten times during a training session. This drill is a perfect choice for improving your acceleration.
Next up are the uphill sprints. Start at the bottom of the hill. The distance should be fifteen to twenty meters to the top, with a fifteen degree angle. When starting, you will want to explode off of the starting line and run up to the top of the hill. Jog back down to the bottom of the hill and then rest for a minute and start again. This drill helps you develop power and acceleration.
The Resistance Push
The next drill is called the “resistance push”. For this ice drill, you will need a partner. Find a location that is not very close to the sides of the ice rink. Face each other and have both players hold their sticks at chest height. One player will provide resistance, while the other player is going to push. The object is for the player pushing to move forward and the other player to provide enough resistance to make forward motion difficult but not impossible. When the pushing player has moved forward ten to fifteen feet, have the players switch roles and repeat. Do this three times.
A Skating Slalom for Speed and Agility
Skating ability is essential for success as a hockey player, however skating in a straight line is only part of the abilities needed by hockey players. Here is a drill that employs skating around cones forward and backward to develop skating agility. The first step is to place a series of cones in a line along the center of the ice. Have the players skate around the cones without touching them. Once they have finished skating forward, have them return to the beginning, by skating through the course backwards. You can also set up two lines of cones on either side of the ice for two lanes.
Sprints on Ice
You have had your players complete a number of sprints outdoors, so now it is time to complete sprints on the ice. Set up three cones across the short end of the ice, a few feet before the goal line. Place one cone in front of the net and place the others equal distance apart from the center cone. Have the player line up in the middle of the ice or faceoff circle. At the whistle, the player skates to the first cone on the right and stops. The player then skates back to the starting point and stops. Repeat these steps for the other two cones and then have the next player complete this drill.
Best Hockey Drills.com: Hockey Drills
Sport-Fitness-Advisor.com: Agility Drills
Play Better Hockey.com Agility Drills