How Many Good Things Can You See In This Goal?

Often goals are the result of an accumulation of little things. The Maple Leafs (in blue) do a lot of good things that lead up to big goal in a playoff game.

How many good things can you see in this clip?

It all ends in a sweet cele!

Forward Stride For Maximum Speed

If you want to maximize your speed, you need to have a long, powerful forward stride. This video breaks it down.

It is a good idea to video your stride from the front, back and side to see where you can improve your stride.

Key Elements

  1. Knee bend should be roughly 90 degrees. In the photo below, the player is a little bit lower, which is good. If you want to get long strides, you have to get this knee bend. 
  1. Full straight leg extension. At the end of your stride, your leg should be fully extended and there should be a straight line from your head, though your back, right to your toe.
  1. Full leg return. At the start of each stride, your feet should be together (about an inch apart). This allows you to get the full push on each stride.

A good way to practice the full return is to make your heels touch at the start of each stride.

  1. Toe should FLICK to be pointed to the side at the end of the stride. This is the last part of the push and it also one of the most powerful parts of the push. At the end of each push, when your leg is fully extended, your toe should flick to the SIDE as shown below. A common mistake is to have the toe pointing DOWN at the end of the stride in a running motion (shown in RED). If you do this, you are slipping on each stride by not keeping the inside edge on the ice and are thus not able to start the return with full power.
  1. Arm swing should be through the full range of motion. A full range of motion in the arm swing encourages your feet to move automatically. It helps to create and maintain momentum. The arm swing should be in a forward and backward motion and should never cross the centre line of your body. A side to side arm swing will put you off balance.

Drag Touch Drill

This is a great drill to practice all the elements of the forward stride. (See the clip at the very end of the video above)

  1. Start out with an incredibly deep knee bend. This is just a way to practice and remind us to get a good knee bend before the drill starts.
  1. At the end of each stride, after you’ve flicked your toe to the side, drag the inside edge of the toe back until it touches your heel.

Stick Positioning

How To Play Without The Puck

And… How To Win It Back!

Good defensive stick positioning is key to slowing down the opposition and creating turnovers. We want to steer our opponents to less dangerous positions.

When you don’t have the puck, you should:

  1. Play with your stick in ONE HAND. This increases our reach. It is okay to switch hands back and forth with one hand on the stick.
  1. Keep your stick ON THE ICE.
  1. Get your stick INTO THE PASSING LANES. This takes away passing options.
  1. As you get close to an opponent, get your STICK ON THE PUCK.

Day 27 – Deception, Fakes and Misdirection

This is the 27th day of our team’s virtual mid-season training camp. Each day, there will be a short assignment for you to do to continue your development. These assignments are mandatory for players and coaches. Parents are also encouraged to participate.

At the core of being deceptive is trying to make your opponent think you are doing one thing but then do another (typically in a different direction).

Layers of Deception

1) Head and Eyes

Work at keeping your head up when you have possession of the puck and when you shoot. Learn to “look off” opponents. An eye fake can be just as effective as a fake pass or shot.

2) Stick, Hands and Puck

Practice faking shots. Sell a shot then do something different. Fake a pass! This can be done with a shoulder feint, stick movement, hand or puck movement.

3) Feet

Work on tight turns and changing direction. This can begin with no puck and progress to puck handling.

Even better if you can do ALL three at once or in sequence.

Check out these video examples which include all three layers of deception.

Today’s Assignment:

  1. Complete today’s workout on the TeamBuildr app. Be sure to mark each exercise complete as you finish it.
  1. In each of the videos, can you see all three layers of deception? The next time you practice stickhandling, try to include and practice all three.
  1. Give another example of a time and place during a game that you could use deception. Post your answer into the team WhatsApp group.

Day 23 – Don’t Quit!

This is the 23rd day of our team’s virtual mid-season training camp. Each day, there will be a short assignment for you to do to continue your development. These assignments are mandatory for players and coaches. Parents are also encouraged to participate. It seems like forever since we’ve played hockey. But through it all, you’ve … Read more