U8 - 4 Station Practice Plan #1

Practice Date: 
Wednesday, April 1, 2020
Practice Length: 
60 Minutes
Drills: 
Sharks & Minnows - Full Ice
Length of Time: 
10 minutes
Station Number: 
Warm Up
Tire Turn Relays - Control Turns
Length of Time: 
10 minutes
Station Number: 
1
Coach's Call With Mini Nets
Length of Time: 
10 minutes
Station Number: 
2
Hand Soccer
Length of Time: 
10 minutes
Station Number: 
3
Push Puck and Shoot
Length of Time: 
10 minutes
Station Number: 
4
Four Zones

Sharks and minnows could be one of the most popular youth sports games around. In the hockey world you may know this as pom-pom-pullaway. It is a great way to start a practice session becuase it gets kids excited and engaged.

How to Play

All the players place their sticks down below the goal line and line up across the goal line. Select 3-4 players or coaches to be the "sharks". The "sharks" must stay between the blue lines at all times. On the whistle the players will skate from one side of the ice to the other. The object is to not get touched by a "shark". If they get touched then they join the "sharks" in the middle for the rest of the game. The last player to not get touched by a "shark" wins that round.

Variation #1 - Power Turns

This variation makes is tougher by requiring players to do 2 power turns within the neutral zone. They are required to do one power turn at the red line and then another power turn at the blue line. Then they have to try and get to the far blue line without being tagged. Players can power turn in either direction so they need to be aware of which direction will give them a better chance to not get tagged.

Length of Time: 
10 minutes
Station Number: 
Warm Up

This is a simple relay race where players go out to the tire, do a control turn, and then work on forward strides back to the goal line. The players should do a few repetitions working on proper control turn fundamentals first, then do a few rounds of the relay races.

Coaching Points

  • encourage players to trust the outside edge of their inside skate when going around the tire.
  • the inside foot should be slightly in front of the back foot as they make the turn. 
  • players should rotate their chest and head so they look to where they want to go.
  • give players positivie feedback when they make tight turns.
Length of Time: 
10 minutes
Station Number: 
1

This is a variation of a 1 on 1 or 2 on 2 game. This version uses mini nets but you can use regular nets if goalies are available.

Setup

Place a net at each end of the station. The coach has the pucks at the center line on one side of the station. The players should be divided up into team #1 & team #2 and lined up on each side of the coach.

The play starts when the coach yells out two numbers between 1 and 3. The first number called is how many players from team #1 will go, the second number is how many players from team #2 will go.

Therefore, the game could be a 1 on 1, 2 on 1, 2 on 2, 3 on 1, 3 on 2, or 3 on 3.

Length of Time: 
10 minutes
Station Number: 
2

Hand soccer is a game that requires players to stay low because they have to use their hands to move the ball. While it does make the players bend over at the waist it also forces them to use more knee bend than they normally do. Players will be using their balance and edges to compete so just let them play!

Setup

Place two cones as goals at each end of the station that are 12 - 15 feet apart.

Objective

The objective is to score goals by getting the ball through the cones that represent the other team's goals. Players must use their hands to advance the ball.

Length of Time: 
10 minutes
Station Number: 
3

Here is a simple drill set up. The point of this drill is to introduce the mite / novice (U8) age level player to pushing the puck with one hand. This station can utilize the goalies if they are available. To set up the drill place two nets at each end and players with pucks in opposite corners of the station. The first player in line from both sides can go at the same time. After they shoot the next player can go.

Coaching Points

Players need to push the puck with one hand until they are ready to shoot. As they get more comfortable with the skill then encourage them to go faster.

Length of Time: 
10 minutes
Station Number: 
4