Coaching young kids in any sport can be quite a task for anyone to take on. When you take on the role of coaching a sport such as basketball or football it's not quite so difficult because every kid knows how to run and most all of the kids have picked up a ball and tossed it around at one time or another. It's not quite so difficult because these are natural skills for kids and they pick them up pretty easy. If you've decided to try your hand at a more difficult sport such as ice hockey then you have your work cut out for you. Now you have to come up with hockey drills to teach your little protégées how to skate while holding a stick and handling a puck. Skating isn't really something that comes natural to kids and if you think they will pick up stick handling easily then think again. If you have decided you want to be a hockey coach then you must really love the sport.
When choosing hockey drills for your young team, you need to focus on fundamentals. Some coaches think that playing the game a sparring will make you better but a true coach understands that the basics are best and what the kids really need. Here are some drills to incorporate into your daily practices that will improve skating, puck handling, and other aspects of the game. As you team progresses you can choose additional hockey drills that will develop checking, blocking, shooting, and anything else your team needs.
- Skate Circles
This is a basic ice hockey drill that can be incorporated into any level of training. You will have kids begin on adjacent corners of the ring. On your mark they will skate figure 8's around the face off circles focusing on good edge control and working on speed. As they get better you can add in backwards skating.
- Relay Race
Here is another excellent hockey drill that will improve both speed and directional training. You can even have the kids do this one with their stick and puck. It develops team work, as well as improves all of the fundamentals of the sport.
Puck Handling Drills
- 3 Person Weave
This hockey drill requires 3 people to perform and will work on both puck handling and the ability to move down the ice and pass to open teammates. You simply have the kids make 3 lines with the puck starting in the middle line. The player will pass the puck to his right side and then skate behind that person and down the rink a bit. Then the player with the puck will pass to the teammate on the left side and skate behind him. The pattern will keep moving in a weave pattern down the rink. When your kids have gone down and back the hockey drill is over ant the next group can go.
- 1 on 1
One on One is both a puck handling drill and a game simulation drill. In order for the kids to be successful the need to be able to control the puck, beat their opponent, and score a goal. The kids will find this drill fun and will be learning at the same time. It's always good to finish off practice with this one and have the kids pumped for the next practice.
Hockey isn't really that complex of a sport, but in order to get good at it you need to focus a lot of time on basic ice hockey drills. Your kids may not enjoy it at the beginning, but if you make it fun and have a positive attitude they will learn to love it and get better at the sport.
Article Title: Hockey Drills for Young Kids