Mastering Hockey Defense: In-Depth Guide on How to Play Defense in Hockey

Welcome to this comprehensive guide on how to play defense in hockey. In this article, we'll break down advanced defensive mechanics to help you become an elite defender on the ice. You'll learn essential techniques, and we'll provide valuable resources to elevate your defensive skills.

1. Mastering the Backwards Corkscrew for Defense

To excel in hockey defense, it's crucial to start with a strong foundation. The Backwards Corkscrew technique is your key to effective defensive play. Picture yourself moving backward with relaxed shoulders, a wide stance, and your weight on your heels. This posture grants you the agility to move in any direction effortlessly, whether it's left or right, while maintaining control over the puck.

For an extra challenge, practice a drill where you skate backward, drop to two knees, and quickly return to your feet. This exercise will improve your agility, making you a formidable defender reminiscent of agile goalies.

2. Applying the Soft Drag Technique to Defensive Play

The Soft Drag technique, often used by forwards, can also be adapted for defensive purposes. Just as you'd soften your hip and drag your toe forward to change your angle when moving forward, you can use this technique while skating backward. In a wide corkscrew stance, a subtle softening of your body allows you to change your angle effortlessly, all while maintaining a relaxed and loose posture.

This technique is essential because it enables you to change your angle without lifting your feet—a skill that separates elite defenders from the rest. While forwards may rely on crossovers to change direction, effective defenders must stay agile without excessive crossover movements. The Soft Drag is your secret weapon to achieve this.

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3. Perfecting the Defensive Lunge

Our final in-depth technique is the Defensive Lunge, a crucial maneuver when defending against an opponent attempting to maneuver around you. As an elite defender, your goal is to force the attacker wide, and the Defensive Lunge helps you do just that.

When the attacker initiates their move around you, start with a cross and follow it with a shuffle. The key here is to perform the shuffle on your outside edge, rather than pushing off your back foot. This technique allows you to gain speed without excessive effort and is a fundamental skill for playing defense effectively.

Bonus Tip for Defenders

If you're a right-handed defensemen on the right side or a left-handed defensemen on the left side, here's a valuable trick. If an opponent is just a few inches ahead of where you need to be, switch your hands on the stick to gain an extra foot of reach. This little trick can make a big difference in your defensive play.

Wrapping It Up

These in-depth mechanics are the building blocks of elite defense in hockey. By mastering these techniques and understanding the importance of agility and control, you can defend like a pro. If you're eager to learn more and want a comprehensive breakdown of defensive skills, check out our free training program at the link below. It will help you improve your game with less effort and in less time.

Thank you for reading, and we look forward to seeing you on the ice as a formidable defender.

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