Defence is a challenging position to play. Like a goaltender it takes many years of repetitive training to master the specific skills required to be an effective defenceman. In this article you will find some helpful defensive tips that will help you think like a top defenceman.
1. Keep your feet moving
Agility skating is the ability to move the body quickly in multiple directions.
Forwards are told to keep moving in the offensive zone and on the rush. In order to challenge the forwards and defend their net, defencemen must be agile skaters and keep their feet moving at all times.
Being flat-footed and stationary is a recipe for disaster. By keeping the feet moving, knees bent, shoulders back, and eyes up, you are in the ready position and prepared to face any challenge presented.
When defending any even-man situation, the defenceman must have a good gap (the distance between the puck carrier and the checker). An ideal gap is at least 1.5 to 2 stick lengths. Being in the “ready position” with the feet moving allows the defenceman to control the gap.
2. Read the play
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Defensive zoning should be taught and reviewed every season. These comments were very helpful.