Ice hockey defense drills are essential for improving defensive skills and techniques. These drills help players enhance their positioning, stick handling, and decision-making abilities while defending the goal.

In addition, they also improve footwork, body positioning, and overall defensive awareness on the ice. By regularly practicing these defense drills, players can become more effective at protecting their team’s goal, intercepting passes, and preventing opponents from scoring. Effective ice hockey defense requires players to be quick, agile, and strategic in their movements.

This means they must be able to anticipate their opponent’s moves, block shots, and effectively clear the puck out of their defensive zone. Incorporating these drills into regular training sessions can greatly benefit defensemen and contribute to the overall success of the team.

Ice Hockey Defense Drills


Fundamental Defense Drills

Drill Description
Footwork Drill This drill focuses on improving footwork and agility skills for defense players. Set up five cones in a straight line, about 2 meters apart. Starting from one end, players move laterally from side to side, touching each cone as they go. This drill helps develop quick lateral movements, allowing players to stay with attacking opponents and defend effectively.
Stick Checks Drill In this drill, players work on their stick checking technique. Divide players into pairs, with one player holding the stick as a target while the other practices stick checking. The players alternate roles after a set time. This drill helps to improve stick control and accuracy, essential for effectively disrupting opponents’ plays.
Board Play Drill This drill focuses on teaching players how to effectively play the puck along the boards. Divide players into groups of three, with one player acting as the defender and two players as attackers. The defender must prevent the attackers from gaining control of the puck and clear it out of the zone. This drill helps improve positioning, physicality, and decision-making in board battles, essential skills for defense players.

Advanced Defense Drills

Improving your skills in 1-on-1 battles is crucial for any ice hockey defenseman. This drill focuses on enhancing your read and react abilities when engaging with an opponent. Start by positioning yourself in front of the attacking player and maintain a low stance with your stick ready. Anticipate their movements and make quick decisions to disrupt their progress. Remember to stay focused on the player’s chest rather than the puck to avoid being deceived by fake moves. Use your body positioning and stick work to limit their options and force turnovers. Practicing these advanced defense drills regularly will sharpen your defensive skills and give you an edge on the ice.

Ice Hockey Defense Drills


Frequently Asked Questions On Ice Hockey Defense Drills

How Can I Improve My Hockey Defense?

To improve your hockey defense, focus on these key areas:

1. Work on your footwork and positioning to stay in front of the attacker.

2. Improve your stick skills to poke check and intercept passes.

3. Communicate effectively with your teammates to ensure proper coverage.

4. Study the game and understand the strategies used by successful defenders.

5. Practice agility drills to improve your quickness and reaction time.

How Do You Defend In Ice Hockey?

To defend in ice hockey, you need to stay focused and position yourself strategically. Keep your body between the opponent and the net, actively stick check, and use proper body contact to disrupt the offense. Communication with your teammates is important for effective defense.

How Do You Teach Kids To Play Defence In Hockey?

Teaching kids defense in hockey involves teaching positioning, body contact, and stick-checking. Emphasize the importance of staying between the puck and the net, using their body to block shots, and using the stick to poke check. Encourage active engagement and quick decision-making.

What Do Defensive Players Do In Hockey?

Defensive players in hockey are responsible for protecting their team’s goal and preventing the opposing team from scoring. They use their stick, body positioning, and physicality to block shots, steal the puck, and disrupt the opponent’s offensive plays.


To enhance your ice hockey defense skills, incorporating these drills into your training routine is essential. By focusing on improving techniques such as pivoting, stick checking, and gap control, you will become a more formidable force on the ice. Remember, practice makes perfect, so dedicate regular time to these drills to see noticeable improvements in your defensive abilities.

Elevate your game and achieve success on the ice with these effective ice hockey defense drills.