U16 Gaining and Maintaining Possession
This practice focuses on puck protection skills and various battles/drills that incorporate compete, quick transitions, and maintaining possession.
Key Coaching Points:
- "Cut the Hands": Terminology used to describe the puck protection move where you skate into a defender's extended stick position to protect the puck and limit their ability to take the puck, while also allowing you to see options on the ice.
- Pre-Scan: Encourage players to scan the ice with a shoulder check before a puck retrieval to understand the pressure and situation and allow them to quickly make the next play.
- Wall play makes up nearly 80% of the puck touches in any given game. Players must be comfortable in wall play battles both offensively and defensively.
Have players going at all 5 circles to maximize reps throughout the skill progression.
Put the isolated skill work above into a game-like situation. Players must focus on "cutting the hands" of the defender during the 3 x 1v1. Encourage them not to turn their back but to attack the defenders stick to allow them to keep their head up with awareness of all moving players. On the whistle and transition to 3v3, players must quickly adapt to the scenario and recognize time and space.
The focus of this drill is down low battles with gaining and maintaing possession to replicate game-like situations. This game can be expanded to start as a 3v3, or start as 2v2 but with the ability to activate a third player.