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How do you teach being first to the puck?

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06-16-2013, 09:34 PM
  #1
Thepandamancan
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How do you teach being first to the puck?

I coach a 16u roller team. The kids are all excellent and talented, easily the best skaters in the league they're in...and I'm not just saying that because I'm their coach.

In the last 4 or 5 games or so, we've noticed a trend where they keep getting beat to the puck. It's not a physical or energy problem since it can happen right at the start of a shift where they're fresh. It's also not exactly an effort problem because they aren't lazy about anything else. It seems to be more of a mental issue.

For some reason they just don't play with that sense of urgency when they don't have the puck. Is there any way to teach this? I know it's a bit abstract, but outside of saying whoever gets to the puck first gets a 100 dollar bonus, me and my other coach are just unsure how to get them to hustle more.

So do you guys know of any drills to help teach this sense or urgency?

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06-16-2013, 10:09 PM
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Dump the puck into a corner and get them to race for it and then battle in the corner. Person who ends up on the wrong side of the battle has to do laps until they pass out.

I duno.

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06-17-2013, 03:27 AM
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gosinger
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flowzie View Post
Dump the puck into a corner and get them to race for it and then battle in the corner.
Our coach did a similar drill, line up two rows of players on the goal line (each row at about the point), sends a floater over the red line and two players start a race to the puck. No corner that might slow people down, sufficient space so no skate-on-skate collisions. We all noticed the desire to win those races, and I think it really helped on the mental side to see how fast you can actually go.

Skating as a punishment sets the wrong frame of mind in my opinion, so skating laps or similar stuff should be done as skating drill with clear intention.

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06-17-2013, 04:57 AM
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BrummieRed
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I coach young kids at football (soccer) and find shouting helps. No seriously, they tend to just watch play sometimes and you see them visibly move when you remind them the "Go on, XXX! Make it yours!"

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06-17-2013, 07:40 AM
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Marotte Marauder
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gosinger View Post
Our coach did a similar drill, line up two rows of players on the goal line (each row at about the point), sends a floater over the red line and two players start a race to the puck. No corner that might slow people down, sufficient space so no skate-on-skate collisions. We all noticed the desire to win those races, and I think it really helped on the mental side to see how fast you can actually go.

Skating as a punishment sets the wrong frame of mind in my opinion, so skating laps or similar stuff should be done as skating drill with clear intention.
Agreed and if it continues in a game, offending player gets to sit right next to me for a while. They learn pretty quick that they'd rather be out there playing.

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06-17-2013, 08:03 AM
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CornKicker
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if you see the hustle and the effort but they are just getting beat it is probably related to reading the play/anticipating the play. look for some drills that focus on read and react type plays.

an example of a drill is stand in one corner of the rink with the pucks and have them forecheck you in pairs or 3's. teach the first kid to force you to make a play and then you either ring it up one side of the boards or the other or right through the middle. the idea is to get the first forechecker to force you to put it one way. then the other players need to read that he is forcing the puck one way and react to where is most likely will go. the third player should do the opposite incase youdo go another way. the drill can progress by adding a defenceman or 2 on your side to beat them to the puck.

there is alot of ways to cure being first to the puck but i would say if the effort is there and you dont see and hesitancy from them then its almost always anticipation and hockey sense.

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06-17-2013, 08:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AntsSheffield View Post
I coach young kids at football (soccer) and find shouting helps. No seriously, they tend to just watch play sometimes and you see them visibly move when you remind them the "Go on, XXX! Make it yours!"
i have gone as far as saying in practices and in the room that "the other team should NEVER have the puck" if they have the puck we get it back asap, never watch them skate and never let them get the puck first.

keep away drills in practice are good for this. have 2 coaches with stop watches and play 3 on 3. seclude them to one section of the ice and let them play keep away. time how long each team of 3 holds the puck. who ever gets to 2mins first wins. then the next group of 3 challenges them. the losers wind sprint down the ice and back and then wait for their next turn. most kids are natually competitive so making it a competition takes away the drill aspect and encourages puck possesion.

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06-17-2013, 10:12 AM
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OkimLom
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Originally Posted by CornKicker View Post
i have gone as far as saying in practices and in the room that "the other team should NEVER have the puck" if they have the puck we get it back asap, never watch them skate and never let them get the puck first.

keep away drills in practice are good for this. have 2 coaches with stop watches and play 3 on 3. seclude them to one section of the ice and let them play keep away. time how long each team of 3 holds the puck. who ever gets to 2mins first wins. then the next group of 3 challenges them. the losers wind sprint down the ice and back and then wait for their next turn. most kids are natually competitive so making it a competition takes away the drill aspect and encourages puck possesion.
We do this in our pickup games at our local roller rink. Since the rink is the size of half a zone(blue line to goal line) there is very limited room and makes you read plays quicker and forces you to work on passing and reading what one another does. This also allows players to focus on protecting the puck and working on the boards. When we go and play our games you see the improvements in how everyone works together.

Our guys stay out there until the goalie freezes the puck/ball or a goal is scored. Because guys don't want to get off too early it forces them to use each other and pass to one another.

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06-17-2013, 10:53 AM
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Sojourn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thepandamancan View Post
I coach a 16u roller team. The kids are all excellent and talented, easily the best skaters in the league they're in...and I'm not just saying that because I'm their coach.

In the last 4 or 5 games or so, we've noticed a trend where they keep getting beat to the puck. It's not a physical or energy problem since it can happen right at the start of a shift where they're fresh. It's also not exactly an effort problem because they aren't lazy about anything else. It seems to be more of a mental issue.

For some reason they just don't play with that sense of urgency when they don't have the puck. Is there any way to teach this? I know it's a bit abstract, but outside of saying whoever gets to the puck first gets a 100 dollar bonus, me and my other coach are just unsure how to get them to hustle more.

So do you guys know of any drills to help teach this sense or urgency?
Try psychology.

Players love to score, right? What does getting to the puck first help accomplish?

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