Hockey skating is the basic skill that every player must master. It is the training and improvement of an activity that never ends, that even the best hockey players cannot ignore in their training. Mastering skating the wrong way limits the player and hinders his ability to develop his performance in game in the later years of his career to the required degree. After mastering the basic techniques of skating, it is necessary to combine this with other motor skills, especially activities with the puck.

Reality shows that skating while moving forward and backward and sudden changes of direction with the puck is highly neglected. Which later negatively reflects in the confrontation with other hockey countries.

Skating lessons should be started as early as preschool age of 6 years and in the first two years of organized training of young players more than 80% of the time should be devoted to skating. For practicing skating a very important condition is the high quality of demonstration of movement. The size of the space in which the player learns also has effect on his skating. When skating on a small area the player is led to frequent cross-over skating and direction change, while a large space supports skating in a slide.









Systematics of ice hockey (LH)

– in ice hockey all gaming skills are the basis, from which gaming activity is made up of
– it includes not only the motor, but also the mental responses, thinking and game inteligence

Game tasks are divided into:

  • Attack is the phase of a game in which the team that is in possession of the puck actively undertakes actions to shoot a goal or threaten the goal or keep the puck under their control.
  • Defense is the phase of a game in which the team that is not in possession of the puck is trying to get the puck to prevent a goal being shot and begin offensive actions.

Both of these phases (offense and defense) involve “gaming activities”. Gaming activities are methodically divided into two gaming aspects.

  1. according to the relationship of players to the puck – offensive, defensive
  2. the number of players, that are taking part of gaming activities
    • individual activity
    • combination of 2 – 3 players
    • team organization of all 5 players

LH division:

  • skating
  • individual activity
  • combination
  • team organization
  • special activities


It is an essential skill in ice hockey and so in the schematic of LH we dedicate to it separately. Individual skating techniques are:

  1. movement forward
  2. stopping forward movement
  3. arc movement and forward cross-over
  4. movement backward
  5. stopping backward movement
  6. backward cross-over
  7. direction change – changing from forward movement to backward movement on both skates, crossing-over on one skate
  8. starts and other skating skills


It is an “accompanying” training method, that “divides” skating movement into simple exercises and helps create good exercise habits in those stages of skating, where hockey players make the most mistakes. The main goal is the most effective utilization of power while skating. However, it would be wrong to think, that this is an “all-solving” training method. When used correctly this method helps to lay the foundations of high quality hockey skating techniques. Subsequently, the technique improves and maintains and helps remove deficiencies that may creep into developing players. In addition, strengthens those muscle groups, that are most involved in skating.

What specifically can be achieved using PS:

  • Higher speed skating
  • Better “economy” of skating (lower expenditures of energy)
  • Greater confidence and stability during skating overall

Stages of skating movement PS focuses on:

  • Semi kneel with low center of gravity (“right angle”) and front (“perpendicular knee-ice 3-5 cm in front of the skate”)
  • Take off with the start beneath the body („heel to heel“), ending with maximum flexing of all joints of the lower limbs, angle of take off („V“)
  • Movement of hands supporting the skating movement („non braking hands“)
  • Slide and feel for edges („soft feet“)
  • Second take off while doing a forward cross-over and working with the outer shoulder
  • Start with getting into the habit of first three steps without sliding

Defensive game activities

Occupy the player with the puck:

  • puck poke
  • crowding
  • clear the puck
  • lifting
  • stick press
  • striking the bottom part of the stick or into the puck
  • attack / approach the player
  • one on one battle
  • body play

Attack game activities

  • individual game activity associated with fulfilling a specific task of the game

Offensive Skills:

  • control of the puck is an essential hockey skill as is skating

It includes:

  • freeing the player with the puck
  • leading the puck – dribblink – short, long, under yourself, to yourself, dragging, pushing
  • zigzaging – zigzag, around, through, other way
  • cover the puck by – body, arm, leg, stick, skate
  • freeing a player without the puck
  • passing and pass processing – under hand, over hand, on ice, through air, swing, slap – processing – forehand, backhand, on ice, through air
  • shot – forehand (swing shot, slap shot, golf shot)
  • touch shot, rebound, penalty shot
  • deception and faking – body, stick, change of direction and speed

Defensive game combinations

Defensive combination is the cooperation of 2 – 3 players.

  • covering – covering player is always in a defensive stance between the puck and his own goal, overview of the game
  • taking over – cooperation when a defending player takes over the opponent requires communication, reading the game – an overview of opponents, the puck and teammates
  • duplication – attacking player blocks the opponents stick while the other player gains the puck, it is necessary to duplicate in the moment when the opponent and his stick are eliminated
  • distance – always be sideways to the puck and to the opponent, have knowledge of your teammates, the opponents and the puck, typical for DZ play when the puck is near the goal line
  • personal defence – it is a tight defense of a player with or without the puck, all players must have an overview of the puck and of the game

Attack game combinations

  • pass and go (follow)
  • pass and follow
  • leave the puck to another
  • backward pass
  • crossing
  • movement into empty space
  • screening

Organizing teams play in defense

  • keep the team organized
  • attacking
  • pushing the opponent with the puck off his axis
  • slow down or change opponents attack
  • defenders play in position close to each other
  • constant cooperation, assistance and communication

Defensive triangle

  • the player closest to the puck is first attacking player
  • creates pressure by forcing passes
  • finishing skirmishes
  • defensive triangle
  • one player on the tip
  • two players on the tip

Attacking in an attack

  • movement forward
  • movement backward

Game situations

  • it is a basic game situation in a defensive game
  • space in relation to the player with the puck to the other areas, in a corner, in line with the boards

Defensive systems

  • zone defense
  • personal defense
  • zone pressure
  • combination defense
  • aggressive variants
  • passive variants
  • in the current game only combination defense is played, that is personal zone defense
  • 2 – 1 – 2 aggressive position of players
  • 2 – 3
  • 3 – 2
  • 1 – 1 – 2
  • passive variants
  • 1 – 2 – 2
  • 1 – 4
  • 1 – 1 – 3
  • create your own age-specific philosophy based on the level of mastered skills
  • theoretical preparation – video, whiteboards
  • training and movement without resistance in AZ, DZ, CZ
  • technique of puck taking
  • technique and principles of puck taking
  • technique of personal stands offs
  • catching and blocking of shots – kneeling, sliding, using the stick
  • body play – bodychecking
  • individual plays like defensive plays
  • communication between the players and the goalie
  • defensiev game combinations
  • team organization
  • gain control of the puck fast
  • penetrate quickly and safely into the AZ
  • impose your concept of the game and disrupt the opponents
  • nonstop movement of the player and the puck

Organizing teams play in an attack


  • we are talking about the organization of the teams game in an attack, offensive game has a high degree of organization
  • affected by – size of the icerink, defense of the opponent, space, zone, position in the standings, quality of the team

Passing and processing:

  • positional sideways
  • diagonally forward
  • long vertical
  • short helping and back
  • off of the boards, off of the plexi
  • individually


  • get the puck in the AZ and take advantage of trained situations


  • training changes from defense to attack and vice versa (it is necessary to pay attention)

Phase of an attack:

  • founding an attack
  • developing an attack
  • concluding an attack
  • during an attack the puck is transfered to the weak side / during a defense its on the contrary to reinforce the strong side, use the principle of the game from the middle of the icerink

Founding an attack:

  • immediate acquiry of the puck and the speed of the first pass is crucial
  • experience suggests that in 5-8 sec. after founding an attack and crossing all zones (DZ, CZ, AZ) final shooting should take place
  • fast counter attack, gradual positional reorganized attack
  • establishing an attack must have width and depth, always facing the puck and the game

Developing an attack:

  • game situations where the team tries to get into an area by shooting
  • mostly means crossing the CZ and entering into the AZ by crossing the offensive blue line
  • takes advantage of – cooperation, individual action, shooting the puck in

Concluding an attack:

  • the goal is to create shooting opportunities and scoring
  • always keep an attacking triangle
  • conclude the attack by a shot
  • individual cooperation

Gradual attack:

  • attack is slow
  • lacks the element of surprise and dynamics

Positional attack:

  • takes advantage of parallel, backward and shorter passes
  • player movement and passing disrupts the defense
  • reorganized attack and fast attack can be used subsequently

Fast attack:

  • uses the penetrating pass
  • requires quality and creativity of the defenders
  • attack is led by moving to the center, by an arc towards the boards
  • this attack is carried out from a secure defense

Fast counterattack:

  • based on the moment of gaining the puck
  • penetrating pass to counter the movement of the opponent meaning outnumbering in the CZ, DZ – carries out the attack reorganization
  • against the defenders in the CZ on the opponents half especially at the offensive blue
  • backward pass mainly to the defenders
  • changing the tempo of the game
  • movement of attacking players from the second wave

Shooting the puck in:

  • against defense of an opponent that is before the offensive blue line
  • followed by doubling in the AZ or an instant inside pass to create options for shooting
  • 4. possibilities of shooting the puck into the AZ: direct onto the boards on the strong side, diagonally, along the boards, towards the goalie

Offensive pressure game in the AZ:

  • it represents all offensive activities in the AZ in balanced situations
  • penetration of CZ
  • after winning a face-off
  • after winning a battle in the AZ

Attack from the corner of the icerink:

  • individual actions
  • screening
  • rotation
  • behind (2, 3 players)
  • against each other (2, 3 players)
  • involvement of a defender
  • attack from behind the goal

Methodology of training an attack:

  • the prerequisite is mastering HCJ and HK
  • theoretical explanation, graphical representation taking into account the level of understanding of the players
  • video demonstration
  • training exercises for an attack
  • training founding an attack unopposed
  • passive blades (reverse stick) always outnumbered 5-1, 5-2, 5-3
  • training with resistance at outnumbering
  • 5-5, with emphasis on trained activity

Defensive activities

This focus is very important, unfortunately often neglected. While defender determines the play / pass and its components.


  • attacking – creating time and spatial pressure on the opponent with the puck, if the opponent doesn´t have control of the puck, doesn´t have who to pass to
  • defend the icerink axis
  • push towards the boards
  • slow the opponents attack
  • get opponent in less favorable positions
  • close the space
  • communicate
  • cooperate and encourage teammates


  • skating into a defensive position and occupy an opponent with the puck or without the puck
  • skate, not hook
  • keep the right defensive position by moving
  • abide the tightness of covering the opponets on own half
  • not to chase the puck recklessly
  • keep track of opponents and your teammates
  • shooting the puck in


  • attacking the opponent with the puck by the defender in the AZ by the boards
  • attack under the assumption that the defender is secure and that is by the an attacker or a second defender


  • transitions from attack to defense and vice versa
  • in a match this action appears at least 200 times
  • skating transition
  • exercises for a transition
  • playing exercises

Strong and weak sides of game situations:

  • strong side – in the congested area of ​​the game
  • weak side – more space of the game
  • the level of defensive skill of the players
  • mentality of players
  • size of the icerink
  • skating skills
  • quality of an opponent
  • the philosophy of the coach and his skills
  • conditional readiness