U8 - 6 Station Practice Plan #1

Practice Date: 
Monday, June 1, 2020

Practice Length: 80 minutes | 6 Stations | 30 - 36 players

Drills: 
Sharks & Minnows - Full Ice
Length of Time: 
10 minutes
Station Number: 
Warm Up Activity
Circle Stickhandling Series
Length of Time: 
10 minutes
Station Number: 
1
Corner Tires 1 vs 1 Multiple Games 1/6 Ice Station
Length of Time: 
10 minutes
Station Number: 
2
Freeze Tag
Length of Time: 
10 minutes
Station Number: 
3
Tennis Ball Astroids
Length of Time: 
10 minutes
Station Number: 
4
3 vs 3 with mini nets - sixth ice station
Length of Time: 
10 minutes
Station Number: 
5
Tire Turn Relays - Control Turns
Length of Time: 
10 Minutes
Station Number: 
6
Six 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 Activity

This stickhandling progression has three variations and can be set up in stations depending on the amount of players you have. In this demonstration there are four players at each circle. Each repetition should be about 20 seconds. So on the whistle the active players need to go outside the circle and the in-active players can come into the circle to do the drill.

Progression #1

The first drill is simple. Each player carries a puck and they need to be creative as they can as they move through the objects. While we want them to be creative we want them to be in complete control and have awareness of the other player/players in the circle.

Progression #2

The second drill has the first player leading the first player without a puck. This forces the second player to do several things. First they have to keep their head up in order to follow their partner. Second, they have to maintain control of the puck while trying to keep up with the player, and third it forces them to react to the changing of directions.

Progression #3

The third drill starts the same way as the first drill but now the players need to make passes to the in-active players. They have to maintain awareness by keeping their head up and knowing which player on the outside is open and ready for a pass.

Length of Time: 
10 minutes
Station Number: 
1
Coach's Notes: 

Progression #1 Only

This a variation of the Corner Tires game that is great for a sixth ice station. In this version the players play 1 vs 1 but there are multiple games going on at one time so players still need to play with an awareness. It is up to the coach to decide if they want to allow for 2 or 3 games to be going at once.

Set Up

Place a tire in each corner of the station as shown in the diagram. The coach has the pucks on the edge of the station with players lined up on each side.

How the game is played

The coach starts by dumping a puck into play. The first two players will compete for the puck. The objective is to hit one of the tires on your opponents side. If a player hits a tire then their opponent picks up the loose puck and continues the play. Coaches blow the whistle after 60 - 90 seconds and all the player go back to line and the coach begins a new round. Players can keep track of how many times they hit their opponents tire.

Credit: Diagram and animation produced using Hockey Coach Vision.

Length of Time: 
10 minutes
Station Number: 
2

One of the greatest traditions in all of youth sports could be the traditional game of Freeze Tag. The reason this game is great for the Mite / Novice age level is because is requires players to use awareness, edges, stop & starts, and agility. Designate new players for each round or have the coaches be all time "IT".

This game can be played on quarter ice stations, third ice stations, and sixth ice stations. It depends on the number of players. For 10 - 15 players the quarter ice and third ice station sizes work well. Less thean that then the sixth ice station size works well.

Length of Time: 
10 minutes
Station Number: 
3

TIme for fun! While the kids will love this game they don't even realize how much they are actually working on fundamentals. They have to multi-task and be aware of what is going on in two directions while using edge to change directions and be agile.

Setup

Place an abundance of tennis balls at each end of the station. Mark off a playing area using cones that is similar to what is shown in the diagram. Place two coaches at each end who will be shooting tennis balls back and forth.

How to Play

The coaches will shoot tennis balls back and forth trying to hit the players skating around in the middle. If a player is hit they must drop down on both knees. They can come alive again when they are touched by another player. The round is over when there are no more active players.

Length of Time: 
10 minutes
Station Number: 
4

This is a simple 3 vs 3 small area game that is great for practices that have 6 stations. The game uses mini nets instead of large nets with goalies.

How the game is played

The coach starts the game by dumping a puck into the playing area. Three players from each team competes for the puck. If one team scores into the other team's net then the coach dumps a new puck into play. The coach should let each group play for 60 - 90 seconds then blow the whistle. On the whistle the players go back to their line and the coach dumps a new puck into play for the new group of players.

Length of Time: 
10 minutes
Station Number: 
5

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: 
6