3 Drills for Defending Your Zone

Dan Arel

Dan Arel is the Director of Coaching Education and Development for the San Diego Oilers and head coach of their 12U A team. He was also named the 2020 San Diego Gulls Foundation's Coach of the Year. You can email him at [email protected]

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Use these drills to teach your youth hockey team how to defend inside your zone.
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You’ve taught your players about playing defence with their heads up, and you’ve driven home the importance of the backcheck, but as you know, even with all of that, the other team is going to enter your zone.

So, what drills can you use to teach your youth hockey team how to defend inside your zone?

I like starting with the two defensive players. As you know, with your forwards backchecking, it’s your defensive players that act as the last line of defence before the opposing team reaches your goaltender.

2 on 2

In this drill, players line up in each corner of the blueline, and the coach stands in the referee crease. The coach makes a pass to a player, activating that side of the ice as offense, and the other side becomes defence.

Use these drills to teach your youth hockey team how to defend inside your zone . . .

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