To Corral OR Not To Corral?


I really don’t know the answer to that question.  When I use the word corral, I am talking about “soft hands”, when players are instructed to cushion their acceptance of a pass.  Think Mighty Ducks and eggs.  Gordon Bombay sliding pucks across the ice.   I hope most of you get that reference. If you didn’t, then your childhood is not complete.


It’s fine, you can drive a limo on the ice.


But here is my questions. Are we missing step in the teaching of accepting passes that cause players to miss or have passes blow up when they are older?


I think yes.


When you accept a pass you don’t corral it!  You stop it! Many young players cannot stop a pass and have the puck lay flat, especially on their backhand.  I believe the corral has its place. To teach young players to time a pass coming at them and slow it down BUT as they get older there is no corral.  No one 12 years old or older is corraling a puck in a game situation. It just doesn’t make sense. What they are doing is stopping the puck quickly on their forehand or backhand.  


The only time a corral may happen is when a player receives a pass in the slot, pulls it back in one motion, and releases a shot.  I think a player in this situation is better of one-timing the puck or two touching it. The first touch stops the puck, the second touch is the shot.


So why do we teach it so much?  If it because that is what we have always done? If so, that is an awful reason to continue.