The Figure 8 Puck Protection drill is a simple, yet highly effective drill that helps players practice and understand the concepts of puck protection.
A puck carrier performs a figure 8 around to defenders before taking a quick shot on net. Coaches can start by having the defenders apply very light pressure to the puck carrier. As the forwards get more comfortable at protecting the puck, you can have the defenders apply more pressure.
- Defending players must hover over the top of the cone. They can turn 360° but cannot move forward or backward.
- Defending players cannot put their stick on the ice or knock the puck away.
- The puck carrier becomes defender #2 after his/her rep/shot, defender #2 becomes defender #1 and defender #1 gets in line.
- Protect the puck: Use your body (hip, arms, legs, etc.) to protect the puck.
- Puck placement: Keep the puck outside and away from the defenders.
- Tight turns: Use tight turns to stay strong on the puck and generate speed.
- Can be setup in different areas of the ice.
- Can make the defenders closer or further apart. The closer the defenders are, the harder it will be for the puck carrier.
- Can move the 2nd defender to different areas so that the puck carrier has to keep their head up to see where the defender is and move.
- Can add a 3rd defender in a different location so players have to really work on keeping their head up and protecting the puck.
- If the puck carrier is very good at protecting the puck, you can allow the defenders to try to poke the puck away.