By Laura Warner

In 2000 the Canadian Ringette Team lost to Finland by one goal in the final of the World Championships Ringette Tournament. After the tournament we talked about what had gone wrong and one topic kept coming up.

In our defensive end the Finns seemed to “come out of nowhere” and catch us by surprise on almost all of their goals. We noticed that we had regularly lost track of where the attacking players were while we were playing defence.

During the next season I set a goal to always know where every opponent was on the ice when I was playing in my own zone.

To do this I had to learn to know where the ring carrier and the people without the ring were–both at the same time. This skill is called “keeping your head on a swivel”.

The next time you are at a National Ringette League game, watch the defenders in the triangle. If they are smart, they will take a look around the zone every 4-5 seconds.

They will also be in constant communication with their teammates to make sure everyone
knows where the attacking players are.

In 2002 our team was determined to keep track of the sneaky Finnish players at all times. By being more aware we were able to intercept passes, step up earlier, block shots, and anticipate their plays. In 2 games they scored only 4 goals against us (compared to 11 in 2000) and our team won the final 3 to 1.

Check out this video clip of a triangle that always knows where the opponents are. Pay close attention to the defence and center.

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