Every coach understands that to improve a player, they must be challenged. Without a proper level of difficulty, the player will progress slowly in their improvement.
It’s a bit like the Goldilocks fairy tale. Too easy, the player gets bored and loses the details. Too hard, the player cannot pick up the teachings and will lose confidence.
But just right, and the player is able to expand their skills set and gain confidence in their new found ability.
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Creating that level of difficulty should involve progressing players through the various difficulty levels in order to continually challenge them. Let’s follow the difficulty ladder up.
Level 1: Odd-person rushes
Every coach does odd-person rushes. These are the common situations such as 2v1 or 3v1 or 3v2. The offensive team holds the advantage.
On 3v2 or 3v1 rushes, there are the three roles that create width and depth to stretch the defence into a compromising situation.
- F1: The puck carrier. This player should stay a shot threat and take their time to read the unfolding situation.
- F2: A middle lane drive. This player should be skating hard through the middle to occupy the defender(s) and open up space high in the zone.
- F3: The high player. This player should be timing out their route in order to have time and space once they catch the puck, in order to get off a great shot.
Level 2: Even-person rushes