Getting your hockey team to place with pace happens with great communication and awareness.
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What does “playing with pace” mean to you?

That’s the first question posed by Dwayne Blais, Professional Skill Coach with the Detroit Red Wings, during his TCS Live presentation.

Does pace mean skating? Passing? Puck possession? Quick plays? Hockey IQ? All of these? NONE of these?!

Blais, who has been involved in skill development for over 25 years working with players and teams from minor hockey to the NCAA, OHL, and NHL, breaks down playing with pace into two simple pieces: on-ice awareness and communication. 

Those are the two key pieces if we want to go down to the fundamentals basics. Most high levels we coach at everyone can skate, everyone can stickhandle, everyone can puck handle and everyone can pass…but if we can get them to communicate and be aware of their surroundings, then you can play with pace and play a lot faster.

Blais’ 37-minute on-ice presentation at TCS Live in Ann Arbor last summer was heavily attended and one many coaches said they learned a lot from. You will too.

More on Blais: 

  • After an NCAA and pro playing career, he began coaching with Western University and in the QMJHL with the Saint John Sea Dogs.
  • He previously held roles with the Washington Capitals, Nashville Predators and the OHL’s London Knights.
  • Blais has created a curriculum for a variety of skill development programs throughout Canada and the United States.
  • You can find many of Blais’ teaching techniques online at the National Skill Development Association, where he shares his knowledge with parents, coaches, and players to help them gain a better understanding of how to teach applicable skills necessary to play at the next level.

This video is available exclusively to members of The Coaches Site.

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Dwayne Blais

Dwayne Blais has been involved in skill development for over 25 years, working with players and teams from minor hockey to the NCAA, OHL, and NHL. He is currently the Professional Skill Coach with the Detroit Red Wings.

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