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Thread: Coaching Tip # 82 - Strong side / Weak side.

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    IHF Member Headcoach's Avatar
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    Coaching Tip # 82 - Strong side / Weak side.

    Strong side / Weaks side, is mainly used when trying to teach all of your players tactics. "Strong side / Weak side" is a general rule when it comes time to teaching defensive strategies.

    If you split the ice down the middle


    You will see that you have two halves, a right and a left side. Where ever the puck is, is known as the strong side, where ever the puck is not, is known as the weak side.

    Now, the reason why I tell you this is not to be funny, but to teach you the basic rule that sets the very foundation for getting the puck out of your zone.

    Without this basic foundation rule, your team will be unable to break the puck out of your zone, thus a goal will be scored in your zone.

    So how does one use this rule effectively? One of the main problems defensive teams have is not knowing when and where to start the breakout.

    This breakout starts with the regaining control of the puck, deep within your zone, mainly in the corners.

    If your defensemen has the puck in the far corner, this is know as the strong side. If he gets the puck and tries to skate up the board on the strong side, there is a good chance that he will get his a** kicked up against the board. Why?

    It's called the strong side because everyone in the entire free ice skating world that's on the other team is on that side. That's why it called the strong side. The chances of that defensemen, weaving or passing though all those legs is a real pain in the a**.

    So, here's a question...

    If everyone is on that side, how many people are on the other side? (jeapardy music here)

    That's right....none! This is why it's called the weak side! Ok, so if I have a defensemen in the strong side corner, the weak side defensemen and winger, will know that the puck is coming to him. So in order for him to support the strong side defensemen, the weak side winger needs to set up at the hash marks to assist the strong side defensemen with the breakout.

    The rule is...

    If you are on the strong side in your zone, you must exit your zone on the weak side...at ALL cost! So as long as everyone is on the same page, they will all adjust there roles accordingly to their position during the breakout.

    Now where most teams fail is the pass between the defenseman and the player that has set up on the weak side to assist. This pass needs to be tape to tape. Yes, will someone on the other team be on this set up guy like white on rice....yes!

    This is why the set up guy needs to know where to place the puck off the boards for the curling center, or pass the puck back to the passing defensemen as he moves up the ice into the rush. Then have the winger fall back and cover the defensemen position.

    I hope this help out a little with understanding strong side /weak side tactics.

    Head coach
    Last edited by Headcoach; 07-02-2010 at 20:20.
    Hundreds of FREE hockey drills at http://www.passthepuck.net

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