What is Cycling?
Cycling in hockey is a strategy used by players to create space on the ice and keep the puck in their possession. It involves player movement around the perimeter of the offensive zone, using their skating skills and body positioning to maintain control of the puck.
Cycling can effectively generate scoring chances and keep the pressure on the opposing team’s defense. It can also help wear down defenders, allowing your team to take control of the game and dictating its tempo. However, it is important to note that cycling is not easy, and it takes a lot of practice and understanding of the game to execute it properly.
How Does Cycling Work?
The basic premise behind cycling is simple: keep the puck in your team’s possession and move it around the perimeter of the offensive zone until you create a scoring chance.
To do this, your team must use its skating skills and body positioning to maintain control of the puck while moving it up and down the ice. While there are many different ways to cycle the puck, most involve at least two players working together to keep it in their team’s possession.
Types Of Cycling
Give-and-Go: This involves one player passing the puck to a teammate, who returns it to them. The player who originally passed the puck then skates toward the net, looking for a scoring chance. This keeps the puck moving while creating space for your team’s forwards to skate into.
The Board Play: Involves one player skating along the boards with the puck while their teammates skate behind them. The player with the puck will then pass it back to one of their teammates, who can either shoot or pass it back to the original player. This is an effective way to keep defenders guessing and open up space for your team’s forwards.
Tips for Effective Cycling
1. Communicate with Your Teammates
One of the most important things to do when cycling the puck is to communicate with your teammates. This will help everyone on your team know where they need to be and what they need to do to keep the puck moving. Make sure you call for the puck when you are open and let your teammates know when you will pass it back to them.
2. Use Your Body Positioning
This means using your stick and body to shield the puck from defenders while keeping yourself in a good position to make a play. If you can keep the puck close to your body, it will be much harder for defenders to knock it away from you.
3. Keep Your Head Up
This will help you see the ice and find open teammates. You should also be aware of where the opposing team’s players are at all times so that you can make a play if they start to close in on you.
4. Be Patient
This means not forcing anything and ensuring you have a good passing lane before making a play. If you take your time and make smart plays, eventually, an opportunity will open up, and you’ll be able to make a good scoring chance.
Hockey is a sport that requires split-second decisions, amazing hand-eye coordination, and the ability to think two steps ahead of your opponents. Overall, cycling is one of the most important techniques in hockey, as it allows players to keep control of the puck while also gaining speed and positioning themselves for a better shot on goal.