Two Day Hockey Tryout Plan for Bantams

Players on the bench at a bantam hockey tryout
These drills are selected because they allow coaches to evaluate players skating, skills, and game play.

This article is written in response to a question asked by one of our members.  They asked if we had recommendations for a selection of drills that would be good for a Bantam tryout (ages 14 and under).  

The tryout is two days long and they would like to evaluate skills early in the tryout and move into game play as the tryout progressed.  Rather than just reply to one member we thought it might be helpful to post this article so it can be a resource for other coaches looking for the same thing.

3 Mile Mixer Pre-Season Dryland Training Workout

3 Mile Mixer pre-season dryland hockey workout
3 Mile Mixer Off Ice Workout

The three-mile mixer is a workout specifically for hockey players.  It is great for hockey players looking to increase their leg strength, stamina, aerobic, and anaerobic capability.

The Fartlek - A Hockey Dryland & Off-Ice Training Workout

The Fartlek -  A Hockey Dryland & Off-Ice Training Workout

The Fartlek

Increase Speed, Explosiveness and Endurance with the Fartlek Workout!

Fartlek is Swedish for "Speed Play." It is an interval workout that mixes moderate and hard efforts with a recovery period. The variable intensity of the Fartlek Workout trains the aerobic and anaerobic systems which will help increase speed, power and endurance.

Heiden Circuit - Dryland Training for Hockey Players

Heiden Circuit Leg Exercises for Hockey Players
Heiden Circuit - Off Ice Skating Exercise

The Heiden Circuit is based off of a series of leg workouts that Eric Heiden used during his prime as one of the most accomplished Olympic Speed Skaters ever. Hockey players have also found a lot of success with these workouts and many of the pro, junior, and college players are using them today.  These leg exercises are very specific to the athletic movements of the skating stride.

1-3-1 Power Play - 5 Options

1-3-1 Power Play Overview and Options
Five effective options for the 1-3-1 power play.

The 1-3-1 power play formation has become the go to power play system for most high level teams.  Just about every NHL team is using it so there must be a reason.  Power play systems like the overload, umbrella, set pick plays, etc... can be effective until the other team knows how to play against them.  The 1-3-1 formation allows teams a myriad of options and allows teams to get into other formations very quickly, adding an element of surprise and confusion to the penalty killers.

Cut to the Middle on Off-Hand

Boyle short handed goal
The Off-Hand Pull and Push is an effective skill for zone entry as well as changing the angle of the shot. Boyle used this to perfection in the playoffs a couple years ago and nets a short handed goal by using this skill.

This video demonstrates a progression of drills that all lead up to this effective offensive skill.  It is a goal scoring skill that combines inside edges and a quick shot release.  The Off-Hand Pull and Push is an effective skill for zone entry as well as changing the angle of the shot.   Here are a series of drills that break down this skill element by element.  It starts with working the inside edges, combines inside edges with the puck, pushing and pulling the puck through a series of pucks, and then combining these skills at high speed.  Watch Boyle use it to perfection on this short handed goal.

Online Tools for Youth Hockey Coaches

Online Tools for Youth Hockey Coaches
Explore three helpful tools for youth hockey coaches that help you become more organized, more prepared, and help increase communication between assistant coaches and players.

The availability of free online resources for hockey coaches has become somewhat overwhelming in the past few years.  The amount of knowledge and effort for which anyone can post drill diagrams or publish videos has become so easy that the internet is flooded with more content than any coach could dream of using.  Ice Hockey Systems alone has over 500 animated hockey drills and systems which is more than most coaches will ever use.  Therefore Ice Hockey Systems Inc. has put a massive amount of effort in developing online tools to help coaches find, organize, and share this content.

WHOLE-PART-WHOLE Practice Philosophy

Youth hockey player carrying puck in small area game
The Whole-Part-Whole practice philosophy is an approach that differs from the conventional approach which tends to be more of an progressive approach.

The Whole-Part-Whole practice philosophy is a practice structure that is different from the more traditional progressive practice structure. It may not be applicable to all age and skill levels and it is up to the coach or director to decide if it is appropriate for their team.  The logic behind the Whole-Part-Whole method is based off of how kids learn when it is completely up to them. It is based off of observing what happens when you give a kid a new toy, objective, game, etc… Lets take a game for example.

5 Resources Every Hockey Coach and Director Should Utilize

Free Hockey Coaching Resources
Ice Hockey Systems has put together a list of free and paid resources that will help advance hockey coaches, players and directors for the upcoming season. Leverage these resources to improve your coaching, your players will thank you for it.

Ice Hockey Systems has put together a list of free and paid resources that will help advance hockey coaches, players and directors for the upcoming season. Leverage these resources to improve your coaching, your players will thank you for it.

Youth Hockey Tryouts: Selecting A Team By Committee

Angry parent at youth hockey tryouts
Tryouts can be a stressful time of year, not just for players, but also for coaches and directors.

Tryouts are a stressful times for players, coaches, and directors

More often than not there is a lot of grey area when it comes the the last few players selected for a team.  Every year directors and coaches have to face the angry parents whose son or daughter did not make their desired team and are accused of selecting the team before tryouts,  picking kids whose parents have more money, more connections, and god knows what else.