Winning Faceoffs

14 Dec Winning Faceoffs

Winning Faceoffs: A Centerman’s Mental Checklist

1) Pay attention to the stoppage of play – Know where the draw is going to be before you leave the bench

2) Talk to the coach as you step off the bench – Suggest a face-off you think might work, or ask if there’s a draw he wants done. Most coaches have code word’s for faceoffs so it’s as simple as shouting out a few of them. E.g. “Hey coach, Twizzler?” (If he says yeah sure you got any, ask the trainer to check him out for a concussion!)

3) Talk to your D first on the way to the draw – this is usually because they are changing from the door behind you as you leave the bench, so it’s easy to skate away and forget about them. There’s no such thing as a successful faceoff without well-informed defencemen!

4) Position the forwards and double check on the D  – Going straight to the draw without looking around is the biggest NO-NO. Take a quick look before committing to the draw and give any last minute instructions. Remember you’re the quarterback!


5) Get Low for leverage- Low center of gravity + wide stance = Great leverage! winning faceoffsIt’s much easier to pivot and protect or fence off the opposite C’s stick when you are low. Remember a longer leaver is made for speed and velocity (Golf club). The shorter the lever, the more explosive and powerful the action, so get that bottom hand lower on the shaft.

6) Pick a grip and go for it – Regular grip with the bottom hand palm facing forward is great to bump the puck forward or putting it right on net. Reverse grip (palm facing backward) is ideal for winning it back quick. It all depends on where you want the biscuit to end up!

7) Keep your eye on the prize-never take your eyes off the puck. A lot of centermen get set in

their stance then look up, but it’s a better habit to keep your eye on the puck as you do it. There are stories of NHL centermen that are so focused on the reff’s hand holding the puck, that they react to the changing color of the hand as it loosens it’s grip on the puck and blood flows back into the knuckles. A good centerman is a master of anticipating the puck drop.

8 ) Have a back-up plan – You don’t want to get called for obstruction, but to just let your man go after losing a draw is a sure way to watch the puck cross your goaline! Stay with your man after a lost draw. Be sure to keep your feet moving and keep your stick under his in order to lift it at any time.

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