Hockey Drills for Kids
At the beginning of the season, most coaches introduce a primary set of hockey drills for kids. Implementing these exercises over a period of a few months helps to instill basic passing and stick handling skills. It also teaches players how to move quickly on the ice. These three drills are perfect for doing with your kids to prepare them for competition:
This is one of the simplest hockey drills for kids. It is a basic warm-up that helps children work on their skating and balance skills.
- Two players begin in adjacent corners of the rink. The players then skate figure 8’s around all of the faceoff circles drawn on the ice. Encourage your players to maintain good edge control and watch their crossovers while skating.
- For older children, add forwards to backwards at every other circle. Also encourage more experienced players to pick up the pace during this drill.
Star Passing Drill
This great half-ice drill is the perfect for getting young athletes used to the movement of a puck. It also teaches them to pass and receive correctly from a stationary point.
- Break your players up into teams of 5, and station each team at one of the rink’s faceoff circles, where they will stand on the edge. One player starts with the puck and passes it to the player across from him. He then passes it across to the next player, and so on.
- Once your players get the hang of passing to forehand, have them practice passing to backhand. Feel free to mix it up or make it into a game by having one player stand in the middle. If someone accidentally hits him with the puck while passing, that person must then become the player in the middle.
Horseshoe Give and Go
The Horseshoe Give and Go is a basic skating drill that also helps players master their speed and shooting skills.
- Place cones in the middle of each of the rink faceoff circles. Have players skate horseshoes around the cones in the half-ice area. As the first player reaches the starting point, he should skate a round with the next player, who will pass a puck to him to skate with.
- Young children should begin this drill without pucks. Use the Horseshoe Give and Go to stress the importance of edge control and neutral zone speed.
Young athletes are generally energetic, enthusiastic, and eager to learn. For this reason, hockey drills for kids usually go over very well, and are a great way to teach fundamental skills. You can make a big difference in a child’s life by teaching him his first hockey techniques. Just remember to utilize consistency and repetition in combination with plenty of positive feedback to get optimal results with youth hockey players.
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