These drills are mainly for off-ice use. You can adapt them to on-ice use by just adding skates and ice, with a little improvisation. We also have a practice drills section devoted soley to on-ice training. Off ice drills are very important, and can be done just about anywhere with the space, and when you make the time. Also that agility drills will also help increase your overall speed. By practicing these agility drills, you will:
- Limit wasted motion
- Limit wasted movement
- Develop a natural flow and athletic grace
- Become more competent in agility of speed and strength
- Become more efficient in movement
Essentially, you must perform these drills correctly in order to be efficient in your movements. Shaved seconds can translate into victory.
Drill #1 - Sprints focused on starting
Directly behind the starting line, place the foot of your non-dominant leg (To help you decide your dominant leg, while standing with your feet together have someone push you from behind. Whichever leg you step out with is your dominant leg so it should go behind). Place the knee of your dominant leg at the instep (middle) of your front foot and place the hand of the dominant side leg down behind the line. Maintaining your foot placements, raise your hips up as high as you can, roll forward over your shoulders (Your hips should be higher than your shoulders and all your weight should feel like it is leaning forward on the ball of your front foot - heal should not be touching the ground). Cock back your free arm as far back as you can and flex the front leg so that it is ready to extend. Explode out with a forward lean in a pumping action.
Drill #2 - Sprints with varying speed
Gradually increase speed over the specified distance reaching maximum speed at the end, slow down over the next 20yds. Your change in speed should be gradual and not visible at any one point.
Drill #3 - Sprints with varying speed (yes, more!)
While sprinting, vary your speed back and forth from 85% to 100% within the specified distances. The speed change should be immediate and visible at each point.
Drill #4 - Sprints with resistance
Find a hill long enough to meet the prescribed distance, the hill should have approximately a 15 degree angle or greater. You can also use stairs for resistance -- go up at a jogging pace, and come down in a slightly (but only slightly) relaxed pace.
Drill #5 - Sprints, crossovers
Turn to the side and run sideways to your destination. Place one foot over the other with one step, then under the other with the next step. Once you've completed your distance, stay facing the same direction and return to the starting point.
Drill #6 - Jumping Rope
Combine long sweeping loops with short bursts of speed for optimum performance. The long sweeping loops are great for conditioning and endurance, but with the added short bursts, you'll improve your agility and speed.
Drill #7 - Jumping Bean (or Figure Eight)
This one is great for goalies. Stand in the center of an imaginary square. You can place markers to indicate the corner of the square if you like. From the center, jump with both feet together to the upper left corner of the square, then to the bottom left, then back to the center, then to the upper right, then the bottom right, and back to the center. Continue doing this drill for 15-20 seconds, take a small break (about 10 seconds) and go the opposite way. You can also try doing this drill on one foot for the first 15-20 seconds, and then the other for the next 15-20 seconds.
Drill #8 - Jumping Hourglass
This is another great goalie drill. Stand in the middle of an imaginary square with both feet together. You can place markers to indicate the corner of the square if you like. With both feet together, jump forward and land with your feet apart (larger than shoulder's width, as far apart as possible). Then, without turning around, jump backwards to your original spot, landing with both feet together. From this position, jump backwards again, landing with your feet apart (again, larger than shoulder's width), and then back to the center, landing with both feet together. Continue this drill for 15-20 seconds at a time. Alternate Drill - upon each landing with your feet apart, do a 180 degree turn.
Drill #9 - Relay sprints
Set up three cones or markers in a line, five yards apart. Start at the middle cone, sprint to the end cone, sprint to the other end cone, and then past the other end cone again. At each arrival to a cone, bend down and touch the ground. Alternate Drill - set up two lines of cones and race, or try to beat your own time.
Drill #10 - Shuttle drill
Set up four cones or markers in a line, five yards apart. Start at the first cone, sprint to the second, then back to the first. Sprint to the second cone, then back to the first. Sprint to the third cone, then back to the first. And finally, sprint to the last cone, and back to the first. At each arrival to a cone, bend down and touch the ground. Alternate Drill - set up two lines of cones and race, or try to beat your own time.