Help on Defense
I just started playing defense in a Dek Hockey league, and I needed some drills I could do by myself to improve my Defense, the help is greatly appreciated.
theres not many drills i can think of for deck that u can do by yourself. more then anything you have to know how to play positionally. how to read plays and break them up. when to know where to challenge and how to. if your playing on skates i would say you could work on some different skating drills where u go back forth and keep changing directions. i guess what you could do would be to practice your stick handling (use a golf ball) practice your passing, slapshot and accuracy because those are all important no matter what position you play.
I am not sure about drills, but there is strategy....
#1- look the ball carrier in the chest, do not get mezmorized by the ball.
#2- head on a swivel. Quickly look at the other opposing team members, and their positions. These are the options for the ball carrier. Be aware.
#3- positioning. Stay between the carrier and your goaltender, a little to the inside of the playing surface. With this positionning, you can force the carrier towards the outside/boards and limit his options, angles.
#4- stick positioning. Keep you stick in front of you pointed towards the carrier. This takes away some of his stickhanding space. If he has passing options, move your stick to block the lane, then back again to infront of him...repeat over and over.
Check this thread out: http://www.hfboards.com/showthread.php?t=180775
Do all your teams skating drills backwards.
Study plays, learn to be where and when.
Don't be afraid to block shots. It hurts sometimes, but you'll grow to like the sting of a blocked shot.
Don't screen your goalie. Get in the shooting lane to block shots and impede the puck carriers progress, but also keep in mind what your goalie can see.
Be aware who the best man to tie up is. If you have two right handed shooters coming back on a 2 on 1, tie up the guy on the left, unless you know the guy on the right has more potentional to score on a bad angle.
Don't rely on your goalie too much.
When passing the puck to a team mate breaking out of the zone, be concious of who's around him. If he's got a man coming down on him, look for another lane, unless you know he can shake him. If no one is open, and you got a clear lane, take it up to the red line and dump it, or if your clear at the red line, take it into the offensive zone and give it to someone there.
When in the offensive zone, stay on, or just inside the blueline. Always be ready to keep the play moving, as well as get back into your defensive position if the other team breaks out.
If you gotta take a shot as a Dman, just lob it to the net and hope for somethin' to happen on the pending rebound, unless you got an awesome shot, then do yuor best to get it in. Logic still applies, if you have a weak shot (like myself), and you see the goalie out of position for some odd reason, try to get it in the net.
If it would be best to stop the scoring chance, just play the man, and don't worry about puck posession. Just stop the scoring chance, and let one of your team mates who's (ideally) on his way back get the puck that squirts free of the man you're playing.
I'm sure your coach will preach these things;
Keep both hands on the stick when aggressively pursuing the puck carrier.
Hustle. Always skate as hard as you can, magical things happen when you skate.
Keep your head on a swivel. Do your best to know who's where on the ice, and when they will be there. Try to think a step ahead of them, and send the puck to whoever has the most potential to get it out of the zone, or minimize a scoring chance against your team.
As has been said earlier; watch the man, not the puck. Play the body, not the puck.
That's what I do, at least. It works for me, but of course we all make mistakes. Feel free to correct, or improve upon what I said.
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