This year atoMc Hockey / Équipe McDo ambassadors, Tessa Bonhomme, Drew Doughty and Marc-André Fleury wanted to share their favourite drills in the atom and bantam coaching binders. The list below includes the drills they believe are the best to utilize in your regular practice plan throughout the season.
Scrimmage - 3 on 3 Cross Ice (pg 18)
We like this drill because 1) It's fun! and 2) It forces players to play at game speed in a small area - Increasing their reaction time to situations and teaching them how to maneuver in small areas.
Passing stations - Montreal Drill (pg 21)
This drill instills teamwork. Being a good passer makes the game easier for each individual player and their teammates. Focusing on teamwork in the early stages of player development will create good habits for young players throughout their playing careers for all sports.
Individual Defence Tactics - Gap Control (pg 22)
Gap control is the hardest thing for a defenceman to learn and become proficient at. If you can teach a player young, it will become second nature when they are older when the pace of the game speeds up. The toughest and best defencemen always have the best gap control!
Angling Gate Drill (pg 24)
Angling is also a very hard skill to learn, it requires excellent timing and patience. When a player can grasp this, the rest of the game will become easier.
Backward Skating (pg 26)
The best players in the world are the best skaters. Being mobile and comfortable on your skates is important. Whether you're a forward or defenseman backwards skating should be strong.
2Man Cross (pg 41)
Working the puck up the ice with teamwork is the best way to do it. The ability to give-and-go is a key part of learning how to attack the net. Adding in a cross often provides the attacker with more space to get the shot off.
Net Drive - Delay (pg 42)
All basic attack strategies that are good for young players to learn. Goalies don't like it when players crash the net, so do it, and do it often! This is also a good drill for the goalie to learn how to react!
Skills Stations (pg45)
We think this is the most fun part of practice. Having confidence with the puck no matter where it is on your stick is important. Handle it as much as possible and in many different types of situations!