3 Hockey Practice Drills to Improve Your Team’s Passing

3 Hockey Practice Drills to Improve Your Team's Passing - Dan Arel
With these 3 drills, you can begin to see change in your team's passing ability, strength, and awareness in only a few practices.

Passing is one of the most critical parts of any hockey game. The ability to move the puck out of your zone, through the neutral zone, and hold possession in the offensive zone all require good, hard passes.

Yet, a lot of passing drills have players standing still and learning the fundamentals, which is important, but doesn’t end up simulating a game-like experience. Other drills will involve a lot of passing, but you’re really working on something else and not focused on making sure the passes are done right.

To increase our team’s passing ability, we use a variety of drills and these three stand out as ones that help make the most difference.

4 on 2 Breakout

We work on our breakout almost every single practice. It’s one of the most important elements of our game. However, on the breakout, the breakout passes we make are also our biggest weakness. 

With these 3 drills, you can begin to see change in your team's passing ability, strength, and awareness in only a few practices . . .



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  • I like the idea of moving the net up to practice the breakout but I’m curious as to why you don’t run the drill with a standard 5 player breakout? In doing so you could also have the offensive players working on the forecheck.

  • Hey Wes,

    We work on the 5 player breakout in a few different drills, but this one is more focused on creating more room and finding those passes a bit easier. Builds some confidence up, gives them more room to examine the ice and find the right options. If you run 5 no 5, on the smaller sheet, you run out of room quickly for the players breaking out. So this drill simplifies the play a lot to make the passing more obvious. We then build up from there.

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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