Playing in Contact Skills (Part 1, 2, 3)

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**Diagram shows the 3 different drills for "playing in contact." Practice each drill separately. The big saying to use with players is "position before possession." Players need to learn in all 3 of these situations to gain body position on the opponent before worrying about either getting / taking or making a play with the puck. Nullify the defender first!

Drill Setup:

  • 2 - 4 lines on goal depending on number of players. Players should have a partner. The 2 players will perform the designated pattern down the ice to the opposite end.
  • 1) Puck Race - purpose is to simulate a puck race and the habit of cutting your opponent off before getting possession of the puck ("Position before Possession"). Players start side by side and start skating down the ice. One player (X1) is the decoy and allows the other player (X2) to cut them off. After that then it switches and now X2 becomes the decoy and allows X1 to cut them off. Players continue skating down the rink practicing cutting each other off through the hands.
  • 2) Defensive Playing in Contact - purpose is to simulate how a player should separate the man from the puck ("Position before Possession"). Same as drill #1, except now the decoy player will have a puck. As the player cuts them off they should also separate the decoy player from the puck. For the drill now they have the puck and become the new decoy player with the puck.
  • 3) Offensive Playing in Contact - purpose of the drill is to teach players that when they have the puck that they can use these playing in contact skills to NOT allow the opposing player to gain position on them. They want to maintain position and keep opposing player behind them. X1 has puck and is skating up the ice half speed. They are allowing X2 (who started behind them) to skate up near them. Just before they get to them X1 should cut through X2 hands keeping X2 behind them. X2 now performs the same on the other side (skate up next to X1). X1 again should cut X2 off, again keeping X2 behind them. X1 is letting X2 get near them and X2 is letting X1 cut them off. We are just working the pattern / skill of playing in contact while in control of the puck.

Drill Purpose:

  • Purpose of these 3 drill is to allow the players to work on their playing in contact mechanics and feel their way through the skills. It is meant to build the base and give the coach the ability to break the mechanic down as well as revert back to during compete drills later.

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