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Ultimate Guide to Coaching Youth Hockey


Coaching Offense in Youth Hockey

An offensive hockey player's job is to shoot the puck and score a goal in the opposing team's net. You'll need to work with your offense on both shooting technique and strategy to move the puck to the opposing team's end zone.

Often, the best way to get the puck from your end zone, through the neutral zone and to your opponent's end zone is by passing. Offensive players, or forwards, should pay attention to the positioning of their teammates as well as the opposing team's defense. Forwards should concentrate on the angles they'll take to approach the net. Tell players that the opposing team's defense will try to anticipate where they'll move next. Forwards should consider skating toward the net at one angle, then shooting from another -- this makes it more difficult for the defense to determine where to block [source: Cunningham].

Some areas of the net have a higher rate of success than others do. The side of the net where the goalie holds his or her stick has a 55 percent higher success rate than the side where the goalie holds the glove. Forwards are also more likely to score close to the ground than higher in the net -- a puck flying through the air is easier for a goalie to see and block [source: Anderson].

In order for your offense to succeed, you'll need a good defense to back them up. Read on for tips on coaching defense in youth hockey.