Practice Plan for Better Breakouts

Kim McCullough Photo
Kim McCullough

Our goal on the breakout is always to exit our zone quickly with speed, support and possession. But as we all know, this is much easier said than done. 

It requires working hard to get back into the defensive zone quickly, reading the pressure of the forecheckers and making a first play/pass that moves the puck away from pressure. As with all of our attack systems (play with the puck), we must create speed coming out of the zone and provide support close to and away from the puck carrier.  Communication between all the players on the ice is critical and must include the goalies, both defensemen and all the forwards. We teach our players how to make proper reads on the breakout based on our preferred options and the type of pressure the opponent is using.  It is critical that all players run their proper routes and the puck carrier knows all the options once they get the puck. 

But sometimes it just doesn't seem to work and we find ourselves getting hemmed in time and time again.

Here's a simple practice plan I use with all the teams I work with from my daughter's U9 competitive team all the way up to the Icelandic Under 18 National Team - and all the ages & levels in between. Change the spacing, timing, and constraints to challenge your team & players according to their level. 

It starts with the basics of better puck retrievals & first pass decisions and finishes with a fun 3v3 cross ice breakout game.

Try it out, share it and let me know how it goes. 
Work Hard. Dream BIG.
Breakout Better.
~ Coach Kim

Kim McCullough

Hi there - I'm Coach Kim and I'm the Director & Founder of Total Female Hockey. For the past 20 years, I've been empowering coaches, pl...


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