Many coaches to win concentrate on puck possession in their training. Puck possession improves team play and reduces turnovers. But many great plays, passes or goals wouldn’t be possible if players didn’t challenge the defense with moves and dekes. Moves and dekes by a player challenge the defense and are higher risk plays. If the player does not successfully execute the play to find a pass or score he will likely turn over the puck to the defense. This may mean a goal at the other end. Hockey sense is a function of both. Elite players are able to keep team puck possession and utilize an arsenal of moves and dekes. Many do it without thinking about it. Many coaches and players struggle with teammates that skate from end to end and want to score. Teams, players and coaches face the challenge to balance individual play and play that requires more puck possession. The difference in winning and losing between two equally skilled teams is team play and puck possession. Despite this elite players must also concentrate on building their arsenal of moves and dekes. Puck possession will only create an edge for your team up to a certain age. When the other teams find balance the team that has only concentrated on team play will suffer. These teams will need to find players that have the individual skill to complement the team play.
At any age you need to work on and improve your repertoire of moves and dekes. The top players at each age group are recognized for their ability to react to the game forces and maneuver around obstacles to achieve team success. It would be an impossible task to define all possible moves and dekes but we can cover a few of the most essential.
To be great at dekes and moves all you need is a stick and ball or a stick and puck if you have a surface where you can glide the puck. Do the the training off the ice and use the training on the ice. Many players can learn by themselves and don’t need to buy many gizmos.
“Deke” comes from the word decoy. The challenge most great stick handlers face is reading the attacker. Speed will always take you past the attacker(s) if the player is faster. The player will find it harder to get around multiple attackers than a single attacker. Many players try to get fancy when they can just blow by their defender(s). If you can’t out skate your defender then you must use moves to trick them into letting you by them or trick them into letting you set up the goal without losing the puck. Dekes are best performed by change of direction. The attacker expects a player to go a certain direction and the player changes direction and goes a different way. Dekes can also be performed by change of speed. Players can slow down or increase speed to get past attacker(s). Some great techniques that many may know already are:
Fake in front – fake going one way to the attacker and go the other way. You can do this going left or going right. You can do this multiple times to get past the attacker. A player could do 3 to five fakes to achieve the purpose.
Outside in or Inside Out moves – These moves fake an attacker to thinking either you are going outside them or inside them and then you quickly change direction and go the opposite. You can create many variations of this move as well.
Slide the puck – Slide the puck to the right, center or left of attacker under their stick and pick it up as you go past the attacker. This can be done using the forehand and the backhand and also can be done multiple times. Another variation of this deke is flipping the puck over the attacker stick.
Toe Drag – Skate the puck up and let it in front of you. Using the toe of the stick pull it away from the attacker and get around him. You can do it with your forehand and your backhand. It could also be to the side to the left and right. The key is to do it quickly and move your feet to get past the attacker. Toe drags can be combined with other moves and can be called dangling. Dangling is combining dekes to make an individual move unique to player. An example is doing a toe drag followed by a spin-o-rama.
Skate Passes to Stick – Kicking the puck to your stick is a great deke that can be easily done. The attacker expects you to skate the puck but using your skate, their skate and your stick can provide a great technique to get past the attacker.
Fake shot – Faking a shot and stick handling around attacker is also quite affective.
Spin-o-rama – Stopping in front of your attacker and spinning away from the attacker to get around him. Excellent move against goalies.
Fake Spin-o-rama opposite spin – Stop in front of attacker a fake a move to opposite direction pretending you are doing a spin-o-rama and then spin forward around the opponent.
Michigan – This is a lacrosse move with a stick. Picking the puck up with your stick and throwing it in the net.
Ice Location moves – If you are at the blue line for example you can pretend you are leaving the zone and then button hook back in without leaving and attack the net. You can do this a set up a pass or go to the net to score. Gretzky did that a lot.
Baseball hit – Lift the puck in the air. Hit it in the air and get around your attacker or score a goal.
Great Player moves – From Datsyuk, to Bure, to Lemieux, to Gretzky, to Orr, to Jagr, to many other great players have moves that use combinations of above.
We look forward to working with the next generation of players that will have moves and dekes named after them. We will be running training programs with great coaches and will be forming teams for spring/summer tournament competition for Spring/Summer 2014. Please fill out player application for consideration. We will have teams in birth years 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007. Please click birth year link for more information on tournaments for your birth year. Please Apply for Invite Here