The 5 best ice hockey coaching drills are designed to work on player fundamentals such as skating for speed, shooting, goaltending, transition and power skating. There are many different positional hockey drills that coaches use to work on positioning and specific skills that are very valuable. These top five best ice hockey coaching drills help lay down the fundamentals of good play.
- Back and forth. This entry into the list of five best ice hockey coaching drills is designed to work on team speed and coordination. It is a simple drill that can be used to tire the entire team out. Line up the entire team along one of the goal lines at the end of the rink. The coach blows the whistle and the entire team sprints to the other end of the ice. Goaltenders are included in this drill. The entire team stops when it gets to the other end, and turns to face the opposite end of the ice. This can go on for as long as the coach feels it is necessary.
- Semi-circle shooting drill. If you watch ice hockey on televisio,n then you may have seen teams doing this member of the list of five best ice hockey coaching drills. The team forms a semi-circle around the goal that starts in the middle of one face-off circle, reaches to the blue line and then ends in the middle of the opposite face-off circle. One goalie gets in the net, and then the players in the semi-circle take shots one at a time on net. This helps to improve the shooters' accuracy, and it also helps to improve goaltender reaction time.
- Random transition drill. The random transition drill helps all players get used to moving the puck out of the defensive zone as a unit. The coach splits the team into two units and places each line along opposite sides of the rink just inside the blue line. One player stands in the middle of the blue line with a bucket of pucks. In this entry on the list of five best ice hockey coaching drills, the order of the players in each line is random. The only players that do not participate are the goaltenders. The coach blows the whistle, and the first player in each line takes off down the ice. The player in the center of the ice passes the puck to one of the players before he reaches the next blue line, and then that player passes across the ice before that player reaches the face-off circle. This exercise happens extremely fast, but it helps to improve the team's transitioning skills.
- Three passes. Three forwards are positioned just outside the blue line. Inside the zone there is one defenseman and the goalie in net. The coach blows the whistle, and the three forwards must score. The forwards only get one shot on net, they cannot skate backwards, and there must be three passes between them before the shot can be taken.
- Three-on-three scrimmage. A coach is interested in developing teamwork among his players. One of the best ways to develop teamwork is the three-on-three scrimmage. This drill is similar to a mini-game but without the contact. Three players are chosen to be on opposing teams, and each team is given a goaltender as well. The scrimmage lasts five minutes, there are no whistles and the side with the most goals wins. The only time the action is stopped is to remove a player from the scrimmage that executed a body check.