Hi my name is Jeremy Rupke. My goal is to break every hockey skill down into easy to understand articles and videos. I explain everything step-by-step to help others improve. I'm active on Instagram, Facebook and more, you can follow through the links above.
If you want to learn more about me you can read my about page. Thanks for reading and sharing!
For the longest time, hockey sticks were made for adults, then cut and given to kids. Eventually the hockey stick companies caught on that kids and adults are not the same and basically made smaller hockey sticks for kids. Unfortunately some important aspects of the stick design were overlooked and although the sticks were smaller, they still weren’t perfect.
In came Raven. Raven Hockey designs performance hockey sticks for kids. Raven focuses on the proper height and weight. Explaining everything can be confusing, so I’ve included a simple info graphic
Raven VS other youth sticks
Raven Stick Review – Shooting with Raven Hockey Sticks
My overall thoughts on the sticks
Personally I think the idea is great. It takes any confusion out of buying a stick. They don’t have different makes, models, colours and flexes. You know your kids height and weight, and you get the right stick for them. I love the simplicity of it.
Where are they for sale?
Currently the sticks are only available in stores. To find the closest location you can visit the Raven Hockey website.
We’re breaking down some fundamental defensive strategies to help you play better hockey. These tips aren’t just for defensemen. Anyone who plays hockey should know how to play defense, because remember, when the other team has the puck, everyone is playing defense.
Using the Markings
Key Takeaways from the video
The dots can be used to break the rink into lanes. Paying attention to who is occupying which lane, and ensuring each lane is occupied can help with puck movement
The dots can also be used to make a rink within the rink. This is an important point for defensemen, but also forwards to understand if they (or someone else) is out of position.
The blueline and the circles can be used to determine when action should be taken on the attacking forwards. You don’t want to back up too far to your net otherwise the other team will have lots of space to make plys
The far net can give you an idea of where you are in relation to your own net
The hash marks are a good indicator of your distance from your net
Every hockey player wants to play MORE hockey. The problem is it’s tough to play at home, unless you have your own hockey rink!
A backyard rink
This is the ultimate gift (if you live far enough North). It’s every hockey players dream to be able to lace up the skates and play whenever they want. Some of my fondest memories as a kid are on my pond. If you don’t have a pond get a backyard rink
Not everyone has the room or money for a backyard rink (I have some alternatives in the next section though) so if you have a hockey player who just wants to play all the time, maybe NHL 16 will scratch the itch.
If you want to do something completely crazy you could always pick up a retro SNES and a classic like NHL 94, or go even more retro and get a NES and Blades of Steel!
A Stick / Gear Rack
At only $19.99 and free shipping this one is a no brainer for the unorganized hockey player in your life. I know I could use a few of these! If your hockey player has sticks and gear littering the garage this is a great solution.
If you’re not lucky enough to live in freezing cold temperatures there are alternatives, if you’ve got the money and space synthetic ice is a good option. A few tips, keep it clean (no shoes allowed), and sharpen your skates after each use (skating on it dulls the skates pretty quickly)
Where to buy: HockeyShot – Click the image to watch my review
A SlideBoard + Shooting pad combo
Another option is a slideboard. This is more affordable than the Synthetic ice, and takes up a lot less space. If you combine a slideboard with a shooting pad you can come up with all kinds of fun shooting, stickhandling and skating exercises
Yes you’ve read that correctly. Soon you will be able to sharpen hockey skates at home! I did a full review on the Sparx and tested it out on the ice. The machine sharpened my skate as well as a sharpening at a good skate shop. It was very consistent with great edges. Where to buy: You can pre-order at Sparx Hockey Playing hockey is not enough, we also want to watch hockey. If you can deal with your hockey player watching EVEN MORE hockey games (or he’s not getting enough at the moment) NHL gamecenter is a great solution.
This one is a personal favourite of mine, and a fond part of my childhood. I looked forward to watching these every Christmas. These are best sellers every year in the hockey world and I own every one!. The cool thing is you can own every copy as well. The box set on the far right has EVERY year of Rocke’em Sock’em from 1989 – 2013. Rockem Sockem 27 is all the best hits, goals, dangles, and saves from last year.
Watching hockey is great, but what about watching from your own custom chair! The guys over at My Custom Sports Chair hooked me up with this beauty! It’s got my Hockey Movement logo, name and hockey number with jersey. You can have them custom designed however you’d like! Custom orders take a while so order well ahead of time!
Where to Buy: My Custom Sports Chair Probably the most exciting gift for a hockey player to open at Christmas time is a new piece of hockey equipment. New sticks and skates are particularly exciting. The only problem is, some hockey players can be very picky, especially for sticks you need the right handedness, flex, curve pattern, and grip. The easiest gift is probably a gift card at their favourite hockey shop. To make it really easy an online hockey store gift card is a no-brainer! GiftCard Recommendation: Hockey Monkey – A favourite local hockey shop Looking for a deal on Hockey Equipment? – Check out the Hockey Monkey clearance section. If you see a deal you like, get it quick! The good stuff sells quickly around Christmas (also check their homepage for coupon codes!)
Shop from our Sponsors
Verbero Hockey – Innovative hockey equipment Verbero is working hard to give hockey players quality gear at affordable prices. They have innovated with an amazing line of gloves, pure carbon fiber hockey skates, and possibly the most exciting product a wood / carbon fiber hybrid stick!Where to buy: Verbero website
Colt Hockey – A stick coated in Nano Steel to make it extra durable! Where to Buy: Colt Hockey website
Raven Hockey – The best sticks for kids under 110 pounds, made with the right size and flex Where to Buy: only available in stores, visit their website for locations Hockey players love to wear their passion on their sleeve, literally. There are some great hockey apparel company’s out there that make designer hockey apparel. Pick up some shirts, hoodies, and a hat and your hockey player will be looking good, and showing off their love for hockey Recommended Hockey Apparel Stores
Grind Hockey – A local start-up, printed and shipped in Canada
Jerseys and Team Apparel
I’m a Leafs fan, get me anything with a Toronto Maple Leafs logo on it and I’m happy. Seriously, Maple Leafs pajamas, bath robe, towel, water bottle, slippers, toque… you get the idea. If you have a die hard fan in your life, just get them something, ANYTHING with their teams logo on it and they will be a happy camper.
Where to Buy: Everything in the picture to the right was found using the search Toronto Maple Leafs on (direct link to search term) Amazon.com and Amazon.ca (modify your search for your team or search the NHL Shop Hockey is all about having fun! The products I list below are great for keeping the fun going, on the ice and off
Glowing Hockey Pucks
If you play outdoor hockey you know the hardships of daylight savings time. Everyone gathers at the rink at 4:30 and it’s nearly dark by 5:30. Some rinks at least have a few lights up, but even then it can be hard to see the puck. That’s where the Comet Pucks come in handy. These pucks GLOW! This is a great way to keep the outdoor game going long after the sun sets
Kids LOVE mini sticks. I’ve never seen such pure, absolute, and unadulterated fun as when I see kids getting into a good game of mini sticks. As a kid I played in hallways, and wide open spaces, but never with nets or boards. Well… Now you can get full mini stick net sets, some even have targets!
This thing is really cool, I mean, REALLY cool. You can put it anywhere (on ice or off ice), it has two sides that rebound the puck to you, and you can use it to improve stickhandling, passing and shooting (one timers anyone!)
This is the perfect Christmas gift for any hockey player that already spends time practicing shooting and stickhandling as it will give them even more things to work on and improve.
If you have a hockey player that always wants to learn more about how to play and improve, but is only on the ice once or twice a week I have a few training programs that they can use for extra coaching at home.
Stickhandling – My complete guide to stickhandling is for the beginner to intermediate player who has never really been taught the fundamentals of stickhandling. It includes an e-book, a half hour off ice stickhandling video and a half hour on-ice training video
Shooting – The iSnipe app that helps hockey players track their shots, while also training them. There are 16 shooting videos, and two features to challenge quick release and accuracy.
Breakaways and Scoring – The Goalie Buster Training course offers over 2 hours of detailed videos on how to beat the goalie. We cover moves that can be used from every angle, when to shoot, when to deke, and which dekes work best in each situation.
NHL level coaching – Turks Snipers is an online shooting progression developed by myself, and NHL level shooting instructor Tim Turk. There is a new video every 3 weeks, as well as drills and bonus footage to help any hockey player improve their shot and learn the same thing NHL players are taught.
As a coach I love reading any book that can help me better teach others. Some of my favourite coaching books aren’t even based on hockey. I also enjoy reading biographies of former pro’s. Below are some of my favourites and some fan favourites.
My favourite coaching books are the inner game of tennis and the practicing mind. These books have nothing to do with hockey, but a lot to do with understanding the mind, and how to effectively teach skills.
There are some awesome biographies out now Bobby Orr released his a few years ago, Gordie Howe released his in October of last year, Ken Dryden’s “the game” is a classic, Tie Domi just released his and there are many more to choose from (Gretzky, Bossy, . You can find most of them on the bestselling hockey books page on Amazon.com and Amazon.ca
What would a Christmas list be without PRIZES!
Click this obnoxiously big share button for your chance to win hockey t-shirts, training aids, wax, tape, targets, nets, pass rebounders, radar guns, and the list goes on! We’re picking people who have shared at random so check your Facebook inbox, you might get a surprise!
This is a guest post from Jason from Training2point0
Hey How to Hockey Readers,
I wanted to share with How To Hockey followers the concept of “Automatic Learning”. Imagine doing a drill that makes it impossible for you to fail. Imagine a drill that doesn’t require any thinking or cues or demonstration. Imagine a drill that teaches perfect technique automatically. This is automatic learning and I love finding little drills that do this.
After watching shooters like Stamkos and Ovechkin shoot, I noticed that they both had a strong upper body rotation and proper hand placement. They are able to generate massive torsion around their core, and thus through their stick. Watching baseball batters, they do the same thing! When comparing their shots to my own, I realized that I didn’t always do this. Sometimes I did, and had a great shot. Other times, I was off balance and didn’t rotate my shoulders all the way through.
So I accidentally stumbled across a little drill to work on getting that shoulder opening. The result was surprising, so I tested it on some other players I coached. I noticed that this drill led to automatic learning! I’m always on the hunt for these types of drills, so I was ecstatic when I found it.
I found that the drill made me stay balanced, open up my shoulders, and generate torsion through my core exactly how I needed to in order to have a good 1-timer. I also noticed that after a few reps most players I showed this to automatically got better rotation through their shoulders. It got their core, shoulders, arms, and wrists working together just like Jeremy shows on his videos. The drill helped with their 1-timers, but also their wrist and snapshots by tidying up their upper body mechanics.
Ok, enough of my blabbering. Here’s what you want to to do get the benefits of Automatic Learning with this drill:
To start the drill, simply take a few shots with your back knee on the ground in a half kneel position. Then try a few 1-timers from this position.
Once players get the feeling of perfect upper body mechanics from doing the kneeling version, they stand. When they properly attach the power from the legs to the perfect upper body mechanics, the result is…A ROCKET!! If after a few reps, they revert to using their legs without proper upper body mechanics, the fix is to simply go back to the half kneel position and re-identify the feeling!
During your regular shooting practice, mix in a few kneeling shots. Notice how it feels and see if it helps. If you have success or any questions, let us know!
The Vancouver Canucks have recently started a new training section on their YouTube channel. Currently there are two stickhandling videos that I wanted to share with you. These stickhandling drills are pretty easy to do at home, and they are demonstrated by Daniel Sedin!
NHL Stickhandling Drills Part 1
In this video the drills focus on stickhandling, fake shots, lots of passing and some movement with the puck. It requires a bit of equipment, but you can improvise at home.
NHL Stickhandling Drills Part 2
I think the drills in this video focus more on fundamentals. This is a great set of drills to get quick hands.
In this video they use a slideboard, but you don’t need one to do the drills. You can start doing them stationary, then do a side to side shuffle, and then crossovers.
Want a Slideboard?
If you train from home, a slideboard is a great addition and can open a lot of new movements for you. Here’s a quick clip from my HockeyShot slideboard review.
If you’re looking for more stickhandling drills be sure to follow our newsletter and social media (below) as we will be releasing a stickhandling training app soon! You may also be interested in our Complete Guide to Stickhandling for a crash course in proper form, technique, and two 30 minute training videos!
Cleaning and storing your hockey equipment is a big part of the game. Sure, how you play on the ice is important, but if you don’t clean your equipment or do SOMETHING to keep it from stinking after each skate you WILL stink.
In order to keep you fresh on the ice, I’ve put together a simple video showing how anyone can clean hockey equipment. The results typically last 3-6 weeks before you’ll need to repeat.
Getting Rid of the Stink
If your hockey equipment already stinks, there is a simple solution to fix it. WASH IT. In the video above I give you the full details but I will break it down below
Take everything out of your bag. You can do one load of jerseys, socks, under armour, etc and one load of equipment
Wash on the longest cycle your machine will do, pre-wash, extra rinse, you get the idea. Select bulky items / large loads if your machine has it.
You can put every piece of equipment in the wash except for your skates and helmet
Use your favourite detergent, and avoid bleach as it can deteriorate some of the bonding agents and foams in your equipment. An Oxygen bleach is OK.
Hang everything to dry with a fan on it. It’s OK to put the jerseys, socks and other garments in the dryer (throw in dryer sheets for extra freshness) however it’s not recommended to put under armour / base layers in the dryer.
Preventing (or delaying) the stink
Once your gear is fresh, you want to keep it that way. These tips may be more important than the ones on how to clean your hockey equipment!
Wear something between yourself and your hockey equipment. I wear under armour, thin socks, and compression shorts. I haven’t tried a full body suit, but believe it would be most effective. Obviously you should wash your under garments after each use
Dry everything out immediately after each skate. This is where the stink really starts to fester. The longer you leave wet ANYTHING in your bag, the more it will stink. There are some good products you can use here (listed below
You can try some anti-stink sprays. I haven’t found any miracle sprays, and for the price and convenience I use febreeze anti-bacterial spray with pretty good results. I apply it after I pull all my gear out to dry.
Some Helpful Products for cleaning hockey equipment
The rocket sports dryer
I’ve heard nothing but great things about this product. You hang your gear up, tent it, and put the heat fan on. It gently dries your gear for a timed duration and then shuts off. Personally I think this is the best solution, especially if you have multiple hockey players, or will be playing tournaments and staying in hotels. This will eliminate a lot of stink quickly!
While I’ve tried a lot of sprays, I haven’t tried Clear Gear, and according to the Amazon reviews it works great. The rack picture above also has great reviews and is a simple way to organize all your gear after each game, get it dry faster, and most importantly not forget a piece of gear when you pack your gear up. The spray and rack go together. Hang it, spray it, dry it, done!
We haven’t talked much about passing here on How To Hockey in the past, so I thought a mini series on passing would be a good topic to cover. In the videos below I cover how to give a pass, and how to get a pass. I pass on some simple tips that will make you much more consistent on the ice.
Tips for giving passes
Common problems when giving passes
Puck wont lay flat on the ice
weak passes (not much power)
Tips for giving passes
Cup the puck – This keeps the puck flat on the ice
Have your top hand out – This allows you to cup the puck, and get more power on your pass
When giving the pass, roll your wrists to keep the blade closed so the puck doesn’t flip up
Keep the blade low (don’t lift it) and the puck should stay flat on the ice
Pass to where the player is going
Tips for getting passes
Common Problems when receiving passes
The puck bounces off the blade
Puck goes under the the blade
Just can’t get the pass
How to get more passes
First you have to get open, then give the player with the puck a target so they know you’re open
When the puck is coming your way, get your blade square to the puck and put a little weight on the stick with your bottom hand so the puck doesn’t bounce off
Meet the puck with the blade, then cushion it a bit. This lets you time the catch a little better and reduces your chance of missing the puck.
Practice getting bad passes behind you, with your feet, far in front and out of the air. The more bad passes you can get and control, the more scoring you’ll get
If you’re looking for more tips on passing check out an article and video on how to saucer pass. You can also follow us on Instagram, Facebook, or subscribe by email. Just look for How To Hockey
I had the chance to be on the ice with a couple NHL players this summer. I took the chance to record a lot of videos which I am slowly editing and will be releasing soon. A lot of the videos will be on TurksSnipers.com first, as I’m helping NHL shooting coach Tim Turk create an online shooting course.
The video below is a quick clip I shot on my cell phone, but I wanted to break it down and share some insight into how a pro shoots, and hopefully it will help you improve your shot.
Takeaways from the video
When accepting a pass, show your blade and create a space to catch the puck.
Every good shot should start with a push from the legs
You’re creating a chain reaction, aim for explosive power
Create space with your hands for a powerful release
Open the front foot for increased power and accuracy
Proper arm motion in the wrist shot
If you want more videos like this subscribe to our Youtube Channel and if you want to learn how to shoot from an NHL shooting coach check out Turks Snipers
I’m a firm believer in having targets in the net when you’re practicing your shot. It doesn’t make sense to just shoot at an open net, if you’re working on your power you might as well have some targets in the net as well and improve your accuracy at the same time.
It’s been proven in studies that shooting with targets will dramatically increase your accuracy. Simply having a target will train your brain to locate a target, attempt to hit it, and make any corrections if the target is missed. Not only are you training your brain, but you are also training your muscles. So if you don’t have a target, get some!
Of all the targets I’ve used, these are the ones I keep in my coaching bag and hockey bag. Whenever a goalie doesn’t show I pop these in the net, and I use them at home as well. Definitely recommend them!
Even though I’ve done a video on this before, I still get requests to explain it. I have a detailed video here on the ice, but I thought it would be fun to update the video and add some more possibilities.
In the video below I show 5 ways to pick the puck up from the ice. There are even more possibilities than the ones I show (you can use the knob!) but these 5 should keep you busy when you want to play around a little.
I work with a lot of hockey players and I’m always trying to figure out common errors in their shots so they can progress as quickly as possible. A common trend I notice with players is their tendency to try to shoot the puck. This can happen with the slapshot, wristshot and snapshot.
This video will give you a simple change of belief that should help you rethink your approach to shooting. Watch the video, take some shots, and let me know how it feels!
Takeaways from the Video
Before the puck is released, the stick should be flexed
The blade should not remain flush with the puck during the shot. If you’re doing this you are “shooting the puck”
In each shot focus more on flexing the stick, when you can figure out how to do that, you will unlock new power in your shot
In order to flex the stick the shaft of the stick needs to be in front of the blade
Your hand position is important. Your top hand should come away from the body during the shot
Improving your stickhandling is something every hockey player can do at home. It only takes about 20 minutes of focused practice each day to make notable improvements. If you start now, and stick with it, you will vastly improve by time the next season starts.
The only problem is that good stickhandling products can be expensive. In the video below I mention some of my favourites, but if you’re on a tight budget at the moment you can make a few of your own stickhandling balls. Check out the video below to find out how!
Follow the steps in the video above and remember to commit at least 20 minutes a day to improving and you will thank me later. If you’re lost on which drills you can do be sure to subscribe to our Youtube channel or newsletter (box to the right) as we will be sharing stickhandling drills throughout the summer.
It’s not often that a new company pops up and starts making high end hockey equipment. Most companies that start in the market begin with affordable equipment, and hope to get some sales and then work their way up. It seems that Verbero likes to do things a little differently.
When it comes to hockey equipment, we usually only have a few choices. The top brands like Bauer, Reebok, CCM and Easton dominate the market. We know the prices too, top end stick – $300, top end skates – $800. This is where Verbero comes in. Their goal is to make only top quality products, and charge less than the big boys. They plan to do this by cutting out the middle man, and holding off on million dollar advertising deals. By selling their equipment directly to the consumer, and not dumping half of their profits into advertising Verbero can allocate more money into quality products, and charge less to the consumer. This sounds like a pretty solid idea to me, but is their gear any good?
A quick look at Verbero Hockey Equipment
Verbero Gloves – The first thing I noticed about these gloves is that they are very flexible and comfortable! The gloves have a lot of flex points in them, which allows for a lot of mobility. The palm material is unlike any other glove I’ve worn. I am used to leather palms, but Verbero uses some type of stretchy microfiber-like material that is very comfortable. My first impression of the gloves is very positive, and I look forward to taking them for a spin on the ice
Verbero Hockey Stick – Apparently they hired rocket scientists to help design their stick and they use space grade material in the construction. This sounds like a lot of marketing hype, which I try to never buy into, but I can tell you that the stick has a nice feel to it. The stick is light, well balanced and has good “pop” to it. The sticks are also coated with a durable resin that is meant to extend the life of the hockey stick.
Verbero Skates – A lot of engineering thought went into these skates and I’m looking forward to them hitting the mass market. I was one of the lucky few who got to test them out while they were still in the prototype stage. I love the carbon fiber boot, one piece design and light weight build of the skates. The removable blade and removable tongue are cool features as well.
Learn More About Verbero
If you’d like to check out this new company, and their new gear you can visit their website at Verbero.com. If you don’t need any new gear, give them a follow on their social media accounts so you are the first to know about their new innovations