U10 - 3 Station Practice Plan #7

Practice Date: 
Monday, June 22, 2020

Practice Length: 60 minutes

Drills: 
Brittish Bulldog with Control Turns
Length of Time: 
10 minutes
Station Number: 
Warm Up Activity
Gates of Buffalo 3 on 3 Game
Length of Time: 
15 minutes
Station Number: 
1
Open Hips Ladders Without Pucks
Length of Time: 
7 minutes
Station Number: 
2
Open Hips Ladder with Pucks
Length of Time: 
7 minutes
Station Number: 
2
3 on 2 Corner Passer Cross Ice Game
Length of Time: 
15 minutes
Station Number: 
3
Three Zones

This is a great worm up activty, it is a variation of the original Brittish Bulldog. In this version the players must do two control turns within the neutral zone and escape without getting their puck knocked away.

Setup

Place all the players on the goal line with a puck. Choose 3 or 4 players or coaches to be the "bulldogs".

How to Play

On the whistle, the players on the goal line will try to skate through the neutral zone without getting their puck knocked away. In this variation players must do a control turn at the red line and again at the near blue line before escaping the neutral zone. Players can control turn to either side depending on what they read gives them the best advantage.

Length of Time: 
10 minutes
Station Number: 
Warm Up Activity

Gates of Buffalo 3 on 3 Small Area Hockey Game builds off of the Gates of Buffalo Passing Game by adding a 3 on 3 game element to it. The goal is to pass the puck through gates to score more goals than the other team. This game is great for practicing puck protection, moving to open space, communicating and passing. 

This game framework will help players learn to play with their head up, communicate with teammates and move to open space. This game will look extremely messy at first, but players will get better with each repetition. Moving to open space, and moving the puck will eventually become second nature to the team. As a coach, If you commit to working on games like this instead of memorization drills for a portion of each practice, you will marvel at how your team begins to work together. 

GAME OBJECTIVE

  • Score goals by passing through the "Gates."
  • Score more goals than the opposing team. 
  • You can not pass through the same gate twice in a row!

SETUP & ACTIVITY VARIABLES

  • Players: great for 2 on 2, 3 on 3, 4 on 4 or 5 on 5 games.
  • Time: You can rotate through groups of players in 30, 45 or 60-second shifts and count how many goals are scored.
  • Space: can be set up to be within a zone, or half of a zone (station) or a smaller area. The smaller the space, the more challenging it will be for the players as they are forced to make quicker decisions.
  • Group Competition: Count the number of successful goals made to naturally bring out the competition between teams.
  • With a Goalie: You can require the players to make 2 (or more) passes through a gate before they can shoot on net. After they shoot on net, they need to make the required number of passes through the gates again. The goalie should work on tracking the puck when the team is not actively shooting on net.
  • Gates: You can add 3 or more gates. They can be made of tires, cones, pucks and other materials. Change up the sizes of the gates for an extra challenge. The smaller the gate, the more accurate the pass must be!

Setup Suggestions for Elite Players

  • Make the gates much smaller.
  • You can add a hockey stick at the bottom of each gate so players must "sauce" through a gate and over the stick for the point.
  • Add various obstacles on the ice such as sticks that players must be aware of and pass around or sauce over.
  • If you have a goalie, require 2 or more passes through the gates before players are allowed to take a shot on net. Even though the goalie will not get as many shots, they can work on tracking the puck!

COACHING POINTS 

  • Encourage players to always move to open space on the ice. Do not allow them to stand still and pass the puck back and forth.
  • Encourage players to find "passing lanes" for good passes. 
  • Encourage verbal communication (calling teammate by name, saying you are open, etc).
  • Encourage non-verbal communication (good eye contact, showing a passing target, tapping a stick, etc).
  • Allow players to make mistakes. It will take time to get comfortable with these activities. But as time goes on you will see them picking their head up to make a decision, which is the goal of this small area game.

Why do we call this small area game "Gates of Buffalo 3 on 3 Game?" The game has been called "gates" in the world of soccer and we decided to add Buffalo to it for two fun reasons: First, IHS has strong ties to Buffalo, NY. Secondly, the imagery of a Buffalo can help drive home to your youth players why you are practicing this game. If you do not pick your head up and use your teammates while playing the game of hockey, you run the risk of getting trampled by the other team. This can feel like getting run over by a Buffalo (physically or on the scoreboard). This game helps prevent both of those situations by forcing players to keep their head up while communicating and working with teammates to score goals. 

Length of Time: 
15 minutes
Station Number: 
1

This skating station focuses on open hips, otherwise known as mohawks or 10 & 2. In this station players will do a complete circle around the sticks that are laid out like a ladder. As players progress throught the "ladder" they will alternate direction each time. To get a better idea of why this fundamental is important and how it translates to game situations please view this skill breakdown on open hips.

Length of Time: 
7 minutes
Station Number: 
2

This exercise is the same as the Open Hips without Pucks but it progresses to where players will control pucks while working on this skill. This skating portion of this skill is an advanced skill especially for younger players. Pucks should not be introduced to players that struggle performing it without pucks.

To set up place 5 - 6 stick in a ladder formation as shown in the diagram running side to side.

To see how this translates to game situations view this skill breakdown.

Length of Time: 
7 minutes
Station Number: 
2

3 on 2 Corner Passer is a great variation of 3 on 3 cross ice. The set up is exactly like normal cross-ice 3 on 3. Place a net at each side, the coach in the middle on the blue line with pucks, and each team lined up along the blue line on each side of the coach.

The coach will dump a puck into the zone and three players from each team will compete for the loose puck. One player from each team must go to the corner below the goal line on their team's offensive side of the ice so the game turns into a 2 on 2. Teams must use their corner passer when they gain possession of the puck and get it back before they can score. The players can use their corner passer at any time.

Coaching Points

  • Stay on defensive side of puck when on defense.
  • Look to transition quickly off a turnover.
  • Move quickly without the puck.
  • Encourage corner passers to move the puck quickly and think about where they can pass the puck before they get it.
Length of Time: 
15 minutes
Station Number: 
3