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Possession Puck vs Attack Puck
Understanding Playing Conditions To Maximize Your Game and Improve Puck Possession
Mental frameworks for sport and life are critical in making quality decisions on what to do and how to proceed.
As a coach, I’m always trying to influence and create better decision-makers. A great way to do that is to teach simple frameworks that can influence my player’s mindset when playing. One of these that I like to use is around what kind of puck they are receiving: a possession puck or an attacking puck.
A “Possession puck” is a puck in conditions that are a bit dirty. Therefore the best option is to make a simple play to keep possession and play the long game to continually improve the conditions of the puck and play.
A few examples:
Players are under pressure
The player receiving the puck is stationary
Receiving the puck with limited ice vision (e.g. back to the middle)
Here is an example of two players having possession pucks. Both players one-touch the puck to players who have better conditions to attack and see the ice.
An “Attack puck” is a puck that can be used to be the aggressor and attack the defense.
A few examples:
Receiving a puck with a positive speed differential
Receiving a puck with a negative speed differential
Have space and clean vision
Here is a great example of creating a negative speed differential by controlling skating to “fold under.” The space opens up in front of the goal scorer and is in a prime opportunity to attack the net.
With any play in hockey, the goal is to always improve the conditions of the puck’s situation.
Having your back to the middle of the ice isn’t ideal, but with some patience and deception, players can turn possession pucks into attacking pucks.
A simple framework like possession puck vs attacking puck may seem silly to some, but we think it’s a highly effective way to think about the game.
Next time you’re on the ice, ask yourself - is this a possession puck or attack puck?
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