5 Small Area Games for Your Practices, Dave Starman

As time passes, technology, research and analytics are becoming increasingly present in the game of hockey. Specifically in the past 7 years, we've seen a significant presence of small area games and cross-ice practices in rinks across North America and at every level of the game.

This, large in part can be attributed towards the push of the ADM from USA hockey and their focus on increasing player activity, puck touches and engagement in condensed spaces of the ice. By proving their development concepts through statistics, we're finally seeing an adaptation to how the game is being taught.

Our team at CoachThem are full believers of the new wave of player development and connected with one of USA Hockey's own, Dave Starman, to share this knowledge base with the CoachThem community.

On top of coaching with the Tier 1 P.A.L Jr Islanders (14U AAA Major), Dave is a USA Hockey Coaching/Goaltender Development Coordinator for New York State, pro scout for NHL Seattle, college hockey analyst for CBS Sports and the Big Ten networks AND a huge advocate of the ADM teaching model. His knowledge in the game brought him to speak at both the 2018 and 2019 Hockey Coaches Conferences, where his captivating presentations on small area games opened the eyes of hundreds of coaches to this methodology.

We collaborated with Dave and put together 5 of his favourite small area games for engaging, competitive and FUN practices, at every level!

 

1. 2 vs 1 Keep Away

Tags: Small Areas, 2 vs 1

small-area-game-2vs1-keep-away-CoachThem

  • 4 pylons to create a smaller zone
  • Teams play a 2vs1 keep away, while staying within their respective pylons
  • Coach decides length of interval

2. Corner 2 vs 2

small-area-game-corner-2v2-CoachThem

  • Coach plays puck into corner zone for a 2v2
  • Coach continues to cycle pucks in play if they get out of zone until a goal is scored

3. Gretzky

small-area-game-wayne-gretzky-CoachThem

  • 3vs3 game where each team has a "Gretzky" behind the opposing net that they have to pass to before they can attack
  • "Gretzky" cannot score and must stay behind the goal line at all times
  • Coach dumps in puck to begin play

4. Regroup 

small-area-game-regroup-drill-CoachThem

  • 3vs3 game where each team has a player behind their own net
  • Coach dumps in puck to begin play
  • Each team must regroup with their goal line player before attacking opposing team
  • Must regroup on change of possession

5. USAH DZ

small-area-game-usa-hockey-defensive-zone-CoachThem

  • 2vs2 game where each team has two stationed on the half wall
  • D on each team must play stationary 
  • Coach dumps in puck to begin play
  • Each team's F's must battle for the puck and pass it to their respective D
  • There must be a D-D pass before a shot on net from the point


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