A Junior hockey player and NCAA D1 commit recently slid into our DMs asking about his footwork while catching a pass on his strong side then getting downhill (toward the net/into the zone). He followed it up with a few clips of catching passes from his defensive partner.
Diagnose before prescription
His question was specific, but likely has a deeper root and we need to understand further where his mind is at and what he is thinking. From there, then we will have a better idea and direction.
“Before I bias your answer… what’s your diagnosis”
He sent back a clip of Connor Bedard on the power play as to what he should do. That led to him discussing using backward crossovers to get speed yet finding himself outside toward the boards.
From the above, it’s safe to assume 2 things
He’s worried about space and speed
He finds himself stuck
Of course, we can have a discussion, but really what’s more powerful is sending him an idea or concept and documents for him to dive into on his own before we regroup again.
A big piece is the concept of playing in the future. Notice the sexample you sent has the player already moving toward the net before receiving.
Those artciels were so helpful. Wow!
My takeaways from that are
1) I should play as if I am definitely going to receive the puck
2) Maybe stay closer to the blue line if my partner has the puck so I can catch it with momentum to the net
3) If I am already skating in the right direction before I get the puck, I basically have a head start over the guy defending me
Thank you so much!
Two more that are helpful
Then one more once ready to shoot… don’t skate at the goalie!
He followed up with:
Man these are so good they are exactly what I was hoping for. I can definitely start working on applying these things.
That “point shots suck” article was so good, it was the first article of yours that I ever read, and has had a huge impact on how I play now.
I think for next game, my goals are going to be 1) Playing in the future, 2) Do something useful with my blueline touches, and 3) Scanning before I get the puck so that the first 2 are possible
Awesome! Now we wait and follow along with his progress.