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This Drill Tells Me Everything. I Could Pick A Team By This Drill Alone.

 Here is the drill:

  • I am the Coach on The blue line.
  • Two kids on each face off dot.
  • I pass to left or right side.
  • Players pass D TO D in front of net.
  • Players skate back behind net and pass again D to D behind net.
  • Breakout pass back to me right away.
  • Both skate hard to the blue line where the I am ( the coach)  and criss cross waiting to receive puck back for the upcoming 2 on 0 working together to go in for a shot.
  • At this point the two players are working together as a team.
  • After the shot and rebound shot they race back to me against each other for a 1 on 1 Battle, A second puck I call it a 50/50 puck. You have a 50% chance of getting it, I will throw the puck in the center neutral zone to see who gets it, once they get it they are now opponents going in for a One V One battle. The drill has them as teammates as opponents as D and as Forwards…I do this drill at camp, at try outs, I love it because it tells me a lot about a player and in different scenarios and shows me a lot about their skills, hockey IQ, work ethic, conditioning, grit, do they give up if they make a mistake?  NO, hockey is game of mistakes there is a lot of margin for error in this and many drills. Drills teach you to battle and not quit…you play how you practice. Be nervous for practice, pretend every practice is a game.
  • This is what I like to see as the coach passing to the players in the drill: Communication banging your stick asking for the puck and letting your teammate know where you are, hands are out and stick is open where they want the puck,  giving both me an open stick target, that teammate will get the pass from me, then skate as fast as you can and give a direct pass behind the net not bouncing not off the boards ,a clean crisp pass behind the net to give your teammate the best pass possible to breakout quickly, after giving and receiving the clean D to D pass behind net then skating as hard as you can back up to me and passing it back up to me at top speed and criss crossing and talking to each other. Now there is another new pass from me the coach and now they are 2 on 0 rushing the net to score, they are moving the puck, faking the shot, getting opened up on their  forehand ready to shoot the puck if their partner is on their backhand and does not have optimal shot, they are working together…Now they race back to me for a 1 v 1 battle for a second puck and battle against each other. Who wants it? who is there ready skating as fast as they can?  who is not afraid to battle against a bigger kid? even if they are beaten to my pass to the neutral zone who is not giving up?
  • As the coach or evaluator I don’t like to see the following: feet not moving at any point during the drill, hands and hips not open and moving to open up for a pass and make a target for your partner, skating as fast as you can during the whole sequence, if you need to receive a pass on your backhand then do it and don’t waste time trying to receive it on your forehand, in the meantime your partner can be opening up on his or her forehand for the shot, behind the net a bumbling pass off the way or bouncing can break the drill. MOST IMPORTANTLY COMMUNICATING THE ENTIRE DRILL. I like to see kids focus on all of these aspects of the game, not just scoring, tell your kids that these small things during a game are noticed by coaches, think in this mindset, you don’t have to score a goal or an assist to have a good game, focus on all of the elements I talked about in this drill…talk about this drill with your player.
  • Last take away from this drill to discuss with your player:  Please tell your kids to talk on the ice. I was watching an NHL  game last night with the guys mic’d up… they are talking to each other the whole game syncing with their teammates.  Youth players NEED TO COMMUNICATE ON THE ICE. If you go to the Mcdonalds drive through and don’t talk, are you going to get your food? No. “ I am inside,  outside, behind you, in the left lane pass back now, switch, criss cross now…”
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  • Battle Camps, AAA BU on Locations in MA(Hingham-Canton-Bourne) AAA Hockey East Attleboro, AAA Girls, Bruins Camps, European Micro Stickhandling, Defense and Goalie ages 7-16.

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