In this edition of Chalk-Talk, we focus on defenceman-specific skills.
The set-up includes two mirrored stations consisting of two drills. The first drill is a shooting drill from the blueline and works on the players ability to pick-up a loose puck, pulling the puck to the middle of the ice and shoot. The second drill is a skating and puck control drill. Both drills focus on key skill-set required by defencemen including agility, balance, footwork, puck control, shooting and analyzing the play. In addition, running two drills simultaneously, maximizes ice usage and keep as many players engaged and active as possible.
This drill combination can be used during a ‘split’ practice where teams can provide position-specific training by separating forwards and defencemen.
Drill 1 – Pull & Shoot
Two defencemen will pick up pucks at circle tops and shoot. Vary the types of shots. If there is a goalie, alternate shots. Have players ‘underhandle’ the puck or pull the puck with limited touches, allowing them to get their head & eyes up to read the play in front of them.
Drill 2 - 5 Pylon Agility:
Two defence skate “toes up ice” around the 5 Pylon Agility until the top defencemen have shot. Then they alternate and take a shot on net.
Key Teaching Points
• Defencemen at blue line need to follow good technique and vary the shots they take
• Keep feet close to or outside blue line
• Defencemen skating the 5 Pylon Agility - toes up ice while transition skating, keeping their speed
Note: If this is a shared-ice practice, this can be one of multiple stations or if this is a half-ice practice, have the forwards perform the 5 Pylon Agility puck handling & the defencemen do the Pull & Shoot
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