This is a fun dynamic warm-up that helps coaches jump-start practice with a competitive puck protection exercise, followed by a competitive team puck possession exercise. Depending on the age and skill level of your players, coaches can modify this drill to make it easier by adding more pucks, or reducing the number of players involved. Scroll to the bottom of this description and you can view examples of how to make these exercises a game (which makes it very fun for younger players).
Part # 1: Individual Puck Protection
- Split up your team into two groups. If you have full ice, each group can play in their own offensive zone. If you have half ice, one larger group can play in the zone, and the second group can play in the neutral zone.
- On the whistle, a coach chips in a limited number of pucks for players to battle over. In the video, there were 3 pucks used for 10 players. Coaches can add more pucks to make it easier for the players or for younger age groups. Play this out for a minute or so before you switch to a second group or move to Part # 2 of the drill.
Part # 2: Team Keep Away
- The coach combines the groups so there are now two teams playing inside one zone.
- On the whistle, the coach chips in a limited number of pucks for players to battle over. In the video, there were 2 pucks used for the two teams.
- Make it easier: add more pucks or reduce the number of players.
- Ice space: Can set this up in different areas of the ice.
- Players: Can use your whole team at once or split up into groups so players get a rest.
- Gamify: Can make drill into a very fun competitive game by playing Finders Keepers (players are knocked out of each round if they do not have a puck when time is called) and Finders Keepers With Teams (the team with the most pucks at the end when time is called wins).
- Part #1:
- If you have the puck, work to protect it with your body and by keeping your head up so you can skate to space, or cut back to create space.
- If you do not have the puck, keep your stick on the ice and compete to get the puck back.
- Part # 2:
- If your team has the puck, keep your head up so you can utilize give & gos!
- If your team does not have the puck, keep your stick on the ice to take away passing lanes and compete to get the puck back.