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Practice Drills for 7 & 8 YO House-League Players?

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06-30-2014, 11:44 AM
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BogsDiamond's Avatar
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Practice Drills for 7 & 8 YO House-League Players?

I'm looking to get some advice on what drills work best for this age group.
I've coached baseball, basketball and hockey, and hockey is easily the hardest sport to run practices. Especially for house-league players.
It's nearly impossible to get 2 other parents to assist every single game. And because you only get half-ice and most of the kids have limited hockey and comprehension skills, it's a challenge to find drills that teach without confusing.

In a dream scenario, I'd have at least 3 other dad's to lean on. Dad's who know the game and can be counted on to run stations without any babysitting needed.

(I can start a whole rant about how easy it is to find volunteers for a travel team, but nobody will give a minute of their time for a lowly house-league team.
The same parents I see texting and napping in the stands at HL games are jumping up and down to offer their services if it means their kid can make the vaunted travel squad).

Anyway, enough of my complaining. On to the drills I'm looking for.
Things to keep in mind:
1. Out of the 14 kids on the team, only 3 or 4 are good to great skaters. The rest are average to terrible.
2. Most can't grasp complicated concepts, so the drills need to be simple and easily explain.
3. We only have access to half ice.
4. Practice is 50 minutes.

The kind of drills I need are for every aspect of the game.
I'd like to split the practice into 2 parts. The first part, or the first 25 minutes, would be to work on fundamentals like skating, passing, shooting, stick-handling.
If at all possible, I'd prefer the ice be divided into 3 stations with each station lasting no more than 7 to 8 minutes.

The 2nd-half of the practice would be 'team drills' where all can be involved.
This is when I'd work on situational drills to mimic a real-life game.

The hardest part I've found is finding drills that have elements of fun to them.
I realize that not all drills will be so much fun the kids are dying to do them. You still need to work on skating, passing, shooting, etc.
But at the very least, I'd like to end the practice with a fun drill such as shoot-out survivor, scrimmaging, British-Bulldog, anything as long as it's fun for the kids so they look forward to the next practice.

Thanks in advance.

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06-30-2014, 05:01 PM
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Since you're from Canada this is a good place to start.


For USA model tips try the the usahockey link.

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07-24-2014, 10:11 PM
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For that age group and skill level, you should have more than 25 minutes of skills. Like aim for 45 minutes skills and last 15 small game or scrimmage. USA Hockey has a pretty good set of station based practices on their website you can pull from.

But the skills can be fun - freeze tag is huge for learning quick transitions and kids that age love that game. If you get tagged, you have to wait for someone to make a tight 360 around you to get unfrozen. Monkey in the middle is great for passing. Keep away is good for puck protection (have a small area with bumpers, have 2 less pucks than # of kids, every 30 sec blow a whistle and whoever doesn't have a puck has to do 5 pushups). Have an obstacle course race. Have chariot races, or races where a team of 2 or 3 pushes a net up and down the ice. Playing soccer is great for skating and balance. Play dodgeball and they will learn some agility. There's a ton of stuff you can do. Just keep things fun so they don't realize that they're learning skills at the same time.

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07-25-2014, 05:25 PM
Greasy Sliders
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If you're looking for volunteers to help out at practice, I'd talk to the coach/manager of the junior or midget aaa team and ask for players to possibly come out.

Those kids would be more than willing, it looks good on the team, and if they are still in school there's a good chance they are required to get a certain number of volunteer hours.

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