Stickwork Drill #4: Partner Passing On-The-Run
- Demo (1 min): Lead Passing
- Start with two parallel lines at the top of one of the creases, with players on their wrong floor sides, having them switch to their proper floor sides the second time through the drill. One line of players can start with balls, or the drill can also start with a pass from the goalie (switch halfway), depending on player skill level.
*Variation #1 (20 min): "Progressive Build Up." Have players start “in two’s,” at a starting distance of approximately 3-5 metres (depending on age). Progressively increase the starting distance of the players apart, having them at first running the length of the floor and stopping at the other end, and in latter reps taking shots from their proper floor side (criss-crossing where required).
The most basic form of this drill ("staggered") is when just the receiver runs forward with a "head on a swivel," while the passer uses basic footwork (staying relatively stationary) to deliver the pass (Variation #1A). The passer then runs forward and becomes the receiver, while the original receiver becomes the passer. The receiver will either need to open their hips to receive the pass, or catch it cross-body (depending on the location of the pass).
Advance to players running alongside each other, start slow, around 50% of maximum speed, with players on their wrong-floor-side, advancing to full speed during the latter reps through the drill (Variation #1B). Next have players do the speed build up with players on their proper floor side (Variation #1C).
No side-shuffling is allowed for this drill (unless specifically requested by the coach) and players should always be running straight forward. For timing purposes, coaches should send the next pairing when the players ahead are at the nearest rag-line.
More advanced variations of this drill include throwing cross-body passes (Variation #1D), flip passes on-the-run for the entire length of the floor (Variation #1E), or a mix of all of the above (Variation #1F).
*Variation #2: "Curl In The Corners." Same as above except start with pairs of 2 players running the floor passing back and forth up the middle (with the option of taking a shot if the goalie is ready), then curling into the corners (same-side or far-side) and continuing up the side-boards; this time making lob passes back and forth coming back to where they started from. When back to the original end, players can curl back up the middle and continue passing for a few minutes (depending on number of players), otherwise line-up again.
Restart the drill in the opposite direction halfway through the drill, which allows players to be able to practice on both their proper/wrong floor sides; goalies also get a different look this way.
Variation #3 (10 min): "2 Balls." Same as the above variations, except now there are two balls per pairing. Players throw their pass at the same time, and then have to utilize their reaction time to catch the ball, almost immediately after they throw. Coaches should be sure to have plenty of balls on hand to substitute in for errant passes.
Variation #4 (10 min): "Consecutive Catches Game." Same as the above variations of the drill except have players keep track of how many times in a row they catch the ball without a drop. If a ball is dropped, players must start their count over from zero.
*Most common error = throwing the ball too hard when their partner is relatively close (“soften up”).