Escape The Circle diagram

Escape The Circle from Alyssa Gagliardi is a great exercise to help players practice moving and stickhandling in tight areas. Players should practice keeping their head up and being deceptive to help them escape the circle. This drill is a great progression from the Rondo Passing Warm-Up.


  • Player in the middle has the puck and their objective is to try to get out of the circle while keeping full control of the puck.
  • Players on the outside of the circle (5-7 players) are allowed to move their stick but not their feet to try to limit the space of the puck carrier and force a turnover.
  • Rotate players through so that everyone gets a chance to try to escape the circle. 

Coaching Points

  • The puck carrier must keep their head up, use deception and evasive puck skills to try to exit the circle.

Discussion Points For Player

Coach can ask these questions to the group or to an individual player to further help them understand the what worked and what didn't.

  • What information or cues from the other players were you looking for when making your move to exit the zone?
  • Where were your eyes looking/scanning?
  • What skills did you utilize to successfully escape the circle?

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