One of my favorite drills for teaching a player moving puck control is the puck control “commands” drill. With this drill, I randomly place 20 – 30 pylons in the neutral zone. I shout out a command, explain the key teaching points and demo the skill, then have the player perform the skill around different pylons. I switch up the command every 20 – 30 seconds.
Puck Control Commands can include the following:
- Slalom – both half speed and full speed
- Fake Left – go right
- Fake Right – go left
- Toe Drag
- Figure 8 – glide and crossover turns
- Full 360 turns – both forehand and backhand
- Forward to Backward Pivots
- Backward to Forward Pivots
This drill allows for a variety of puck control moves and skill development.
The average Calgary minor hockey player will only handle the puck 10 – 20 seconds in a game. However, with this 10 minute puck control drill, factoring in a rest to work ratio of 1 to 1, a player will handle the puck for 5 minutes, or 300 seconds; the equivalent of 15 to 30 minor league games!
Yes, playing games are fun, but good practice drills greatly enhance hockey technical skill development such as puck control.