Hockey Playing Tips


Here is some information about playing hockey and a few drills that you may find helpful. Of course, all of these are made easier if you have the best gear, and you can find everything you need including skates, protective gear, and ice hockey sticks at HockeyMonkey.

Table of Contents:

  1. Forehand Passing
  2. Backhand Passing
  3. Pass Reception
  4. Stick Handling
  5. Moving to Openings
  6. Offensive Strategy (to come)
  7. Defensive Strategy (to come)
  8. Other Rules of Play

1. Forehand Passing

Both hands move in the direction of your target. Do not swing your stick in an arc as you release the puck. Proper knee bend is important. Keep your stick in contact with the puck; do not slap at the puck as you pass it. A pass should be done without making any sound.

Imagine a straight line in the direction of your target. Your stick should follow straight through on this line. If you whip your stick in an arc as you're passing, it's harder to predict where the puck will go! The puck could leave your stick at any point in the arc.

    o drill: pass with partners for extended periods of time
    o drill: use a heavy puck
    o drill: practice moving as you pass the puck
    o drill: add a turn as you pass the puck

2. Backhand Passing

Again, it is extremely important to make sure both hands move in the direction of your target. Imagine a straight line drawn on the ice that leads to your target. Your stick should travel in the direction of this line as you pass the puck.

    o drills: same as for forward passing

3. Pass Reception

These suggestions apply when receiving the puck on either the forehand or the backhand. As the puck is coming towards you, move your stick towards the puck and tilt the top edge of your stick towards the puck. As the puck contacts your stick, let your stick move a bit in the direction of the puck to cushion the impact of the reception. On the backhand it is particularly important to let the puck cross right in front of your body as you're receiving it. Do not meet the puck with a rigid stick, or the puck will bounce right off your blade.

4. Stick Handling

As in pass reception, the blade of the stick cups the puck when you are stick handling. This applies to both the forehand and backhand motion in stick handling.

You will be a more dangerous player if you have a wide range of motion when you're stick handling. This makes it easier to pull the puck out of the reach of your oponents, yet while maintaining control.

    o drill: stick handing on the spot for 30 seconds.
    o drill: w-i-d-e stick handing on the spot for 30 seconds.
    o drill: stick handle in a figure-8 fashion around your
               gloves while remaining stationary.
    o drill: stick handle around a row of pilons.  Make a
               move on each pilon as you approach it.  Be
               convincing!  Practice the fake to both the
               forehand and backhand.

5. Moving to Openings

    o drill: staggered cones around centre circle.  Defense
               passes between cones to a moving forward.

6. Offensive Strategy

7. Defensive Strategy (to come)

8. Other Rules of Play

  1. Make contact with every oponent that touches the puck and always beat her back into the play.
  2. Be aware of the player you are covering without the puck and prevent her from being a factor in the play.
  3. In our zone, pin the puck carrier to the boards.
  4. Move players from the front of the net. Let your goalie see the play.
  5. Always face the play. Don't circle away from the play. This is very important! Practice skating while always facing one end of the arena, for example.
  6. Stop and immediately skate hard the other way on all turnovers (avoid making big circles!). Use the reverse pivot when necessary.
  7. Go into all scrambles on the defensive side (between our net and the scramble).
  8. Jump quickly on loose pucks.
  9. Pass the puck up ice rather than across the ice in our zone. Do not pass the puck in front of your own net unless you are 200% sure that it won't be intercepted.
  10. Eat the puck or kill the play, rather than making a blind pass.
  11. Pass the puck around, not through, opponents in our zone. Do not take chances in our own zone.
  12. When under pressure or in doubt at either blueline, get the puck out or in, and hard!
  13. Support the puck carrier by moving with a purpose without the puck and skating hard into openings.
  14. Accelerate into open ice to receive the puck. Do not slow down as you receive the puck.
  15. Move the puck up ice if a teammate is in a better offensive position than you are. Remember, the puck moves faster than you do!
  16. When you are the closest outlet pass, you must make sure that there is not a defender between you and the passer.
  17. Go directly to the net with or without the puck, and do not skate by the net! Keep your stick on the ice as you go to the net.
  18. Keep the puck deep, rather than forcing a pass when in the offensive zone. Don't pass out in front of the net if no one is there, as it will undoubtedly result in a turnover.
  19. Shoot low from the point. This minimizes the chances of hitting traffic in front of the net.
  20. Get directly in front of the goalie with your stick on the ice for all shots from the point.
  21. Use a quick release shot, such as the wrist shot or the snap shot, when you are in close to the opposition's net.
  22. Skate quickly to pucks along the boards, so that it will give you more time to decide what to do with the puck once you get there. Do not waste time getting there!

Hope that helps! Good Luck with your Hockey! :-)

Related Links:

Coaching Links:

Greg Siller's Book:

The below links are for chapters in a new Roller Hockey book, called Roller Hockey: Skills And Strategies For Winning On Wheels, by Greg Siller. Although these links are for Roller Hockey skills, many apply to ice hockey as well.

This page is maintained by © 1998 Andria Hunter (

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