After coaching new players the fundamental skills of skating and puck handling, hockey coaches may change their strategies to teach their players: from teaching techniques of these skills to teaching them how to do ones fast and speedy as much as possible. In this article, we will introduce to you some intermediate skating drills that you can use to train and improve your players.
In this drill, players will be taught how to work on forward and backward sideways movement to the right and the left when they are skating circumference of the ice.
Instruction: players skate the circumference of the ice, being in front of the end of the rink. Skaters after that go at an angle laterally three long steps on the right and on the left when they move forward down one side of the ice, and afterwards three long steps on the right and on the left when they go backward up the other side of the ice. After finishing half of the drill, change the directions. You may put some pucks on this exercise when the skill implementation allows.
What coaches should do: Always examine and check on the players, make sure that they retain good skating bearing. Particularly, make sure that they have a good bend at their knees, in order that their bodies will not go up and down during the crossovers.
This exercise help players become skillful at skating both on the left and on the right on forward turns. This skill is very necessary for being efficient at overall skating.
Instruction: Utilize two circles in each of the ending of the zone, players have to skate a figure-eight pattern surrounding the outside of every circle. It is necessary to ensure that they have to continue striding when they skate the turns. Furthermore, you can use neutral zone dots for a third group if you want to and need to.
What coaches should do: When turning, make sure that players have their sticks on the ice and to the inside of the circle. It means that one hand is on the stick on one turn and two hands on the other. Coaches also should always check that players shove from the hip when they skate the turns. Players have to keep on striding all around each circle.
With this drill, players can learn how to pivot to the right and the left. If players cannot rotate both ways, their lack of ability to move can be exploited in real game.
Instruction: Ask players to skate the circumference of the ice. On the first whistle, they will rotate forward to backward, on the second one, they rotate backward to forward, on the third one, they are going to do the same like on the first one, and so on. Players go in the opposite direction after finishing half of the drill.
What coaches should do: Coaches have to ensure that their players keep two hands on the stick when they are pivoting forward to backward and backward to forward, one hand on the stick when they are skating backward and forward. Coaches also should always be sure that the players retain the stick on the ice all the time. Players have to keep being on the right skating bearing at all times, with right bend knees also which are not straightened up while they are pivoting.
Above are 3 skating drills that your players can benefit from. Remember that great drills are not enough to improve hockey players. You also have to do lots of other things: keep the players happy and passionate about what they do; be thoughtful and sensitive to notice their feelings to coach them in a proper ways; be strict on teaching and coaching them but also try to create a positive and encouraging environment for them (such as high five or compliment them when they do a good job, etc).