Spring Hockey: 6 Drills to Build Confidence

Spring Hockey- 6 Drills to Build Confidence
As these skills become second nature, adjusting to make them more difficult allows a smarter layered approach to learning.

A rarely recognized duty of coaches in the off-season is to prepare players for upcoming tryouts. Tryouts can be a stressful time for players as they are comparing themselves to others even more than they might do in the regular season as they worry about making the team they’re trying to make.

While in today’s youth hockey culture tryouts are mostly for show –most coaches and programs know who is making their team or not well before tryouts– this is a time of confidence building and development. Players are in fact prepared to not only show up ready for tryouts, but be ready to play in the upcoming season as most are advancing to a new age group or higher level within their current group.

To build confidence, you can run a few drills to add just a little complexity that forces them to pay attention and think, but also a lot of speed that ensures they are spending their time on the ice in as many game-like scenarios as possible.

High – Low

This game is basically two mini one-on-one games in which one forward and one defender is confined to a high or low position drawn on the ice with a marker. Players can shoot at any time, but can utilize their teammate whenever needed to create a good scoring opportunity.Defenders are trying to simply clear the puck, or have the goalie cover it.

As these skills become second nature, adjusting to make them more difficult allows a smarter layered approach to learning . . .



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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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