There is a simple formula to properly win a face-off in ice hockey:
1. The Centreman should try to win the draw backwards to the Defensemen
2. Forwards should block their opposing man on the line-up for a second (slowing them down so the Defensemen have time to get control of the puck)
3. After the defense get control of the puck, a sneaky play is to wait, retreat backwards, and try to bait and lure the opposing forecheckers. This play spreads out the opposition so the forwards can get into open space behind them.
So basically a good theory is to go backwards first, spread out the other team, and then move forwards.