Beginner Hockey Drills: Improve Stamina, Speed, and Form

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Goal Line Stand

This is one of the best beginner hockey drills for developing the ability of the goalie to see and read the play while it develops behind the goal. Two offense players are situated on opposite sides of the goal line while another player is behind the goal with pucks. The player behind the goal gives the puck to either of the offensive players on the goal line. The receiver either passes the puck to the other offense player as they both move towards the goal or he can just try to make a goal. The goalie must be aware enough to see where the puck is being thrown and what kind of play is developing from behind him. Whatever kind of play the offense players decide upon, the goalie must be able to reject the goal attempt.

Lead Dog

This is a game of tag played on the drill area. One player is designated as the “lead dog”. The corners of the drill area will be marked by cones or any other marking device. Four of five players are tasked to tag the lead dog as they race around the four markers. The lead dog is given a 10-15 ft lead start. The pursuing players will only have a certain number of laps or seconds to catch the lead dog. The lead dog’s goal is to avoid being caught. The drill can be customized by changing the shape of the drill area, changing the time limit of the chase, or by adding pucks to the equation. This drill develops the speed, stamina and form of the players.

Power Start or Power Push Off

This simple drill teaches players how to have a fast powerful skating start. It requires at least 2 players. Player 1 pulls player 2 by his jersey towards the red line. Player 2 must execute 5-6 strides or any number less than that if he’s already over the red line and then he glides to a stop. They do this 5-6 times before switching places. Other than improving the speed and power of their skating, this drill also promotes teamwork.

Horse Shoe

This beginner hockey drill is usually done as a warm-up before a game. Two groups of players line up at opposite corners of one side of the rink. One player from side A moves toward the blue line with a puck and passes it to a player coming from side B, who will then have to shoot the puck and make a goal. The two sides switch functions after all the players of one side have made their shot at the goal. For faster shots, players can opt to skate below the blue line before making their pass.

Angling and Cutbacks

In this drill, two players start above the blue line. One of them is the offense player, the other one is the defense player. The offense player skates towards the net while the defense player tracks him while trying to angle him towards an outside lane. The offense player has two options: skate past the net and go to the other side of the goal or change his strategy by moving towards the goal to beat the defense player in reaching the blue line. This drill develops the offensive player’s ability to escape defensive trapping while developing the defensive player’s ability to trap and angle offense players.

References Lead Dog

Ice Hockey Systems: Ice Hockey Drills for Coaches and Players