At the 10U level I coach, but even at 12U (depending on the level) teaching special teams is fairly frowned upon under the American Development Model that USA Hockey utilizes. For the most part, it’s for good reason.
At these ages, you shouldn’t be focused on incredible power plays or penalty kills, but instead focusing on their puck possession, and ability to control a breakout. This is one reason I personally support the no-icing rule for short-handed teams at the youth level.
But special teams can make or break games, and while the focus at these ages is development, keeping kids and parents coming back also takes a little winning as well. To continue to ensure we are developing players, but also giving ourselves a winning chance when we can, this article focuses on puck possession. In this drill specifically, its possession coupled with passing and shooting lanes. This works even strength, it works short-handed, and it especially works on the power play.
In this drill, we put four tires or cones inside the circle. You can make the square larger or smaller depending on the challenge you want to create.
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