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Question about a drill in the Sportplan session

Hi, in this week's session "My players lack the ability to pass accurately", there's a progressive exercise called "shoot and recover".

Sorry if this is a dumb question but when a player is 'shooting' at their target goal, is the other player allowed to defend the goal?I ask because the diagram makes it look like you're pushing over around 12m and I'd have thought that unless you make the goals huge, with a player defending the goal, people just aren't going to score.Also, if you make the goals really big, it kinda defeats the person of the accuracy element to the exercise.Hope you can assist.


Hi Gary,

As far as I have understand the session, yes the player is allowed to defend the goal. how bigger the goal the easier it is to score a goal, but when you make the goal smaller the more accurate you have to pass to score a goal. my suggestion to adjust the goals so that your player score a goal but that it is not to easy to score a goal.

what you also can do to improve accuracy is to put player behind a goal and let them pass though the gate. or put a cone in hte middle between two passing team and you score a point for your team when you knock over the cone , my players had a lot of fun and it improves their accuracy

you can play with distance 5-10-15 meter, angles, time how many in 3min, make it a game which team scores first 5- 10 points.

Hope this will help, good luck

Hi Victor

Thanks very much for the suggestions. Those were the conclusions that I reached too i.e. make the goal just big enough to make it tricky to protect but not too big.

I did actually think of possibly making the goals small and NOT having a player defend it, just so it's an accuracy challenge.

I actually made a separate accuracy exercise using cones a while ago (as you describe):

10 pin bowling (but with push-passing) probably over a 20 metre distance. Gets very tricky when you only have a couple of 'pins' / cones left standing.

I also thought that perhaps I could have a 2nd wide cone (black cone in diagram), which the player (who has just shot at goal) has to run to the outside of, so that they have to REALLY run back hard to have a chance of defending the goal. This might encourage the ball carrier to work quickly but would also remind the defending player of needing to work hard to recover (just as you would if you lost possession and there was a quick counterattack).

Glad your kids had fun - that's what it's all about!

Many thanks for your assistance and answer.


Hello Victor and Gary,

Great answers to this question already. I just wanted to join in and let you know that in the accuracy passing plan that the shot/pass on goal takes place before the mid-point between the goals. So the shot should only be from approximately 8m.

All of your progressions and variations are great though, and absolutely correct. I've now gone and added some of these notes to the plan to make it clearer for other coaches.

Thanks again,
The Sportplan Team

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  • search our library of 1000+ hockey drills
  • create your own professional coaching plans
  • or access our tried and tested plans