Two Concepts that will help your game: Wanting the puck and baking your own cookies.

Want the Puck

Want the puck. Don’t slap it away. Keep it. And make a play.

This is what I tell my most novice players and any player who gets a little stressed by the speed of the game. I see them just getting to the puck and as fast as possible slapping it away from them. It becomes infectious, and next thing you know it looks like a bad game of hot potato. No one gets her nose over the puck, or gathers it in, or protects it, or finds some open ice, or gets her head up, while moving her feet to make a play. There are very few plays in hockey where you chase a puck and get to it and slap it away.

Good hockey players want the puck and don’t want to give it up until they are ready to shoot or pass. With a contested puck they protect the puck until they have time to make a play.

For more advanced players: wanting the puck is a support concept as well. You give it up (pass it) and you find space to want it back. This is called a give and go. When you see your teammate looking for passing options, jump into open ice and want the puck from your teammate.

When you have the puck on your stick, know that you earned it and you belong here and that puck belongs to you. Say to yourself: “It is my puck.”

Life’s lesson: “A tremendous amount of ‘want to’. That’s the difference between success and failure.”

Bake your own cookies.

If you want to get the puck you have to take it away from the other team. Be the hound. Be hungry for it. Chase, hard work, be quick to the puck. Getting a loose puck takes effort. Don’t expect someone else to get it to you. Don’t stand 6 feet away and stare at the puck and hope it comes to you and wait for it. Go get it! Win the races, jump on loose pucks, win the battles for the puck. We call those 50-50 pucks. Each player has a 50% chance to get the lose puck. No one has position on it or can protect it. Win those battles, and you have the puck on your stick. Bake your own cookies = make your own opportunities. If you play with this mentality you will have more fun.