around the horn hockey drill

Master the Around the Horn Hockey Drill

Around the Horn is a popular hockey drill that has been used for decades to improve passing and puck movement skills among players. This fast-paced exercise involves players passing the puck in a circular motion around the rink while constantly moving to open spaces. It is often used during team practices and training sessions to enhance players' ability to make quick and accurate passes, as well as to improve their overall game awareness and positioning on the ice.

The origins of this drill can be traced back to the early days of ice hockey. Coaches and trainers recognized the importance of developing strong passing skills as a crucial aspect of the game. By practicing passing in a dynamic, game-like setting, players could improve their decision-making abilities and become more effective at finding open teammates during real game situations.

Today, the Around the Horn drill remains an essential part of hockey training programs. With the increasing speed and intensity of the modern game, the ability to quickly move the puck and anticipate play has become more important than ever. This drill helps players develop the necessary skills to maintain possession, create scoring opportunities, and outmaneuver opponents on the ice.

One interesting statistic that highlights the significance of this drill is the correlation between successful passing and team success in hockey. Studies have shown that teams with a higher passing accuracy tend to win more games and have a higher goal differential. By incorporating the Around the Horn drill into their training routines, teams can significantly improve their passing skills and, ultimately, their chances of achieving victory on the ice.

To maximize the effectiveness of this drill, coaches often emphasize the importance of communication and teamwork. Players must constantly move and call for the puck, while also being aware of their surroundings and making split-second decisions. This not only improves passing abilities, but also fosters trust and cohesion within the team.

In conclusion, the Around the Horn drill is a fundamental aspect of hockey training that helps players improve their passing skills, game awareness, and positioning on the ice. With its origins dating back to the early days of the sport, this drill remains highly relevant in the modern game. Incorporating elements of communication and teamwork, it enables players to develop the crucial skills needed to succeed and win games.

The Benefits of the "Around the Horn" Hockey Drill: Enhancing Team Coordination and Passing Skills

In the world of hockey, various drills are employed to improve players' skills and enhance team dynamics. One such drill that serves this purpose is known as the "Around the Horn" drill. This article explores the advantages of this drill, which focuses on team coordination and passing skills. As you read further, you will discover how this drill can help players develop a deeper understanding of their teammates' positions and provide the foundation for effective passing strategies. Let's delve into the details and uncover the significance of the "Around the Horn" hockey drill.

Core Section 1: Purpose and Setup

The around the horn drill is a popular training exercise used in hockey to improve passing and communication skills among players. This drill involves quick, accurate passes between players in a circular sequence, creating a continuous flow of movement and teamwork. By practicing this drill, players can enhance their passing accuracy, timing, and overall understanding of team play.

To set up the around the horn drill, players form a circle on the ice, ideally with an equal number of participants. Each player should be positioned a few feet apart, creating passing lanes that allow for quick transfers of the puck. The drill begins with a player passing the puck to their adjacent teammate, who then passes it to the following player, and so on. The objective is to maintain a smooth and rapid passing sequence.

Core Section 2: Benefits and Skills Developed

The around the horn drill offers several benefits to hockey players of all skill levels. Firstly, it enhances passing accuracy and speed. By continually passing the puck under pressure, players learn to make quick decisions and execute precise passes. This translates to real game situations where split-second decision-making is crucial.

Additionally, the drill improves communication among teammates. As players pass the puck around the circle, they must effectively communicate their intentions and anticipate their teammate's movements. This strengthens the players' understanding of each other's playing style and fosters better teamwork.

Furthermore, the around the horn drill helps players develop their spatial awareness and positioning. By constantly moving and adjusting their positioning to receive and make passes, players enhance their ability to find open areas on the ice and exploit gaps in the opposing team's defense.

Core Section 3: Variations and Progressions

The around the horn drill can be adapted and progressed to further challenge players and simulate game-like scenarios. Here are some variations:

  • One-Touch Passing: Encourage players to pass the puck with only one touch, forcing them to make quick decisions and execute accurate passes.
  • Adding Defenders: Introduce defenders into the drill to create more pressure and simulate game situations. This challenges players to find open passing lanes while under pressure.
  • Increasing Speed: Gradually increase the speed at which players pass the puck, forcing them to react and make decisions faster.

Statistics and Facts

- In a study conducted at the youth hockey level, it was found that players who regularly practiced the around the horn drill demonstrated a significant improvement in passing accuracy compared to those who did not.

- Professional hockey teams often incorporate the around the horn drill into their warm-up routines to focus on passing precision and teamwork.

1. What is a common hockey drill that involves passing the puck in a circular pattern?

The Circular Passing Drill: How does it improve player skills and teamwork?

The Circular Passing Drill, also known as the "Around the Net Drill," is a popular hockey exercise that involves players passing the puck in a circular pattern, around the perimeter of the offensive zone. This drill focuses on improving various skills such as passing accuracy, communication, and team cohesion. By repetitively executing precise passes, players enhance their ability to maintain possession and create scoring opportunities. The three most important aspects of this drill are its emphasis on teamwork, improved passing accuracy, and the development of players' peripheral vision.

First and foremost, the Circular Passing Drill places a strong emphasis on teamwork. As players move the puck in a circular pattern, they must communicate effectively, constantly seeking open passing lanes and anticipating their teammates' movements. This drill helps foster a sense of unity among the team, as it requires constant cooperation and coordination. Through consistent practice, players develop a greater understanding of their teammates' playing styles and tendencies, enhancing overall chemistry on the ice.

Key points:

1. Emphasizes teamwork and effective communication among players.

2. Fosters unity and cooperation within the team.

3. Enhances overall chemistry on the ice.

Another significant benefit of the Circular Passing Drill is the improvement in passing accuracy. As players execute quick and precise passes around the perimeter, they learn to control the intensity, timing, and placement of each pass. This drill forces players to work on their passing skills under pressure, as they are encouraged to maintain a fast pace while maintaining accuracy. By honing their passing abilities, players can confidently execute clean passes even in high-pressure game situations.

Key points:

1. Improves passing accuracy by focusing on control and precision.

2. Develops the ability to pass accurately under pressure.

3. Enhances gameplay performance with clean and accurate passes.

Furthermore, the Circular Passing Drill aids in the development of players' peripheral vision. As the puck is circulated rapidly, players must maintain a constant awareness of both their immediate surroundings and the entire offensive zone. This drill requires players to utilize their peripheral vision to identify open passing opportunities, anticipate defensive pressure, and exploit gaps in the opposing team's coverage. By enhancing peripheral vision, players become more adept at assessing the game situation and making split-second decisions, leading to increased overall game awareness.

Key points:

1. Develops peripheral vision to identify passing opportunities and defensive pressure.

2. Enhances game awareness and the ability to make quick decisions.

3. Improves overall offensive zone assessment and exploitation of gaps in the defense.

2. How can the Circular Passing Drill improve passing skills?

Precision Passing: How does the Circular Passing Drill benefit players' passing abilities?

The Circular Passing Drill is an excellent exercise for improving players' passing skills. By repeatedly executing accurate passes around the perimeter, players enhance their passing abilities in several ways. Firstly, this drill allows players to practice both short and long-range passing, enabling them to develop a wide range of passing techniques. Additionally, the rapid pace at which the puck is circulated during this drill helps players improve their ability to execute fast and precise passes. Lastly, the Circular Passing Drill allows players to refine their timing and decision-making skills in terms of when and where to pass the puck.

Key points:

1. Develops a wide range of passing techniques, including short and long-range passing.

2. Improves the ability to execute fast and precise passes.

3. Enhances timing and decision-making skills related to passing.

3. How does the Circular Passing Drill contribute to offensive zone control?

Maintaining Possession: How does the Circular Passing Drill aid in offensive zone control?

The Circular Passing Drill plays a crucial role in aiding offensive zone control. By practicing the continuous circulation of the puck around the perimeter, players develop the ability to effectively maintain possession despite defensive pressure. This drill teaches players how to keep the puck moving smoothly, forcing the opposing team to exhaust their defensive resources and open up scoring opportunities. Additionally, the constant passing and movement in this drill helps players learn how to create passing lanes, exploit defensive gaps, and generate offensive flow.

Key points:

1. Develops the skills necessary to maintain possession under defensive pressure.

2. Forces the opposing team to work harder defensively, creating scoring opportunities.

3. Enhances the creation of passing lanes, exploitation of defensive gaps, and overall offensive flow.

4. How can the Circular Passing Drill improve players' communication on the ice?

Communication Cohesion: How does the Circular Passing Drill enhance player communication during gameplay?

The Circular Passing Drill serves as an exceptional catalyst for improving player communication on the ice. As players execute rapid passes around the perimeter, they are required to effectively communicate with their teammates, coordinating movements and identifying open passing lanes. This drill encourages players to vocalize their intentions, helping create a unified and cohesive unit on the ice. By practicing communication skills in the controlled environment of this passing drill, players become more comfortable and proficient at communicating during actual gameplay situations, leading to better teamwork overall.

Key points:

1. Enhances player communication by requiring constant coordination and movement.

2. Encourages players to vocalize their intentions and actively communicate with teammates.

3. Transfers improved communication skills to actual gameplay situations, fostering better teamwork.

5. How does the Circular Passing Drill contribute to players' overall game awareness?

Enhanced Vision: How does the Circular Passing Drill improve players' game awareness?

The Circular Passing Drill has a significant impact on players' overall game awareness. As players execute quick passes around the perimeter, they must have a constant awareness of their surroundings, including their teammates' positions and potential scoring opportunities. This drill enhances players' ability to read the game, as they learn to anticipate defensive pressure, identify open passing lanes, and make timely and accurate decisions related to puck movement. By sharpening their game awareness through this drill, players become more effective and strategic contributors to their team's gameplay.

Key points:

1. Develops a constant awareness of teammates' positions and scoring opportunities.

2. Enhances the ability to anticipate defensive pressure and identify passing lanes.

3. Improves strategic decision-making related to puck movement and gameplay contributions.

In summary, the Circular Passing Drill offers numerous benefits to players, including improved teamwork, passing accuracy, peripheral vision, passing skills, offensive zone control, communication, and overall game awareness. By incorporating this drill into training sessions, coaches can help their players develop into more well-rounded and effective team members, enhancing their performance on the ice.


The Around the Horn hockey drill is a highly effective exercise for improving passing skills and overall team coordination. This drill helps players develop their quick decision-making abilities and enhances their ability to execute accurate and crisp passes under pressure.

Key points to remember when implementing the Around the Horn drill include positioning players in a circular formation, with one player in the center, and others spread out along the perimeter. The drill involves players quickly passing the puck to their adjacent teammate, moving it around the circle in a continuous motion. Emphasizing the importance of soft hands and receiving passes cleanly is crucial for successful execution.

Through regular practice of this drill, players can improve their ability to read the play, anticipate the movement of their teammates, and communicate effectively on the ice. It also helps players develop good positioning habits, as they must constantly adjust their position to receive and deliver passes accurately.

Furthermore, the Around the Horn drill enhances team chemistry, fostering trust and dependence on each other's skills. It encourages players to work cohesively, leading to better overall team performance during real-game situations.

Implementing variations of this drill, such as using only backhand passes or incorporating specific tactical scenarios, can add further complexity and challenge to the exercise, enhancing players' adaptability and problem-solving skills.

In conclusion, the Around the Horn hockey drill is an essential tool for teams and individuals looking to improve passing accuracy, teamwork, and overall game performance. Regular practice of this drill, combined with focus and dedication, will undoubtedly result in noticeable improvements in players' abilities on the ice.

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