You don’t need ice to learn hockey! Grab a pair of roller blades, a hockey stick and a puck, and you’re ready to start practicing. You can practice hockey skills at home in your driveway, at a nearby park or anywhere there’s a safe space to skate. If you don’t have skates, or haven’t mastered skating and stopping safely yet, you can still work on these basic hockey skills in your tennis shoes.
If you’ve never played hockey, learn the basics with Coach Wade, then try one of these drills to help you rule the rink. Don’t forget to wear your safety gear and helmet!
4 Hockey Skills To Practice With Or Without Skates
Once you’ve mastered skating and stopping safely, you’re probably ready to move on to something more hockey specific. Basic stick-handling, or maintaining control of the puck, is a good skill to practice. It takes a long time to get your muscle memory used to it, so practice this skill as much as you can.
An easy stick-handling drill is to stand with your feet shoulder width apart, and hold your stick with your hands in front of you. Using your hockey stick, shuffle the puck back and forth directly in front of you for one minute. Then move the puck to the right so it’s next to you and practice handling it on that side for a minute, then repeat on the left side for a minute. Then end with another practice in the middle for a minute. You can repeat this set as many times as you want.
Moving The Puck Through Obstacles
In hockey, there are going to be obstacles on the ice like other players, their skates and sticks, the walls and the goal. It’s easy to get tripped up while you’re skating and maneuvering the puck, so you’ll want to practice avoiding obstacles. Staying in control of the puck while avoiding obstacles is a good skill to practice. Use cones to set up obstacles around the rink and then practice going through them with the puck close to you. If it’s too easy, add more obstacles or try to get through faster.
Shooting The Puck
If you are lucky enough to have a net, set it up and practice shooting a bunch of pucks into the net from different positions. If you don’t have a net or are just working in your driveway, use a couple of cones to set up the “goal” and practice shooting the puck in between the cones. Try to have something behind it to prevent the puck from hitting your house! You could set up a wood board behind the cones, or put it in front of a wall your parents don’t mind you using.
If you have a net, mentally divide it into different quadrants — upper right, upper left, lower right, lower left and center — and really try to aim for a specific quadrant. Practice hitting that quadrant until you get good at it, then move onto a different one. When you’ve gotten comfortable aiming for all of the various ones, have your mom or dad shout out a quadrant and respond as quickly as you can.
Passing The Puck
Grab a friend or your sibling for this one! Now that you’ve learned how to control the puck, practice sending the puck to a partner. Trade off hitting the puck back and forth to each other, starting off with easy hits, then building up as you both get more confident. This drill will also teach you how to receive a puck pass. Definitely make sure you’ve got safety gear on for this one even if you’re not doing it on skates!
If you liked these drill ideas, check out Happy Camper Live’s Hockey Camp to learn more skills like how to stop the puck, goalie setup, passing the puck, turning on blades and how to make the perfect wrist shot.