Tips To Increase Competitiveness & Work Ethic In Practice
7 Pass 2 vs. 1 Small Area Game
Back to Back 1 vs 1 with Mini Nets
Corner Tires - Small Area Game
Neutral Zone Relay Race
Gates of Buffalo 3 on 3 Game
Four Corners Possession Game
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: The drills in this station based practice are designed to create competition & fun when no goalies are available. If you have goaltenders available, you can modify the games that are shown below, or you can view our list of 100+ small area games.
Practice Coaching Points:
Coaches: Keep score in every game listed below. The players competitive fire will start to come out if they know there is a goal, and you are keeping score. You can even divide all of the players on the ice in half and have a full Battle Practice (where you keep score of every game and award a winner at the end of practice).
Playing Habits: Coaches should reinforce good habits throughout practice, and players should be aware of them as they go through each station. 4 habits to consider reinforcing are:
- Have fun & work hard!
- Keep head up - scan the ice to be aware of threats, opportunities, and open space.
- Keep stick on the ice - keeping your stick on the ice will give your teammates a passing target when you are on offense, and help block passing lanes when you do not have the puck.
- Communicate with teammates - when playing, let them know if you are open or pressure is coming. If you are watching from the sidelines, support and cheer for your teammates!
Coaches can use the Back to Back 1 v 1 with Mini Nets as a replacement to the 7 Pass 2 on 1 shown above.
- If you do not have 2 mini nets you can have one small goal in the middle (a cone, or tire) that players battle to score on
- Can set up in different areas of the ice, or have smaller or larger playing dimensions
- Can set up one tire on each end if players are scoring too frequently
- Can require players to pass the puck to a coach before they are allowed to start playing offense (example - if a team is on defense and they get the puck from the offense, they need to pass to the coach and get a pass back before they can start attacking)
Drill setup: Make teams as even as possible. On the whistle, players work to skate through the obstacle course (you can make the course anything you want), and then they give the puck to their next teammate in line. Whichever team finishes first, wins.
- Can modify the obstacle course to anything you want
- Can require players to work on particular skills as they go through the cones (here are 36 skills)
- Can set up puck races where both players race & battle over one puck (view example)
- View 20+ other race ideas
- Can be setup to be 2 v 2 or 3 v 3.
- Can add or remove gates
- The smaller the gate, the harder it is to score!
- Can make a 2 point gate that is really small.
Coaches can end practice with the Four Corners Possession Game or they can use it instead of Gates of Buffalo 3 v 3.
- Can be modified to be 3 v 3
- Can make the support players "cone area" smaller or larger
- If the front cones are getting in the way, coaches can remove them and only have cones against the boards to show where the support areas should be.
- Can move the location of the support players.
- After a rep, players in the game rotate out to be support players.
Related Drills & Games
- 100+ small area hockey games
- 65+ battle drills
- 10 hockey games to play with no goalies
- 7 ways to play games with one goalie
- 8 important hockey habits every player should know from Topher Scott
- Battle practice day from Kendall Coyne
Members only resources:
- Athlete development & the slight edge from Alyssa Gagliardi
- Create your own practice plan that looks like this. Watch video.