U8 - 4 Station Practice Plan #4

Practice Date: 
Saturday, April 4, 2020
Practice Length: 
60 Minutes
Drills: 
Torpedo - Full Ice
Push & Pull Relays
Length of Time: 
10 minutes
Station Number: 
1
Finders Keepers - Puck Protection Drill
Length of Time: 
10 minutes
Station Number: 
2
Toy Finder
Length of Time: 
10 minutes
Station Number: 
3
2 vs 2 with Regular Nets - Station
Length of Time: 
10 minutes
Station Number: 
4
Four Zones

Torpedo is a great warm up activity for young hockey players. It is most appropriate for U8 & U10 but even U12 players find it fun and engaging. The game gets players warmed up, excited, and raises the excitement level for practice.

How to Play

All the player will throw their sticks down behind the goal line so they are out of the way and line up all the way across the goal line. The coaches will collect as many cones as the can and station themselves along the wall. On the whistle the players will try to skate from one end to the other without getting hit by a "torpedo" (cone). If they get hi they have to take a knee until the game is over. The last player to get hit wins that round.

In these relay races players will be working on their forward strides. There are two variations and for each variation the players simply skate out around the tire and back to the goal line. Once they cross the goal line the next pair can go. In every race each pair will go two times so that players can switch roles.

Push Partner

In this version one player is backwards and one player is forwards. The players hold each others sticks at about shoulder height together. The player going forward pushes the other player, the player going backward just glides and tries to steer them in the right direction.

Pull Partner

This is also commonly known as the chariot race. The player in front will hold a stick in each hand while the player in back will squat down and hold the sticks under their arm by the stick blade. The player in front skates while the player in back is squating down low and enjoying the ride.

Length of Time: 
10 minutes
Station Number: 
1

This drill has players working on puck protection and awareness. This is a good activity to use after working on puck skills and fundamentals so players can work on these skills in a competitive environment.

Depending on the size of your team you can use the neutral zone of one end from the blue line to the end boards. You will need half as many pucks as you have players. For example if we have 12 players then we will use 6 pucks. On the whistle the coach will shoot the pucks into the zone. The objective for the players is to find a puck and maintain puck possession. The coach will allow the players to go for 45 seconds to 1 minute. On the whistle the players must stop where they are. The coach can decide a consequense for the players that do not have a puck such as push-ups or skating.

Players that have the most success will be playing with their head up and protecting the puck towards open ice. They will also use awareness to look for opporunities to steal pucks from other players.

Length of Time: 
10 minutes
Station Number: 
2

Here is a fun small area game for Mites / Novice age players. The players will have fun while working on their balance, agility, knee bend, and awareness.

Set Up

Place three tires in a triangle formation in the playing area as shown in the diagram. Scatter as many pucks as you can around the outisde of the station. Divide the players up into three equal teams if possible and have each team start by one of the tires.

Objective

On the whistle players will skate around and pick up "toys" (pucks). The object of the game is to find as many "toys" (pucks) as possible and put them in your team's tire. The team that collect the most "toys" wins that round.

Length of Time: 
10 minutes
Station Number: 
3

This version of 2 vs 2 is played on a quarter ice station using regular nets. This station allows you to use goalies if they are available. This type of 2 vs 2 is great for this size of station. It allows each player to be fully engaged at all times. With only two players it is still mostly 1 on 1 play but some of the advanced players have opportunities to make plays. Each shift should be 60 - 90 seconds then blow the whistle and throw out a new puck for the next group of players.

Coaching Points

For the most part just let them play and try not to get too involved except for managing the shift changes. Compliment them on good plays but stay away from correcting them.

Credit: Diagram produced using Hockey Coach Vision.

Length of Time: 
10 minutes
Station Number: 
4