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Dear NDRA Coach...
Submitted By NDRA Coach on Monday, October 13, 2014
Dear NDRA Coach,

I have always played defense in the past but my coach has asked me to play forward for our next game.  I’m not sure what a forward needs to do.  Please help!!

Thanks,
Anonymous



Dear Anonymous,

That’s a great question.  Being an effective forward is about a lot more than just scoring goals.  The forward has three main jobs:  forechecking, getting the ring up the ice and goal scoring.   Each of these jobs requires separate skills and your goal can be to improve on these each time you play. 

Forechecking:

  • When the other team gets the ring in your offensive end, it’s your job to try to get it back!
  • Try to stay in front of the ring carrier and slow her down until your forward partner arrives so that you can do 2-on-1 checking.   This will increase your chance of taking the ring off of the opponent and will give you another possession in the offensive end with which to try to score. 
  • Don’t stop forechecking until the other team has the ring over the ringette line of your defensive zone.
  • Forechecking helps your team out in several ways:  either you regain possession of the ring, or you slow down the other team’s breakout giving your defense a chance to set up, or you pressure the opposing ring carrier into making a bad pass which can then be recovered by your team
  • Forechecking is hard work:  promise yourself that you won’t stop trying to steal the ring back for your team
  • Skills to work on:  checking and “stop and start” skating to keep up with the ring carrier wherever she tries to go
Getting the ring up the ice:
  • Get OPEN!!  Your defence are trying to break the ring out of your end and need someone to make a good pass to over the blue line.
  • You can get open by skating laterally across the blue line.  Remember you want to skate to open ice.
  • You can also create open ice for your forward partner by skating up towards the opponent’s end.
  • Don’t turn your back to the ring.  You can’t catch a pass if you can’t see it.
  • Standing still is not a good strategy; it’s super easy for your opponent to cover you if you are standing still
  • Skills to work on:  passing with accuracy, pass reception, quick starts to evade cover and have fast breakouts

Goal scoring:

  • If you have a good chance:  SHOOT!
  • Look at your target when you shoot (not the goalie’s pads).
  • Try to get into the hotspot to score (that’s the area inside of the defensive triangle).
  • Attack the low defender in the triangle to try to get into the hotspot.
  • Vary your shots or the goalie will be able to predict your shot and will stop you easily.  Mix it up-wrist shot, backhand, shot on the ice
  • Be a TRIPLE THREAT!  Never let the defense/goalie know what you are going to do.  You can shoot, pass or keep the ring.  Keep them guessing.
  • Watch for passing opportunities to your line mates.
  • Support the ring carrier.  Standing behind a defensive player takes you completely out of the play and makes you unable to receive a pass if the ring carrier gets in trouble
  • Skills to work on:  shooting of all varieties, passing, communication

 

That’s a lot of information to absorb, but if you just pick one or two things to focus on each game I’m sure you will become a killer forward!!!

Sincerely,

NDRA Coach


Have a question? email NDRA Coach

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