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07-15-2009, 10:47 AM
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Originally Posted by WickedWrister View Post
How do I obtain "it". What I mean is, I have decent skills in comparison to my competition. Even though i'm fairly small, I can skate slightly better than my competition, my shot is fine, vision is fine, and I can stickhandle alright. I even do ok in stick time, but when gametime rolls around, I'm not a very effective player. I don't know if it's the speed of an actual game or lack of experience or what, but I'm not as good as everyone else even though my skills are comparable.

So, what are some drills I can work or, or do I just need a whole new mindset?
You're asking for drills to help you develop "it". This is by far the most vague description of a hockey problem that I've ever heard, but I'll take a stab at it:

It sounds to me like you've developed a great set of individual skills, but you probably don't work as well when you're part of a unit. My guess is that you play very well with the puck, but your play without it is subpar. Stick time is always fun because you get to go out on the ice by yourself and stickhandle for the full hour (or whatever it is they allot) but in an actual game situation you won't get nearly that much time with the puck. What you need to do is work on your play without the puck.

In the offensive zone you'll need to get open and become a passing option for your teammate. If your team maintains a basic triangle setup then you should always have one guy in the high slot, one guy towards the side of the net, and one guy behind the net.

Defensively, you need to know who your check is based on your position. As a winger you need to know when to cover the point man tightly and when to stagger back to take away time and space from the attacking offensive players. Knowing how to get between the guy with the puck and one of his passing options is critical, as is the ability to sort of box a player out of the slot and to use your stick to block passes or pokecheck.

In the transition from offense to defense, you need to know where you are in relation to your teammates. If you see that two of your teammates are already close to the opposition blue line, hang back towards the red line (maybe even in your end of the neutral zone) to give your defender an emergency pass option. Alternatively if your team looks like they're slow on the breakout, make sure you use that speed of yours to get up the zone quickly. Odds are that you'll get the pass from the defender, and will then be responsible for getting the puck into the zone and setting up the offense.

I'm not a hockey coach so I can't really recommend any drills for developing these kinds of skills. Even if I could, you'd still need a few friends to help you out.

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