Alternative names: --
Objective: Agility, balance, reaction time
Typical length of drill: 5-15 minutes (depends on the number of participants)
Materials needed: Four cones and 1 soft ball (or ball-like substitute, i.e. bunched up shirts or socks -- having to dodge your teammates' sweaty gear makes this drill even more effective)
Skill level required: None
Description: Mark out a medium-sized square on the floor with the cones. Each skater is going to stand in the middle of this square for 60 seconds (or until they get hit out) while the other skaters try to throw the ball at them. The skater's job is to dodge, duck, and avoid the ball, making this an excellent practice in balance, agility, and reaction time. If you want to make it competitive, time all of the skaters while they are in the middle to see who can avoid being hit by the ball the longest. Alternatively, create multiple groups of three and have two skaters on the outside of the square tossing the ball to each other while trying to hit the person in the middle. This way everyone can get more time inside the square, plus the skaters on the outside get practice as well. To challenge your skaters, shrink the size of the square.
Additional notes: This is a fun and easy drill that can really help people with their reaction skills and balance. I love sneaky drills like this where you are learning things without even realizing it. You are focusing so much on the ball and where it is being tossed that you forget your are on skates. This drill is appropriate for newer skaters, and it's also great if you're struggling with a small practice space!
If you like this drill, you might also enjoy dodgeball on skates!