Something that is stressed among young players is the importance of protecting the puck. If a player is simply pushing the puck forward when stickhandling, he or she is sure to lose it against defenders. That’s why running puck-protection drills, like the East Coast Puck Protection drill, are vital in a young player’s development.
Drills such as the one you are about to watch are great for a goalie’s skill training, as well. Any drill that requires the goalie to move side-to-side and react to shots from both sides of the offensive zone are also instrumental in a goalie’s development.
Watch below to see the East Coast Puck Protection drill.
The xPasser Give-N-Goes are set up just past the two faceoff dots in the offensive zone. All players line up on both sides of the blue line and the first skater throws a hard pass to the Give-N-Go. After receiving it, he or she circles back, skates across the faceoff circle and fires a shot on net. This cycle then continues with the next player on the other side of the zone.
We recommend having the players switch sides after attempting the drill each time, giving them a feel for both sides of the rink.
It’s important for coaches to keep their eye on the players’ turns after receiving the puck back from the xPasser. Does he or she dip his or her shoulder to power through the turn? Is the toe of the stick open or closed when circling (best is for it to be closed)? How confident does the player look when carrying the puck just before the shot?
As for the goalies, it’s important that they remain square to the puck carrier. A vital piece of this drill is his or her ability to make the save, then circle to the next puck carrier — the netminder should be treating the next shooter as if a rebound has popped back out on his or her initial save.
To purchase the xPasser Give-N-Go, choose your link below:
- USA – xHockeyProducts.com (ships from: Minneapolis-Saint Paul area).
- CANADA – xHockeyProducts.ca (ships from: Toronto area).
To shop the entire xHockeyProducts store, click your link below: