Warm-Up Drill #4: Semi-Circle (“Horseshoe”) Shooting

BEGINNER

  • Arrange players, in both ends of the floor, into an arc (semi-circle) formation; starting 5 metres back from the crease. Younger players can start a little bit closer to the net than intermediate/advanced players.
    • *Variation #1 (5 min):  "All at Once."  If there's no goalie, coaches can ask that players shoot "all at once," which gives all players a chance to get lots of repetitions shooting (Variation #1A).  Another variation can also be done as a game by marking the floor with a pylon at 10,12, 15 & 20 metres away; distances which all players will have to shoot from.  If they score they move back to the farther pylon, and if they miss they must go back to the first pylon (Variation #1B).  When players are at multiple distances, coaches must have each group shoot at different times.  The other option is for coaches to have all players shoot from the same distance every time, keeping track of the total number of goals scored.  
    • *Variation #2 (10 min):  "L to R/R to L."  Have players take turns shooting, working their way from one side to the other, with one second in-between shots (start on the opposite side the next time through the drill).  Each time through the drill have players move a little farther away from the net, until 15 metres back.  Lastly bring players “in tight,” two metres from the crease (4 times total). 
  • *Variation #3 (10 min):  "Side-To-Side."  Same as the above variations except incorporate side-to-side shooting, switching from a left-handed to a right-handed shooter on each shot, which helps goalies work on their lateral movement.  This variation can see the shooters advance from the outside-in (Variation #3A), or to the inside-out (Variation #3B).  After that, bring players "in tight," two metres from the crease. (4 times total).
  • *Variation #4 (10 min):  "Shot OTR."  Same as the above variations except players take a shot-on-the-run. 
  • *Variation #5 (10 min):  "5 Points Variation."  Same as the above variations except there are five lines at the 5 standard offensive positions, instead of the semi-circle formation. 
  • *Variation #6 (7 min):  "Kneeling Shot."  Same as the above variations except there are five lines at the 5 standard offensive positions, with the player behind the player at the front of the line loading up the player who is kneeling.  The players that are shooting can be loaded with between 1-5 balls before rotating. 
  • *Variation #7 (5 min):  "Corner Specific Shots."  Any of the above variations can also be done with the coach telling the goalie and/or players which corner the players will be shooting at prior to starting the drill, or between reps.  Coaches also have the option to tell a few players in line to mix it up (unbeknownst to the goaltender).  
  • *Variation #8 (5 min):  "Mix Release Points."  Any of the above variations can also be done while instructing players to take a certain type of shot (unbeknownst to the goalie) whether overhand, side-arm, underhand or bounce shots.
  • *Variation #9 (5 min):  "Rebounds Off The Goalie."  Another variation for after players shoot is for individual players to practice corralling rebounds off of the goalie, which is a game-specific skill that is hard to replicate.
  • Variation #10 (5 min):  "Beat Your Number Game."  For any of the above variations, coaches can orchestrate a game of players against the goalies, whereby the players need to score at least one more goal each rep through the semi-circle, to be able to continue shooting (otherwise the drill is done); keep track of how many goals they score.  Try to get a better number of goals the next time doing the drill (replicates "clutch" shooting); less goals is a win for the goalie and vice-versa.

*Most common error = Not following through properly and/or taking one's eye off of the target.

 

*For all drill variations after a player shoots they should “react back,” sprinting the length of the floor (collecting a loose ball along the way if possible), and then line up in the same formation in the opposite end of the floor; or just sprint to the rag-line (lining up again in the same end). 

 

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