In this drill for younger players (but easily progressed for more experienced players), your goalers will learn to time their movements together so there is always a strong movement to the ball and a simultaneous strong movement to the post, in order to create lots of good space within the goal circle.
Bibs for defenders (optional)
– Start the drill with one goaler inside the goal circle, and 3-4 feeders on the circle edge. The goaler starts at the post and drives towards the first feeder with the ball, receiving a pass, and then passes to the next feeder before driving to the post and repeating, until they’ve received a ball from every feeder. You may choose to have them put up a shot after the last pass, if they’re within range.
– Have your goalers rotate so one rests while another works, before switching directions so they work both clockwise and anti-clockwise.
– PROGRESSION 1: Add a second goaler into the circle. Now while one goaler drives to the ball to receive a pass, the other drives to the post. When the receiver passes to another feeder, the they then drive to the post while the other goaler drives to the ball. Goalers should maintain vision for where the ball is at all times – avoiding turning their back on the ball. Remind them to keep their shoulders slightly turned while running towards the post, so they can see both the post and the ball.
– Complete 4-5 passes in each set, before putting up a shot.
– PROGRESSION 2: Ask your goalers to “check the post” before passing the ball back out to the next feeder. This means that after receiving a pass they must turn their body and shoulders and look at the other goaler at the post, just like you’d want them in a game.
– Now after the fourth or fifth pass, the receiver can turn to the post and pass to their teammate, but only if that teammate is on a strong drive or movement. If the teammate has reached the post and stopped, they’ll need to make another movement to receive the ball.
The most challenging part here is the timing. The goaler making the final drive to the post to receive the last pass will likely need to hold their lead until their teammate has turned and is ready to pass it to them. If they drive to the post too early, they’ll likely run out of room and become stationary at the post, and we should always try to avoid passing to a stationary target.
– PROGRESSION 3: Add one/two defenders! Putting a defender in with the two gaolers gives them something else to think about, and also ensures that their drives to the ball are strong enough to lose an opponent. Depending on the competence of your players, you may ask the defender to be relatively passive, or to defend at full intensity.
– For more advanced players, add a second defender so that every drive (whether it’s out or to the post) is under pressure, and the finishing drive is enough to beat an opponent into shooting position.