Offense may be more entertaining, but defense wins championships; the 5 best defensive hockey drills can turn your team into a backchecking, shot-blocking force to be reckoned with. The 5 best defensive hockey drills emphasize positioning, the true key to hockey defense. Here are the 5 best defensive hockey drills for teams wanting to take it to the next level:
- Defensive Angling – Two players skate out from the zone as the coach has all of the pucks. The coach randomly passes the puck to one player. The other's job is to angle the player with the puck to the boards and intercept the puck to stop the offensive player from scoring. The random nature of the drill makes it one of the 5 best defensive hockey drills, because it emphasizes quick reaction time as well as positioning.
- One-on-One Defense Pursuit – In this drill, the offensive player starts at the red line and the defensive player at the far blue line. The offensive player receives a pass. The defensive player, from behind, must catch the offensive player and prevent him from scoring. This is also an excellent conditioning drill, making it a multifaceted entry on the list of 5 best defensive hockey drills.
- Team Defensive Zone Breakout – This breakout drill involves all five team members as well as the coach and goalie. The coach fires the puck around the boards, where the goalie leaves his net to stop it and leave it for one defender. That defender passes to the other defender, who passes to the center, coming back into the zone in the middle. The center turns and passes to the right wing, who sends it across to the left wing leaving the zone. There are many variations of this breakout, which is a solid fundamental base for leaving the defensive zone and transitioning to offense. it is definitely one of the 5 best defensive hockey drills.
- Tracking – This drill involves two players, one attacker and one defender, both beginning in the corner of the defensive zone. The attacker skates out to the red line, the defender to the blue line, where he stops and begins to skate backwards as the attacker loops around, receiving a pass to enter the zone. From there, this entry of the 5 best defensive hockey drills is a one-on-one on goal.
- Two-on-One Defense – The final entry on the list of 5 best defensive hockey drills is simple but effective. A defender starts at the far blue line as two attackers, one with the puck, start from the corners. They pass back and forth and try to beat the defender two-on-one. The defender's goal is to prevent a cross-ice pass while limiting the angle of the possible shot on goal. This is fundamental for in-game action.
The 5 best defensive hockey drills will have your team working like a well-oiled machine. Practice hard.