Shoot the puck. Score the puck.
Although there are professional and collegiate teams that prioritize defensive-minded play (look no further than the NHL come playoff time), hockey remains a game that is predicated on scoring more goals than the opposition. With that in mind, players that have powerful, accurate shots remain invaluable to the successes of each team.
These four drills will help develop the shooting abilities of young hockey players:
Finding the Lane
This drill primarily focuses on defensemen (or any player attempting a shot from close to the blue line) effectively getting point shots to the net. "Finding the Lane" will help players improve their shooting ability and their vision in avoiding traffic and opposing players that are attempting to block their shot.
Between a line of players (located a few feet inside the blue line) and the net, set up two separate nets face-to-face with roughly a foot of space between them. The space between the nets will create the "lane" players need to shoot through to score. Each player will take a turn shooting four to five pucks from their starting point just inside the blue line. The objective for the shooter is to take hard, accurate shots on net, while also avoiding the barriers (the face-to-face nets) that are creating the lane to the net. Rotate the drill to various locations across the blue line so players can practice shooting through traffic from multiple points.
This basic drill will work to develop shooting with a quick release, as well as becoming mentally tough when it comes to dealing with momentary successes and failures.
Have a group of players form a line in the corner of the offensive zone (to the left or right of the net) and facing the faceoff circle on their respective side of the ice. The coach will stand next to the players and serve as the passer in this drill, and one player will participate at a time. The drill begins with the first player in line beginning to skate around the outside (closest to the boards) of the faceoff circle. The coach will then pass five pucks as the player navigates their way around the circle toward the middle of the ice. The player should receive each puck and fire as quickly as they can on net.
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