CoachThem Hockey Drill of the Week: Surf’s up warmup

In Coaching Hockey, Drills by CoachThemLeave a Comment

Designed and shared by USA Hockey coach Dave Starman, use this progression-based warmup to teach detailed defensive awareness against the rush and surfing up early on loose pucks.

Drill description

  • Coach starts with pucks in the middle. On the whistle F1 and F2 take off touching the centre circle as coach spots puck to the weak side for F1 to recoup. D‘s also start on whistle sorting out their opponent and surfing up to close gaps, and defending skating forward.
  • F1 races to get puck and forwards attack 2v2 against the D.
  • Some goals here are:
    • Forwards quickly putting pucks on net and F2 splitting the D to get to the net
    • Coaches control where the attack will start from with their puck placement off whistle
    • D‘s job is to bust the rush, maintain tight gaps, defend skating forwards where possible with good stick and angles.
    • If D‘s recoup puck, use glass or a D-to-D to get puck out.
  • Coaches, you can also spot the puck to F2 for a centre lane drive to start attack, you make the call.
  • Add 3 F’s for 3v2 rush forcing weak side D to read off the rush. Add a backchecker from the forward line to create a 3v3 with a backcheck or 3v3.
  • Option to spot a second puck on the whistle.

Key points

  • D’s gain confidence surfing up and defending forward.  Good sticks and angles.
  • High speed drill gives D’s multiple reps and time for trial and error.
  • Forwards making quick decisions and getting pucks to net faster.
  • No one starts with a puck, every puck is chased and contested.

For more great drills like this, visit


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