How to Run an Effective Hockey Practice Scrimmage

How to Run an Effective Hockey Practice Scrimmage
Learn how to run a successful scrimmage, one where your practice goes into action. Then find your gaps and bring them back to your practice.
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Scrimmaging can be great. Players love it, it can be a good stress reliever from a tough practice, a bounceback from a tough game, or a favorite tool to use during tryouts.

However, it can also be detrimental and not provide the desired outcome. Often, coaches set up a scrimmage just to keep players busy, or worse, they try to set up a scrimmage with a purpose that is not well thought out.

This happens a lot when coaches put line 1 out against line 4, or a group of A players vs a group of B players. The logic here is the bottom players are going to get a challenge and it will push them.

However, what this really does is allow the top kids to dominate the play and offers no coaching or guidance that actually plays any role in developing the bottom to be able to better compete. The goal is to improve all players, and you don’t necessarily do that through a scrimmage.

A scrimmage should be about seeing your work in practice go into action, and then finding your gaps and bringing that back to your station based practice.

So how do you run a successful scrimmage?

Learn how to run a successful scrimmage, one where your practice goes into action. Then find your gaps and bring them back to your practice . . .

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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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