This backchecking drill is great for defenceman stressing gap control. F's (forwards) start low without a puck cutting behind the net getting a pass from the second player in line. D (defenceman) pick up the breaking out forward at the blue line playing a 1vs1. The coach may; or may not blow his whistle. If the whistle is blown the forward regroups turning back towards the end he came from. The defenceman backchecks. The coach may again blow his whistle creating another 1vs1 (the forward regroups up ice and defenceman pivots backwards to pick up the attacker.)
Challenge players by blowing the whistle frequently,but let some 1vs0's with the D backchecking get through to keep them honest.Remember this drill is to cahllenge the gap between the defence and forward.
Cues One end goes and then the next. Quality outlet pass on the tape. 1vs1 play is inside out.Forwards accellerate hard out of regroups. Hard backcheck on forward. Quick transition to defence pivot to backwards controoling gap and steering forwards to the outside of the rink through good body position and skating technique.
Variation Try the same drill 2vs2
Thanks to Malcolm Sutherland
for his weekly drill submissions.
Malcolm Sutherland H.B. kin., C.P.T. Owner Director of Superior Hockey Schools (superiorhockey.com)
email Advanced certified Coach with Hockey Canada
Assistant Coach of the Thunder Bay Thunder Cats United Hockey League(Minor Pro.)
Certified Personal Trainer (American Council on Exercise; and IDEA)
Inside Hockey / Hockey Player Magazine
Thunder Bay Hockey News on the web Youth Hockey Network (YHN.COM)