Warm-Up Drill #5: Semi-Circle (“Horseshoe”) Shooting
*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).
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; trying to score more each time through. If more goals are scored, everyone moves further away; if less goals are scored, everyone takes a step forward (Variation #1C). Continue until players score more goals than the round before, from 20m away.
*Variation #2 (10 min): "L to R/R to L." Have players take turns shooting from 10 metres away, 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 (Variation #2A). After a few cycles through the drill, bring players “in tight,” two metres from the crease for the goalie to work on their reaction time (Variation #2B).
*Variation #3 (10 min): "Side-To-Side." This variation incorporates 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" (Variation #3C), two metres from the crease.
*Variation #4 (10 min): "Shot OTR." Same as the variations above except players take a shot-on-the-run.
*Variation #5 (10 min): "5 Points Variation." Same as the variations above 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 variation above 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 on one knee (triple threat position), with balls. This player is kneeling (split stance) with the opposite leg of their strong hand forward. These players are shooting and can be loaded with between 1-5 balls before rotating (Variation #6A). Another option is for players to stand up out of the kneeling position and shoot all in one motion (Variation #6B).
Variation #8 (5 min): "Screen Shots." Similar set-up to above variations except players are partnered up, with one acting as a "dummy" screen for the other to shoot around. The "dummy" defender should be positioned just inside of the shooter. After the shot the shooter becomes the "dummy" and vice-versa.
*Variation #9 (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 #11 (5 min): "Rebounds Off The Goalie." Another variation for after players shoot is to practice corralling rebounds off of the goalie, which is a game-specific skill that is hard to replicate.
*Variation #12 (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 = 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).