The Continuous Cycle Drill is a great drill for coaches to go over some of the finer points of cycling in the offensive zone. It is important to emphasize puck protection and getting off quick shots. It is a fast-paced drill that puts a lot of shots on the goalies and keeps the players moving.
The continuous nature of this drill also makes it a great conditioning drill. Depending on how reps you continuously go, make sure to keep in mind that it is important to give the goalies rest when needed. You can exchange goalies halfway through the drill or let the goalie skate out when needed.
Why work on cycling the puck? Cycling is a beneficial movement for the offensive team that will allow players to keep possession of the puck by protecting the puck with their body and the boards. The cycling movement will also open up passing and shooting lanes for the offensive team to take advantage of while they try to score.
- Forward should use their body and work on protecting the puck along the boards. Do not expose the puck to the middle of the ice when you are going along the boards during a cycle.
- The drop pass should have enough of an angle so the second forward can easily pick it up off of the boards.
- The forward that shoots should take a quick shot with their feet moving and work on catching the goalie off guard. You can work on snap shots or changing the angle of your shot.
- Forward should look for a rebound after their shot.
- Encourage lots of communication!
- Short Pass: Instead of X2 going immediately for the shot, he can create space and look to make a pass or a tip to X2 who is going to the net.
- Curling Back Along The Boards: As a second curling option, you can have the second forward (X2) curl back down into the corner when he gets the puck to further protect it from a defenceman. He can then attack the net or look to pass to X1 who looks for a pass in front of the net.
- Adding a Defenceman: Add a defenceman in the middle of each face off dot that can use their stick to try to disrupt the play. Once forwards get good at protecting the puck, let the defencemen attack in the whole face-off circle.