There is a debate among youth hockey coaches about time spent on individual skill versus team skill and how much practice should be focused on each.
I have had coaches tell me that under the age of 14, it should be all individual skill and once a player reaches a more mature age and can focus on system play, they should then learn more about team play.
I have also had coaches tell me individual skill is for private lessons and team play is for team practice.
While I do favor the side that leans towards team practices for teamwork, I also think players need to be able to develop their individual skill and not all can afford to, or have the time for private lessons.
To balance this, I think coaches should be running drills that allow for the growth of both. A drill that isolates an individual skill, but then progresses to more teamwork.
Puck Battle to 2 on 1
This drill is a modification of a drill I saw used a lot in small group lessons that only included the puck battle, and then the players reset and got back in line. I found the drill really great from a skill development standpoint, but thought it was lacking in more fun and building into how to use this skill in a game.
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