Hockey Play Book: Teaching Systems to Amateur Players

Overview

The bible for hockey coaches at all levels of competition.

The Hockey Play Book is a practical handbook for coaches seeking better players and better team-play.

The book features systems for defensive, offensive and special-team situations, all accompanied by annotated, easy-to-understand diagrams. The systems range from conservative to aggressive -- some are intended for big, physical teams; others for ...

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Overview

The bible for hockey coaches at all levels of competition.

The Hockey Play Book is a practical handbook for coaches seeking better players and better team-play.

The book features systems for defensive, offensive and special-team situations, all accompanied by annotated, easy-to-understand diagrams. The systems range from conservative to aggressive -- some are intended for big, physical teams; others for fast-skating and highly skilled teams; and some work for both. Also included are teaching methods and drills for honing specific skills.

The first challenge for every coach is to determine the abilities of each skater. The approach in The Hockey Play Book is effective with players of all ages and levels of ability. Coaches can match systems with team strategy, bringing a special creative magic to one of the fastest team sports in the world.

The Hockey Play Book includes:

  • 500 step-by-step diagrams
  • Dozens of plays and skill-building drills
  • Conservative and aggressive systems
  • Teaching strategies for all levels of play
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781552090503
  • Publisher: Firefly Books, Limited
  • Publication date: 8/6/2005
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael A. Smith has been involved in hockey for over 40 years as a player, as a coach and as general manager of the New York Rangers, Colorado Rockies, Chicago Blackhawks and Team USA. He was an adviser for the National Hockey League and has traveled extensively as a lecturer and studied European training methods in Russia and Sweden. The author of six books on hockey, he lives in West Tisbury, Massachusetts.

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Read an Excerpt

General Introduction

Hockey is a game played by young athletes and a game in which youth is not entirely determined by age. NHL players bring the same enthusiasm to the rink as eight-year-olds, and no matter what level the players, it is the coach's responsibility to create an atmosphere and environment that gives shape to that enthusiasm. Games are fun. That is why people of all ages play them.

The techniques explained in these pages are cut-and-dried; the diagrams and text are brief and to the point. Coaches reading this book, however, need to remember that their job is to bring these plays to life and that the lessons contained in this book are intended to channel players' excitement, never to stifle it.

This book focuses on the different systems that are part of hockey. There is no one system, no best system, no secret system. Hockey systems are not complex or difficult to learn, although some, it is true, can be challenging to execute. They do take teamwork, though, and it is part of the coach's job-actually, a major part-to foster an eager and effective team spirit and, once it exists, to orchestrate its actions.

When I started coaching in the early '70s, I thought the road to being a good coach was straight. If I learned A and then B and C, and so on, I would become a skilled coach and know everything I needed to know. But I discovered that the more I learned, the less I knew for sure. What once looked clear and simple often became gray and diffused.

I concluded that a good coach had to become an artist and that the process of guiding a hockey team was subjective. I learned that a good coach must constantly create if he is to enable his playersand his team to grow.

The purpose of this book, then, is to provide resources for coaches who are caught up in their own creative efforts. These chapters include different systems for hockey's defensive, offensive and special team situations. Teaching methods and drills are provided, and the systems run the gamut from the conservative to the aggressive. Some systems are designed specifically for big physical teams or for fast-skating and highly skilled teams or for teams that have both. In this book, there should be a system for every coach.

But here is a warning. Despite the look of this book, hockey is definitely not a game of x's and o's. Diagrams help, but a coach is in trouble if ever he thinks players can learn the game from a chalkboard. It is vital not to make hockey rigid. It is a fast-flowing game with the opportunity for physical confrontation, and it is important for the coach to incorporate both the flow and the physical elements into his plans.

In a sense, the game of hockey resembles jazz. Talents and skills are necessary, but a basic framework is required within which to exercise these abilities. Both jazz and hockey demand improvisation; the individual player doing the extra unexpected bit makes the system work. The individuals play off each other and constantly adjust to one another, and in hockey, just as in jazz, too much planning can ruin everything.

There is no perfect system. Different coaching philosophies emphasize different techniques. Coaches who believe in aggressive, attacking play proceed differently than coaches who believe in a conservative, close-checking approach. Some coaches want aggression in some zones and conservative play in others, and a coach must come to grips with his philosophy of the game before selecting specific systems for play in any one of them.

Once a coach has decided what kind of team he has at his disposal and knows roughly how he wants to proceed, this book can help him lay out his plans. It can help with adjustments to his present techniques, and maybe contains a couple of ideas he hasn't thought of before. Later in the season, when the team is in a slump and enthusiasm is slipping away, perhaps this book can even supply a little of the creative magic that every coach should always be looking for.

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Table of Contents

General Introduction

Section One: Defensive Play

  • Introduction

Chapter One: Forechecking

  • Introduction
  • Standard Triangle
  • 1-2-2
  • 1-4
  • 3-2 Check
  • 1-1-3 Off-Wing Stay Back
  • 2-3 One Wing Always Back
  • Wings Chase and Center Forechecks
  • 2-1-2
  • Aggressive 2-1-2
  • One Wing Always Deep
  • Aggressive Overload
  • 3-2 Press
  • 1-2-2 Everything to the Net
  • 3-1-1 Press
  • Drills

Chapter Two: Neutral Zone Defense

  • Introduction
  • 1-2-2
  • 1-1-3
  • 2-1-2
  • Drills

Chapter Three: Defensive Zone Play

  • Introduction
  • Zone Defense
  • Combination Zone and Man-to-Man
  • Box Plus One
  • Drills

Section Two: Offensive Play

  • Introduction

Chapter Four: Breakouts

  • Introduction
  • Positional Play
  • Plays
  • Board Play
  • Plays
  • Free-Flowing System
  • Plays
  • Drills

Chapter Five: Neutral Zone Offense

  • Introduction
  • Positional Play
  • Drills
  • Forwards Crisscross
  • Drills
  • Regroup Free Movement
  • Drills
  • Neutral Zone Attack
  • Plays

Chapter Six: Offensive Zone Play

  • Introduction
  • Positional Play
  • Drills
  • Triangular Offense
  • Drills
  • Overload the Slot
  • Drills

Section Three: Special Team Play

  • Introduction

Chapter Seven: Power Plays

  • Introduction
  • The Funnel
  • Drills
  • 2-1-2
  • Drills
  • Defensemen Slide
  • Drills
  • Wings Play the Off-Side
  • 1-2-2
  • Plays
  • Man in Front of the Net
  • From the Corner
  • Czech Power Play
  • Plays
  • Diamond Formation

Chapter Eight: Penalty Killing

  • Introduction
  • 0-4
  • 1-3
  • 2-2
  • Drills
  • Tight Box
  • Wide Box
  • Movable Box
  • Drills

Chapter Nine: Face-Offs

  • Introduction
  • Offensive
    Face-Offs
  • Defensive Face-Offs
  • Neutral Zone Face-Offs
  • Drills

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Preface

General Introduction

Hockey is a game played by young athletes and a game in which youth is not entirely determined by age. NHL players bring the same enthusiasm to the rink as eight-year-olds, and no matter what level the players, it is the coach's responsibility to create an atmosphere and environment that gives shape to that enthusiasm. Games are fun. That is why people of all ages play them.

The techniques explained in these pages are cut-and-dried; the diagrams and text are brief and to the point. Coaches reading this book, however, need to remember that their job is to bring these plays to life and that the lessons contained in this book are intended to channel players' excitement, never to stifle it.

This book focuses on the different systems that are part of hockey. There is no one system, no best system, no secret system. Hockey systems are not complex or difficult to learn, although some, it is true, can be challenging to execute. They do take teamwork, though, and it is part of the coach's job-actually, a major part-to foster an eager and effective team spirit and, once it exists, to orchestrate its actions.

When I started coaching in the early '70s, I thought the road to being a good coach was straight. If I learned A and then B and C, and so on, I would become a skilled coach and know everything I needed to know. But I discovered that the more I learned, the less I knew for sure. What once looked clear and simple often became gray and diffused.

I concluded that a good coach had to become an artist and that the process of guiding a hockey team was subjective. I learned that a good coach must constantly create if he is to enable his players and his team to grow.

The purpose of this book, then, is to provide resources for coaches who are caught up in their own creative efforts. These chapters include different systems for hockey's defensive,
offensive and special team situations. Teaching methods and drills are provided, and the systems run the gamut from the conservative to the aggressive. Some systems are designed specifically for big physical teams or for fast-skating and highly skilled teams or for teams that have both. In this book, there should be a system for every coach.

But here is a warning. Despite the look of this book, hockey is definitely not a game of x's and o's. Diagrams help, but a coach is in trouble if ever he thinks players can learn the game from a chalkboard. It is vital not to make hockey rigid. It is a fast-flowing game with the opportunity for physical confrontation, and it is important for the coach to incorporate both the flow and the physical elements into his plans.

In a sense, the game of hockey resembles jazz. Talents and skills are necessary, but a basic framework is required within which to exercise these abilities. Both jazz and hockey demand improvisation; the individual player doing the extra unexpected bit makes the system work. The individuals play off each other and constantly adjust to one another, and in hockey, just as in jazz, too much planning can ruin everything.

There is no perfect system. Different coaching philosophies emphasize different techniques. Coaches who believe in aggressive, attacking play proceed differently than coaches who believe in a conservative, close-checking approach. Some coaches want aggression in some zones and conservative play in others, and a coach must come to grips with his philosophy of the game before selecting specific systems for play in any one of them.

Once a coach has decided what kind of team he has at his disposal and knows roughly how he wants to proceed, this book can help him lay out his plans. It can help with adjustments to his present techniques, and maybe contains a couple of ideas he hasn't thought of before. Later in the season, when the team is in a slump and enthusiasm is slipping away, perhaps this book can even supply a little of the creative magic that every coach should always be looking for.

Read More Show Less

Introduction

General Introduction

Hockey is a game played by young athletes and a game in which youth is not entirely determined by age. NHL players bring the same enthusiasm to the rink as eight-year-olds, and no matter what level the players, it is the coach's responsibility to create an atmosphere and environment that gives shape to that enthusiasm. Games are fun. That is why people of all ages play them.

The techniques explained in these pages are cut-and-dried; the diagrams and text are brief and to the point. Coaches reading this book, however, need to remember that their job is to bring these plays to life and that the lessons contained in this book are intended to channel players' excitement, never to stifle it.

This book focuses on the different systems that are part of hockey. There is no one system, no best system, no secret system. Hockey systems are not complex or difficult to learn, although some, it is true, can be challenging to execute. They do take teamwork, though, and it is part of the coach's job-actually, a major part-to foster an eager and effective team spirit and, once it exists, to orchestrate its actions.

When I started coaching in the early '70s, I thought the road to being a good coach was straight. If I learned A and then B and C, and so on, I would become a skilled coach and know everything I needed to know. But I discovered that the more I learned, the less I knew for sure. What once looked clear and simple often became gray and diffused.

I concluded that a good coach had to become an artist and that the process of guiding a hockey team was subjective. I learned that a good coach must constantly create if he is to enable his players and his teamto grow.

The purpose of this book, then, is to provide resources for coaches who are caught up in their own creative efforts. These chapters include different systems for hockey's defensive, offensive and special team situations. Teaching methods and drills are provided, and the systems run the gamut from the conservative to the aggressive. Some systems are designed specifically for big physical teams or for fast-skating and highly skilled teams or for teams that have both. In this book, there should be a system for every coach.

But here is a warning. Despite the look of this book, hockey is definitely not a game of x's and o's. Diagrams help, but a coach is in trouble if ever he thinks players can learn the game from a chalkboard. It is vital not to make hockey rigid. It is a fast-flowing game with the opportunity for physical confrontation, and it is important for the coach to incorporate both the flow and the physical elements into his plans.

In a sense, the game of hockey resembles jazz. Talents and skills are necessary, but a basic framework is required within which to exercise these abilities. Both jazz and hockey demand improvisation; the individual player doing the extra unexpected bit makes the system work. The individuals play off each other and constantly adjust to one another, and in hockey, just as in jazz, too much planning can ruin everything.

There is no perfect system. Different coaching philosophies emphasize different techniques. Coaches who believe in aggressive, attacking play proceed differently than coaches who believe in a conservative, close-checking approach. Some coaches want aggression in some zones and conservative play in others, and a coach must come to grips with his philosophy of the game before selecting specific systems for play in any one of them.

Once a coach has decided what kind of team he has at his disposal and knows roughly how he wants to proceed, this book can help him lay out his plans. It can help with adjustments to his present techniques, and maybe contains a couple of ideas he hasn't thought of before. Later in the season, when the team is in a slump and enthusiasm is slipping away, perhaps this book can even supply a little of the creative magic that every coach should always be looking for.

Read More Show Less

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