A wonderful opportunity is available for hockey coaches all over the world in the seasons to come: a 5-person attack.
I was conducting research for a potential coaching opportunity recently. I was watching the team for which I hope to work play a perennial favourite, a powerhouse that consistently challenges for national championships. The confidence in the stronger team’s defensive corps was blatantly obvious early in the game. So obvious, in fact, that the scrappy underdog adapted and took a page out of the opposition’s book – their own defenseman made better decisions with the puck as the game progressed.
Knowledge is out there for any player who wishes to take advantage. The best defensemen at any given level don’t relinquish possession of the puck unless it’s going to a better place when it leaves their stick. More often than not, if there’s no play to be made, they escape coverage and solve their problem without chipping it off the glass.
I’m not ready to abandon plays that put the puck into better space when a d-man is under duress, but that’s the way the game is going, and it would behoove us all to adapt.
Here’s a few skills you can work on in the summer with your players to create more offence from the back-end.
Access to our entire library of videos from our annual TeamSnap Hockey Coaches Conference. You can cancel any time, although after joining a community of coaches from all over the world using the videos on a daily basis to pick up new tips and stay relevant, we doubt you will.
- Seven Rules for Defensemen Playing Defensive Hockey
- 3 Tips for Young Defensemen to Master Backwards Transitions
- Jim Playfair – Defensemen Details
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