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Team positioning drills

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03-09-2008, 01:32 PM
  #1
CCTigers
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Team positioning drills

I'm getting together a team to play in a tournament in about 2 months. Many of us have played together in the past, but there are a few new players. None of us have played real organized hockey - all started as adults. We have never had a coach, either. Some of us have attended hockey camps that went over some basic positioning and breakouts, but nothing significant. All are long time hockey fans, so we have a basic fan-level understanding of positioning.
I'd like to run the team through some drills that can help us work on breakouts, positioning and communication. I am having trouble finding drills that will help us in our practices all get on the same page.
We do have a former NHL player who now coaches adults who will work with us for a few practices, and he said he'd run us through some breakout drills. I'd like to have more practices than he can support, so I'm looking for more teamwork/positioning drills. If anyone can point me towards some I can use, I would greatly appreciate it. I'm thinking of web resources, books or DVDs.

Here are some things I'd like the team to improve on:
Puck support in the offensive zone.
Forwards backchecking - we have a hard working team for beer-league hockey, but often the forwards come back and just flip into a defensive position when the other team is on the attack. When we have 2 solid defensemen coming back and 2 attackers coming in, I'd like to see the backchecker attack the puck carrier - not get in the way of our (pretty good) defensemen.
Cycling the puck.
Passing back to the points when in the offensive zone.
Neutral zone positioning - where to be and what to do when the opposing team is coming up ice out of their defensive zone.
Transition from defense to offense. Often our defense gets the puck away from the other team in our defensive zone, only to have forwards either cherrypicking way at the other blueline or standing totally still next to an opposing defender. Both give our defensemen no outlet pass. (I think our coach will help us with this one).

Thanks!

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03-09-2008, 06:12 PM
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g_SDvPAKt1w

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03-10-2008, 07:57 PM
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CCTigers
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That was outstanding! Thank you! Anything more would be great. I'll do a search on the Canadians to see if I can find more...

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03-10-2008, 10:52 PM
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The ladder drill is great for developing team work and chemistry. It's really hard to explain but if you know it then you know its frustrating as hell to start but has good results.

Also just do lots of scrimmaging with your coach when you focus on positioning and just get him to randomly blow the whistle to exam what you're doing good.

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03-16-2008, 12:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Mojorisin View Post
Also just do lots of scrimmaging with your coach when you focus on positioning and just get him to randomly blow the whistle to exam what you're doing good.
I agree, this in known as "Controlled Scrimmage." The only draw back to the video that was suggested in this thread is the center positioning. Even though it suggest a diamond shape zone in the slot area, It is important to make sure that your center keep this in mind.

If your defensmen is in the corner and he start to get double teamed, where he's being attacked by a winger and a centermen on the other team. The centermen on the defending team needs to go into the corner as well and equal out the pressure. In this case, the best tactic is to freeze the puck up against the boards for a face off.

This will help the players get organized within the defensive zone. If the referee yells at the defensemen to get rid of it, just have the defensemen or center, walk the puck down the boards by two inches at a time until the ref blow his whistle.

The second thing on the video that needs to be adjusted just a little is the positioning of the defensemen. If you have one defensemen in the corner, it show the other defensemen in front to help the goalie. This is a good tactic. However, that defensemen in front needs to keep in mind where the off winger is at all time.

Some times they have a tendency to slip in behind. Make sure that you have your head on a swivel. The next thing you need to do is puck support. Once your defensemen has control of the puck in the corner, the defensemen in front should drop down below the goal line for puck support to help break the puck out of the zone.

If the defensemen stays in front and allows the other defensemen to take the puck behind the net to set up for the break out, chances are really good that the attacking team will force him up against the board and will hinder his breakout.

But if you drop this defensemen below the goal line, once his defensive partner has control of the puck, a quick "D to D" pass towards the weak side will help the transitional breakout. The reason why is, a breakout is fast if you pass the puck rather than skating the puck. The next key to a great breakout is "Tape to Tape" passing.

Hope this helps
Head Coach


Last edited by Headcoach: 03-16-2008 at 12:28 PM.
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03-20-2008, 10:29 PM
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CCTigers
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Thanks everyone.

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