Let’s face it… gap control is tough to teach and more difficult to master. CoachThem’s co-founder Mike Weaver came up with this drill while teaching players in his hockey school Defence First.
Mike says, “I’d rather my defence get beat while having a good gap, than give too much space and open up the offensive zone” and this drill reinforces the point of taking control of open ice.
Here’s a drill we like to call “Choose your gap”:
- D1 Starts with puck
- F1 starts on hashmarks. Can’t move until pass is received.
- On whistle D1 carries puck and passes to F1.
- F1 skates full speed down ice and takes D1 from other end on 1-on-1.
- D1 after passing skates hard and chooses which pylon to go around.
- Objective is to go to the third pylon.
- The faster you skate forwards, the faster you will be backwards, with a better gap.
- Doesn’t matter if the D falls. Push their limits.
- Pivot around pylon staying square to opponent with no wide turns. Stay tight to while going around pylon.