When playing off-ball defense, always have your stick up, ready to intercept a pass of come down on your attackman’s stick if a quick pass is coming to him.
When your man hasn't got the ball, always play slightly to the ball side of him, so that you gain a step as he cuts toward the ball. If he cuts away from the ball, the pass must go over your head which leaves you in good position to intercept or check.
When your man hasn't got the ball, stand so that you can see both him and the ball. If necessary, open your hips up so that one side of your body faces the ball and the other the man. It's important to be aware of what is happening with both of those.
Keep your head on a swivel. If you don’t keep track of your man, any good attackman will cut in behind you for an easy feed and goal.
Communication is key for a team defense. Talk between the goalie, the close-d and the middies must be kept up constantly. Every player on the field should know who is “hot”, who is “cold”, what defense the team is running, what formation the offense is in (1-3-2, 1-4-1, 2-2-2, etc.), and who is on the ball. Picks should also be called out, as well as a “switch” call, if necessary.
If a man leaves to back up a defenseman who got beaten (this man sliding is the “hot” man) the whole defense slides with him. The man who picks up the a man, “hot” man’s attackman is the “cold” man, and everyone else should slide to a man, with the d-man farthest from the ball splitting the two backside men.