Practice Notes


4 vs. 4 Soccer
3 vs. 3 Handball Game
5 Puck Breakaway Races (Cross-Ice)
2 vs. 2 No Sticks Game
Soccer Ball Relay Race
Team Relay Races
The Greatest Drill in the World
Additional Resources

Please Note: The Practice of the Week is usually designed to be utilized across multiple age levels. With that being said, we highly encourage you to adjust the drills based on your team's age and skill levels. These drills and practices can be modified to become more basic or more advanced.

Practice Theme: A fun practice during the holiday season with a competitive World Cup theme.

Practice Setup: 

  • You will need at least 1 soccer ball (or sport ball of similar size) for some of the drills shown below. You can modify the games with other sport balls if you would like. If you bring 2 soccer balls you can create fun relay races (see below).
  • Divide up your team into 2 even groups.
  • Coaches are in charge of keeping score throughout the practice. A group is awarded a point for each game they win.
  • The group with the most points at the end of the practice wins the "World Cup." Award some sort of trophy for extra fun.

Coaching Points:

  1. Fun: the main goal of this practice is to break routines, and have fun! Remember, if players love coming to practice, great things will unfold throughout the season.
  2. Give & Go's: All of the games shown below give players opportunities to practice give & go's with their teammates.
  3. Communicate: Players waiting for their turn should cheer on their teammates. Players playing in the game should communicate with their teammates letting them know if they are open, or where the opposing players pressure is coming from. Celebrate goals!


Goalies: Each team has a goalie that can pick up and throw the ball. Goalies can not pick up and skate with the ball. If they pick it up they must throw it. They can go anywhere on the ice.

Modifications: can let players use sticks if they are struggling to kick the ball. Can be 3 vs. 3 or 4 vs. 4.

Warnings: do not allow slide tackles or players to kick balls in the air because of their skates. Only allow on ice kicks. If you are not confident in your players ability to kick the ball safely you can still use a soccer ball but allow them to play the game using their sticks - it will still be a lot of fun for them!

Use a soccer ball as the handball. You can use other sport balls if you would prefer.


  • Can have players be goalies.
  • Can have larger nets (like what was used in the soccer game above).
  • Can play soccer handball (and give the players the option to kick & throw the ball. Watch the Calgary Flames play soccer handball at practice). 


  • Can play first team to 5 goals wins.
  • Can let every player take a shot and the team with the most goals wins.
  • If the goalies are uneven, you can play 2 rounds where each group gets to shoot on each goalie. Team with the most total goals in the 2 rounds wins the shootout.

Divide each group up in half. One half will play 2 vs. 2 No Sticks Game while the other half will be doing relay races in the neutral zone. Rotate the groups after everyone gets a chance to get at least one rep of offense & defense in the no sticks game.

Modifications: Can have the defenders hold soccer balls instead of tires or cones.

Setup relay races in the neutral zone while the other half of the group is playing 2 vs. 2 No Sticks Game.


  • Can add obstacles to make the relay race more challenging.
  • Can have a round where players must keep the soccer ball on the ice or have a round where players hold the soccer ball in their hands like a baton that they pass to their other teammate.

Setup relay races in the neutral zone while the other half of the group is playing 2 vs. 2 No Sticks Game.

Here is an example partner relay race from Delaney Hockey if you would like do something other than using soccer balls. Have one player pull a second player around a cone. The second player can not skate, and must leave their edges on the ice.

If you need other ideas for relay races, we have 20+ ideas here.

Get the coaches involved in "The Greatest Drill In The World" - a fun 3 v 3 game where each team can use the coaches as outlets. Therefore, the team with the puck essentially has a 5 v 3. The coach must pass back to the same team that passed him or her the puck.

Encourage Give & Go's and a LOT of fun communication!


  • Can have players be the extra options instead of coaches
  • Can have 2 outlets or 1 outlet.  

Related IHS Content

Relevant Social Content:

  • Small area games (and practice) is more fun when you celly after a goal - watch the Buffalo Sabres.
  • Florida Panthers Head Coach Paul Maurice discusses the importance of coaches having fun on the ice. Watch video clip.


No systems have been added to this practice.

Coaching Clips

No Coaching Clips have been added to this practice.


No off-ice exercises have been added to this practice.