Category: Coaching Tips

In Coaching Tips on Friday, October 2nd, 2020 by
Ice hockey skating series with Dwayne Blais
Proper skating technique is crucial for player development and is often improperly taught or overlooked, especially at the younger age levels when players are developing their muscle memory. Many coaches struggle with teaching proper technique and how to identify and fix skating issues their...
In Coaching Tips on Sunday, September 20th, 2020 by
Culture Corner With Topher Scott
IHS is proud to announce our new collaboration with Topher Scott & The Hockey Think Tank! The collaboration starts with 10 Culture Corner videos that provide organizations, coaches and players valuable lessons on how to develop and maintain a successful culture on and off the ice. The...
In Coaching Tips on Friday, September 18th, 2020 by
Draw and Save Hockey Drills on IHS
IHS is proud to announce our new Drill Drawing Tool! The tool has been in relentless development for months and we are excited to share it with our members and the hockey community. You may have seen that coaches can draw on it for free, which is true, but the real value of this tool...
In Coaching Tips on Friday, August 28th, 2020 by
Preparing for the hockey season during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Looking ahead to the 2020 - 2021 youth hockey season there is a good chance that many youth hockey associations will not be playing league games due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Chances are each State and Province will handle it a little differently. Associations within each district may even handle...
In Coaching Tips on Friday, August 21st, 2020 by
Share Hockey Practice Plans
Watch the video above to learn how to easily share your IHS Practice Plans with your team! To share your practice plans via the new "Copy & Share URL" feature, just do the following: Create a practice plan Click on the "Organize" subheader, then "My Practices" Find the practice you want...
In Coaching Tips on Wednesday, April 15th, 2020 by
Organize Your Favorite Hockey Content and YouTube Drills
The world has A LOT of great hockey content. Dozens of websites, hundreds of books, thousands of images, and a daily flood of new content on YouTube, Instagram and other social media channels. Plus, you have your own ideas, saved drills, PDFs and recommendations from your organization. What do...
In Coaching Tips on Sunday, March 29th, 2020 by
Post Season Activities For Youth Hockey Coaches
Sports are a microcosm of life. We have all heard this saying before, and for those of us that love sports, we know this to be true. If you break down any game, season, or career, you will find many parallels to life: ups, downs, adversity, setbacks, defeats, hard work, heartbreak,...
In Coaching Tips on Wednesday, February 19th, 2020 by
Improve Hockey Awareness with Gates Small Area Games
One of the hardest things for a coach to develop in their players is on-ice awareness. POP QUIZ: Think about the current state of your team. If you blew the whistle during any game would your players be able to answer these questions: Where is the puck? Where are your teammates?...
In Coaching Tips on Wednesday, February 12th, 2020 by
Fun Hockey Drills And Games To Shake Up Hockey Practice
As a youth hockey coach, it is crucial to figure out ways to make your practices fun and engaging.  If coaches and players enjoy coming to practice, great things will unfold throughout the season. Not only will players be more engaged during their time on the ice if they are having fun,...
In Coaching Tips on Saturday, January 11th, 2020 by
Tips and Drills to Improve Your Defensive Zone Breakout
Breaking the puck out of your defensive zone can be a tough and overwhelming task at any age level. In the article below, we dive into tips for centers, wingers and defencemen to keep in mind when breaking the puck out of the defensive zone, along with drills to help you practice. There...
In Coaching Tips on Tuesday, December 24th, 2019 by
Best Hockey Drills and Games of 2019
Happy Holidays from the Team at IceHockeySystems.com! As 2019 comes to a close, we wanted to reflect on our most popular pieces of content based on member interaction. In the article below, we will recap our most popular free drills, members-only drills, blog posts, practice plans and social...
In Coaching Tips on Wednesday, December 11th, 2019 by
4 Hockey Shooting Techniques To Score More Goals
The game of hockey continues to evolve. One way it has evolved in recent years is the way that players are shooting the puck and scoring goals. A wrist shot or a slapshot with a long windup are not as common as they use to be. Those two techniques still have their uses, but the greatest...
In Coaching Tips on Tuesday, November 26th, 2019 by
The New IceHockeySystems.com Website
The team at IHS is proud to announce the unveiling of the updated IceHockeySystems.com website! If you have any questions or feedback for us, please contact us directly. The goal of the new site is to make it easier for coaches all over the globe to access, organize, create and share hockey...
In Coaching Tips on Wednesday, November 6th, 2019 by
6 Small Area Hockey Games That Practice Decision Making
The talent of hockey players continues to rise. Players are quicker, faster and more skilled than ever before. However, one major training component that coaches often overlook is adding in activities that force players to practice their decision making. There is a big...
In Coaching Tips on Monday, October 21st, 2019 by
6 Tips For Hockey Coaches to Maximize Practice
Not every practice is going to run smoothly and be perfect. But if you aim to make practice the best part of your players week and the best part of your week, great things will unfold throughout the season. Let’s face it, the cost of ice time is extremely expensive and it's on the rise. As a...
In Coaching Tips on Wednesday, September 25th, 2019 by
4 Drills To Practice Changing Your Shot Angle
As each season passes by, the science of goaltending continues to improve and evolve. This evolution has made it harder for players to simply fire a puck and hit the back of the net. Goaltender angles and movements are scientifically measured to reduce open areas of the net. The butterfly is...
In Coaching Tips on Friday, September 13th, 2019 by
Thank You Great Hockey Coaches
A great coach can positively impact a life, forever.  Being a great coach takes a lot of work, preparation, and patience. The Team at Ice Hockey Systems would like to thank all of the coaches out there who work hard to help their players improve on and off of the ice. Coaching...
In Coaching Tips on Monday, August 12th, 2019 by
36 Unique Hockey Skills That Can Be Practiced With A Simple Setup
Read below to view 36 fundamental skills that can be practiced with 5 cones on a small section of ice. Each skill works on a variety of edgework and puckhandling skills that can be applied in game situations. In the two videos below, Coach Ben Eaves demonstrates a wide...
In Coaching Tips on Tuesday, July 30th, 2019 by
Small Area Hockey Games And Benefits
Coaches, are you using small area games in your practices?  It is no secret that small area games are massively beneficial and coaches all over the globe are implementing them into their practices for a variety of reasons. They can help U6 beginner players learn the game of hockey...
In Coaching Tips on Sunday, March 3rd, 2019 by
Full Ice 1-3-1 Ice Hockey System
Do you ever question why hockey is played with 3 forwards and 2 defenseman? Is that the optimal line-up for every team? Other sports seem to have more variations in their formations so maybe the typical 3 forwards and 2 defense is not the optimal formation for all teams. For example, soccer uses...
In Coaching Tips on Thursday, January 17th, 2019 by
What would happen if you were given an extra 1 to 5 seconds to make a play every single time you touched the puck? Your game would INSTANTLY transform. You would be able to create more passing and shooting options while giving your teammates extra time to become outlets. Many younger...
In Coaching Tips on Wednesday, December 5th, 2018 by
Young hockey players playing against each other.
The first 10 - 15 minutes of practice is crucial for setting the tempo and getting players warmed up and engaged. The activities below are great for starting youth practices because they keep players moving, work on fundamentals, create competition, and increase the excitement level of...
In Coaching Tips on Monday, October 9th, 2017 by
Hockey player backchecking
Players are always taught to backcheck hard, in fact, more often then not players that don't backcheck hard are quickly escorted to the end of the bench for a while (depending on the coach). Backchecking hard is only half of the equation.  Teaching players to backcheck effectively is just as...
In Coaching Tips on Tuesday, August 29th, 2017 by
Players on the bench at a bantam hockey tryout
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...
In Coaching Tips on Sunday, April 30th, 2017 by
1-3-1 Power Play Overview and Options
The 1-3-1 power play formation has become the go to power play system for most high level teams.  Almost every NHL team is using the 1-3-1, so there must be a reason. The reason? The 1-3-1 has the ability to spread players out inside the zone, keep a player in front of the net at all...
In Coaching Tips on Saturday, February 25th, 2017 by
Boyle short handed goal
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...
In Coaching Tips on Tuesday, January 17th, 2017 by
Online Tools for Youth Hockey Coaches
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...
In Coaching Tips on Thursday, November 3rd, 2016 by
Youth hockey player carrying puck in small area game
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...
In Coaching Tips on Friday, September 9th, 2016 by
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. 1. Free Hockey Resources Page This page is the perfect...
In Coaching Tips on Wednesday, September 7th, 2016 by
Angry parent at youth hockey tryouts
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...
In Coaching Tips on Thursday, June 2nd, 2016 by
Sheary's Overtime Game Winning Goal in Stanley Cup
It doesn’t get much better than scoring an overtime winner in the Stanley Cup finals.  That’s exactly what Conor Sheary did last night.  The goal was scored off a set face-off play that was executed perfectly.  There are a lot of moving pieces and timing is critical, but below is a...
In Coaching Tips on Saturday, January 23rd, 2016 by
Interview with Denis Savard
Listen on Soundcloud 1. (0:25) What’s your earliest memory playing hockey? 2. (1:22) Why do you think hockey is the greatest game in the world? 3. (2:36) What's your first memory in the NHL, being drafted by the Blackhawks? 4. (4:00) What's your most memorable goal in your NHL career? 5. (4:40...
In Coaching Tips on Wednesday, October 28th, 2015 by
Denis Savard Shows his Blackhawk Stanley Cup Ring from 2015
We had a great time today sitting down with Hall of Famer Denis Savard. In the webinar Denis not only shows off the latest Stanley Cup ring, he also discusses keys to breakouts and power play breakouts.  In addition to discussing the systems he also offers up some great drills to compliment...
In Coaching Tips on Tuesday, July 16th, 2013 by
Skates and Gloves
If you’re looking for a great summer read try Ken Dryden’s book The Game, which is part autobiography, part hockey manifesto. I find the book interesting because Dryden’s hockey journey was like few others. In the middle of a hall of fame career he takes a year off to finish his law degree when the...
In Coaching Tips on Wednesday, June 26th, 2013 by
yale hockey arena
With ten active players on the ice, a regulation ice sheet of 200’ x 85’ and with just four or five shifts per period that last less than a minute, where do players find extra time and space when playing? In this blog I will discuss skills and tactics players use to gain strategic advantage by...
In Coaching Tips on Sunday, May 26th, 2013 by
Russian Hockey Player with Puck
Overspeed hockey drills are ones that force players to move their feet faster than what they are comfortable with.  When you are looking for a high tempo practice then starting the practice with a series of overspeed drills can be a good idea. Depending on the type of practice you...
In Coaching Tips on Friday, April 12th, 2013 by
hockey coach with kids
“Yup, he’s lost the room! ...they just aren’t listening to him anymore...”. As students of the game we have all heard these phrases describing a situation where a coach and his struggling team are failing to communicate. Often these coaches, who once held their player’s attention and focus with...
In Coaching Tips on Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012 by
Hockey Coach
Having a well structured tryout will give you the best chance to put together a team that you are confident in. You never want to leave tryouts with a sense of doubt and you never want good players to leave tryouts thinking they didn’t get a fair shot. This segment will provide advice on ...
In Coaching Tips on Tuesday, August 28th, 2012 by
denis savard
Within the coming weeks and months hockey tryouts will be taking place all over the world. It’s an exciting time for any coach and their program, but as I experienced first-hand it can also bring stress, frustration and second guessing. The way you run your tryout can set the tone for the rest of...
In Coaching Tips on Tuesday, August 28th, 2012 by
Youth Hockey Tryout
“364 more days until next year’s tryouts – I gotta toughen up.”  That famous line from Happy Gilmore rang through my head the day after my tryouts in 2007.  I did not bring my A-game, something wasn’t right, I didn’t have the intensity or energy that I needed, I disappointed them.  I...
In Coaching Tips on Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012 by
Offensive Zone Entry
The blue line is the most strategic area of the ice.  Gain the blue line with possession and you can generate scoring chances.  If you hold the blue line and force the other team to give up possession you will give up less scoring chances.  Here are a couple of ways to attack the...
In Coaching Tips on Saturday, June 9th, 2012 by
Buffalo State Goal Celebration
The ability to get the puck off the stick and on net is a skill reserved for goal scorers.  So many young players want to take that extra stick handle, and in doing so spoil their scoring opportunity.  Examples of both were evident in the 2013 Stanley Cup Finals. Take Daugavins play in...
In Coaching Tips on Monday, May 21st, 2012 by
Three very small area games
The ADM model set forth by USA hockey and their endorsement for small area games has made this term much more popular among youth hockey coaches, especially here in the United States.  There are a wealth of games that are great fun and great for development and I think it is important to...
In Coaching Tips on Tuesday, May 15th, 2012 by
Hockey Player Doing a Racing Drill
There is an old school mentality that you have to line the players up and do skating drills for 20 - 30  minutes to get your team in shape.  However, have you ever lined up two players on the goal line, places a puck at center ice, and said "go"?   Just watch as the competitive...
In Coaching Tips on Thursday, May 10th, 2012 by
Transition and speed hockey drills
Planning for a small private session is tough sometimes because there are so many thing to work on and so many good hockey drills available.  An hour never seems like enough time. In these sessions it is helpful to pick out a particular skill and choose only drills that compliment this skill...
In Coaching Tips on Monday, May 7th, 2012 by
Ice Hockey Power Play Diagram
A hockey practice that focues on the power play is not to be confused with a practice where you play power play versus penalty kill for the entire practice.  There are lots of drills that focus on skill sets that can be used while leading up to a power play scrimmage.  Some of the key...
In Coaching Tips on Friday, May 4th, 2012 by
hockey drills for private sessions
It can be tricky to come up with unique, usefull, and fun hockey drills to use in a summer session where you only have a couple of players.  These are hockey drills you can pass along to players to do at stick and puck as well.  Two people are required for each one of these hockey drills...