Circles Skating Drill – Hockey Resource

This drill is designed to practice turning, cross-overs and acceleration. The drill is most effective on weak to moderate skaters as the turn radius is too large to be effective for good skaters. To keep the drill effective for good skaters, the circle radius should be reduced for stronger skaters by using cones.

This skating drill consist of the players starting in one corner of the rink. The first player goes and skates around the closest faceoff circle once and then skates around the other faceoff circle in that zone. The player then moves on to the centre ice circle and then to both circles in the opposing zone. Once the first player completes his first circle (and passes his original starting point), the second player follows him and starts his drill. 

The important thing is that for each circle, the players skate in a different direction. This is to practice the cross-over on each side. For younger players the coach should emphasize technique instead of speed as this will result in better skating technique for the players during games.

animation of ice hockey circle skating drill
Animation of Ice hockey circle skating drill

Full path:

Skating path of Ice hockey circles skating drill
Skating path of Ice hockey circles skating drill


  • The drill is also effective if the players skate backwards instead of forwards.
  • The players can skate around the circles twice instead of one time to increase the effectiveness (provided their conditioning level permits them to complete the drill without cheating or reducing intensity)
  • For stronger skaters, circling the face-off dots near the blue lines can be added to the drill to increase the difficulty.
  • To practice turning, the drill can be run with players always facing one side of the rink. This forces the players to change from forward skating to backward skating (or vice-versa) twice at every circle. 


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *