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Stop giving the ball away - Retaining possession!

The reasons why teams concede possession are varied:

  • Our opponents read our passes and intercept
  • My players lack the ability to pass accurately
  • Opponents crowd round the ball and my players panic and pass without looking

Sound familiar? To put paid to this problem once and for all, this extended 2-3 hour hockey plan has 3 simple objectives, to stop your team losing possession cheaply:

  1. Teach your team to retain control of the ball
  2. Improve their ability to look for passing options
  3. Give them the confidence to deliver a pass

How you can fix this:

keeping possessionTo change this thinking and produce players who are comfortable on the ball and make the right decisions, we initially remove the fear of being tackled, giving players time to make a decision. With the immediate fear of being tackled removed, the player can use most of their "limited" attention to look up and make a sound decision.

Why this works:

As players begin to experience success confidence will grow and we then introduce defenders to put pressure on the skill. What follows is a progression of practices, which over a number of sessions will bring real progress. At this point you will note that players will require more technical skill; just be sure to progress at a pace appropriate for your players.

This problem and solution session is designed to help you overcome a common coaching complaint. After using this session, you should see a positive change in the way your team retain possession but don't rush through all the practices!

We cover a lot in this session, easily enough for 2-3 weeks worth of coaching. I would almost always revise the last session's practice prior to moving on. Take your time and only move on once the drill has been mastered.

Bram van Asselt,
Senior coach and founder of Sportplan


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