Friday, November 15, 2013

Coach Rex's Favorite Drill

"Puck Control Commands"

One of my favorite drills for teaching a player moving puck control is the puck control "commands" drill. With this drill, I randomly place 20 - 30 pylons in the neutral zone. I shout out a command, explain the key teaching points and demo the skill, then have the player perform the skill around different pylons. I switch up the command every 20 - 30 seconds.

Puck Control Commands can include the following:
  • Slalom - both half speed and full speed
  • Fake Left - go right
  • Fake Right - go left
  • Toe Drag
  • Figure 8 - glide and crossover turns
  • Full 360 turns - both forehand and backhand
  • Forward to Backward Pivots
  • Backward to Forward Pivots

This drill allows for a variety of puck control moves and skill development.

The average Calgary minor hockey player will only handle the puck 10 - 20 seconds in a game. However, with this 10 minute puck control drill, factoring in a rest to work ratio of 1 to 1, a player will handle the puck for 5 minutes, or 300 seconds; the equivalent of 15 to 30 minor league games!

Yes, playing games are fun, but good practice drills greatly enhance hockey technical skill development such as puck control.