Two-team practices used to be very uncommon. Nowadays, however, they are almost the norm. Even though two-team practices are a lot more frequent, a lot of coaches don’t really know how to utilize them or what to do with the time. Fortunately, there are many ways to effectively use a two-team practice, as well as many excellent skills that can be gained from practicing in this way.
Encourage Body Contact
Coaches sometimes seem a bit reluctant about body contact. However, a two-team practice is the perfect time to really emphasize it and to not hold back.
Good things to work on in these practices include body contact and body checking. These things can happen more naturally if drills are performed in tight areas. This little “hack” can make it so that players are basically forced to get used to and work on body contact.
One of the nice things about a two-team practice is that there are a lot more players on the ice and, thus, each player ends up doing fewer reps of certain things, at least for or under the guidance of the coach.
This might seem like a bad thing, but it’s actually a great way to force quality over quantity. Sure, doing a lot of reps isn’t bad, but when fewer reps are being done, players can focus more on making each one sharp and perfect. Also, they can avoid the tiredness and sloppiness that often comes with doing reps over and over again.
Promote Teamwork and Good Sportsmanship
One final way to use two-team practices is as a way to promote teamwork. It’s the perfect opportunity to get a team to bond and come together. What’s more is that, at the same time, players can focus on having good attitudes and good sportsmanship toward the other team they’re working with.
As you can see, when used effectively, two-team practices can be a wonderful thing in many ways!