Cut the Ice in Half for Additional Skill Development

May 14, 2013 | Chris Costa

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Tired of Russian Circles and the countless other half-ice hockey drills your team has been completing in practice since the Squirt level?

To enhance speed, agility and puck-handling skills in a tight space, incorporate a half-ice, board-to-board game situation drill into your next hockey practice. The combination of a game-like atmosphere and a smaller area will strengthen the players' offensive and defensive skills in several ways. (Watch video of Nail Yakupov performing short-area drills.)

For starters, playing on a smaller surface will help you develop a great sense for passing the puck quickly and accurately, which will lead to stronger and more effective breakouts from the defensive zone.

The half ice also affords players the opportunity to enhance their speed and quickness. With limited space to maneuver, players must be able to evade their opponents within two to three strides. A quick player can always create space to either move the puck strategically or skate to an open area.

Finally, board-to-board mini-games force players to be creative with the puck to maneuver in tight spaces. Transitioning to a game situation, smarter play will result and instinctual actions will begin to create synchrony for the line combinations.

Keep your practices fresh and your hockey sense sharp with the board-to-board drill.

Discover additional half-ice hockey drills to help you master the fundamental skills of the game

Photo: via psu.edu

Chris Costa
- Chris Costa has participated in athletics as a coach, player and official for 22 years. He specializes in hockey training, both on and off the...
Chris Costa
- Chris Costa has participated in athletics as a coach, player and official for 22 years. He specializes in hockey training, both on and off the...
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