Ultimate Guide to Coaching Youth Hockey

Teaching Basic Hockey Skills

Before young hockey athletes master the competition, they'll need to master the individual skills that make up good hockey playing.

First, your players will need to practice their skating technique -- this includes starting, stopping, controlling speed and maneuvering comfortably on ice. If players aren't used to skating, have them take a few turns around the rink at their own pace without holding a hockey stick. As their balance improves and they gain confidence, have them skate while holding a stick correctly. After they're comfortable with these motions, they should move on to hitting the puck.

A player's next concern is controlling the puck. Players need to practice slowing and stopping a moving puck and learn how to apply these skills to dribbling, shooting and passing. Players also need to learn to guard the puck from the opposing team.

For both forehand and backhand passes, be sure players keep their eyes where they want the puck to go and follow through with both hands holding the stick. When players receive a pass from a teammate, they should move their stick to meet the puck and angle the stick to prevent the puck from merely bouncing off [source: Youth Hockey Forum].

You can use drills catered to various hockey skills to help your team fine-tune its abilities. Keep reading to learn some workouts you can use to teach these skills.