Here are four easy ways to create super-intense, high-energy practices that will pump up players.
1. Severely limit the amount of time you spend talking.
Sport is not for talking.
It’s a “see and do” activity.
Most coaches take 5 minutes to explain a drill…while the players are twirling in the corner. At ringette camp, we ask our instructors to talk for 2 minutes maximum (ideally, 30 seconds or less).
And, demos are better than talking – so if you don’t have a player on your coaching staff, use your own players.
Let’s say you are teaching your athletes how to skate with efficiency so they can get more speed with less effort. All you want to do is get your players pumping their arms from front to back instead of from side to side.
Have a player demo the skating drill two ways: once where she is moving her arms from side to side, and once where she is moving her arms from front to back.
Here’s the first way (arms side to side):
Here’s the second way (arms front to back):
Now have your players “copy” the demo. That’s it.
2. Use drills that keep your athletes moving at all times.
An athlete should never go more than 15 seconds between repetitions in a drill.
- Add a line of defenders, checkers or chasers to the drill.
- Send more than one athlete at a time from each line.
- Tell athletes to leave sooner in the drill.
3. Use music.
Many arenas have sound systems you can take advantage of. Put in some Dance Mix ’95 and blast it.
4. Use your own voice to create energy.
Yell out words of encouragement during the drill.
“Perfect, Susan, keep your feet moving!”
“Force yourself to stay low… I know it burns but you’re almost there.”
“Drive, drive, drive to that net! Yes! Great shot!”
(It never hurts to add in a fist bump or a high five).
Try these four methods and your players will positively clamor to get on the ice.
Lisa Brown and Laura Warner