Most coaches know and believe in drills and find them to be effective for their players. With that said, though, most coaches also just do basic skating drills. And, while these can be helpful, players often get bored with them after a while and just start going through the motions, not really learning anything. For this reason, it’s wise to shake things up a bit, and an easy way to do that is to incorporate racing into your drills.
Not only will your players love it and have fun when a race element is introduced into play, but races should also do a good job of really bringing out their competitive natures. This, in turn, will breathe new life into the practices, making for drills that are as effective and helpful as they are enjoyable. And, the great news is that there are a variety of racing types that can be incorporated into drills.
Stop and Start Racing
If you’re looking for a hockey coordinating drill, try stop and start racing. You can do this type of racing on both sides of the ice, and you also have the ability to create lots of different variations of this drill in order to keep things challenging.
You simply pick starting and stopping points for each race and then introduce the puck where appropriate. You can then reward the player who completes the race and skates to the puck first with a breakaway and continue play from there.
Defense Pivot Racing
If you want a drill that will help your defensive players and work on skating skills for everybody, try defense pivot racing. With this type of racing, you only need one zone, so it can be done with limited space.
You just have your players line up along the boards by the blue lines. Then, have them skate forwards and transition backwards once they reach a cone placed on the goal line. They should then skate backwards until the next cone, at which point they’ll open up and transition to the middle of the ice around another cone. After that, they can race for the puck that you set out.
These are just two of many possibilities for incorporating racing into your drills. Whether you use one of these options or come up with something all your own, they are sure to love these new and fun challenges…and to learn from them too!