TIPS FROM THE PROS

LEG & CORE TRAINING

Off ice training continues to change all of the time. What remains the same is that a player’s power in every aspect of hockey comes from their core and leg strength. Find creative and fun ways to continue to build these muscle groups. You don’t need to have a gym, just some space in a backyard or park…..and find ways to work on hand/eye coordination or stickhandling at the same time.

 

TIPS

  • Plyometrics while stickhandling.

  • Perform one leg or two leg squats while stickhandling.

  • Do sets of 20 squats while stickhandling a street hockey ball. You can stickhandle in front or on either side of the body but always keep your head and eyes up. We want to make this as game like as possible.

  • Swiss ball while stickhandling - Try to balance sitting on a swiss ball while stickhandling a street hockey ball on your forehand side beside the ball. Again, keep your head and eyes up to keep this game like! This will work your core, abdominal muscles and balance all while continuing to develop your stick skills.

SNAP SHOT

Players need to develop a snap shot that can be released in full stride. NHL goal scorers can release their snap shot in full stride with all of their momentum going straight towards the goal. Players need to learn this skill to surprise both defensemen and goalies by releasing the shot in full stride when it is not expected.

 

TIPS

  • The shot begins when both the players momentum and shoulders are facing the target.

  • Load up all of your weight onto the inside leg(leg closest to your stick blade and puck).

  • The puck starts angled behind and away from the body.

  • Pull the puck towards the body with the toe of the blade to begin the snap shot.

  • Put full weight and pressure on your bottom hand to get full flex out of the stick. Use your hips to begin to uncoil the weight transfer.

  • Your hands follow your hips.

  • Snap your hands in the shot and point towards your target.

ONE TOUCH PASSING

As players get bigger, stronger and faster, passes need to be on and off the stick quicker as well. Players need to use a one touch pass. As soon as the puck touches the stick, it is immediately directed it to a team mate.

 

TIPS

  • Slide your bottom hand down the shaft of the stick.

  • Get your hands out in front of the body.

  • Be strong on your bottom hand.

  • Hold the stick at an angle so that the blade of the stick is slightly angled over the puck during the split second that the puck touches the stick. This will prevent the puck from wobbling.

SKILL DEVELOPMENT OFF ICE

Players at all levels can work on their puck skills at home as well as at the rink. We need to work on both our strengths and our weaknesses. Grab a team mate/friend and work your skills!

 

TIPS

  • Set up a goal to work on your shot at home. Even if you don’t have an official net and shooting board, you can still do this. Hang a tarp over some rope between 2 trees to make a backstop. Make sure that there is slack in the tarp where it touches the ground. This will help to deaden the bounce of the puck when it hits the tarp. If there is no slack, the puck will rebound very quickly back towards you.

  • Use a piece of plywood or hard plastic as the shooting board. Gather a collection of 10 pucks, line them up and shoot all 10. Repeat this 10 times and all of a sudden you have taken 100 shots…..now that is how a player improves their shot!!!

SAUCER PASS

The saucer pass is used to lift the puck off the ice when passing the puck over an obstacle such as an opposing player’s stick. The ability to perform the saucer pass increases with age and forearm strength.

 

TIPS

  • The puck starts on the heal of the blade.

  • Open up your blade as you begin the pass.

  • As the puck rolls from the heal to the toe of the blade, slice underneath it and it will start to lift off the ice.

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NORTHERN ROOTS HOCKEY

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