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!
Our friend Matt from WinnPro Hockey has been contributing videos to our Hockey Movement channel for a while now and we are happy to feature his latest video on how to take a slapshot while moving. Matt also focuses on how the stick impacts the puck, his break down is very clear and detailed.
In the video we link to Matt’s first video on the mechanics of the slapshot. I have embedded the video below
The Mechanics of the slapshot
Since you’re hear I thought you might also be interested in one of our older videos where my buddy Ken dishes out his tips for the slapshot while moving.
Every shot in hockey is not just one motion, but a combination of many subtle movements. Every part of your body is working together to generate power, accuracy, lift and control of the puck. If one part of your shot is lacking, or incomplete this will result in less power and accuracy.
In this video, I break down the 5 key components of almost every shot in hockey. When you understand these components, you can use them in different ways depending on what situation you find yourself in on the ice.
There are hundred’s of ways to shoot the puck, this video explains why.
I’ve been helping people learn how to play hockey and improve their skills for the past 6 years. Most of that help has been done over the internet with the use of videos and articles. I also respond to a lot of emails!
One of the most common questions I get online is “Am I too old to start playing hockey?” The answer is always “Absolutely NOT!”. I have helped countless people in their 40’s, 50’s and even 60’s learn to play hockey or get back to the game they love, however recently I received an email that set an all time record.
One topic we haven’t covered a lot here on How To Hockey is defense. I’ve been getting requests for a few years for more info for playing defense, so I have put together a 4 video series all about playing defense!
These videos are not JUST for defensemen. As a coach, I have a simple rule, when the other team has the puck our entire team is playing defense. The tips in these videos will help forwards and defensemen improve their skills, get scored against less, and end up with the puck more often!
If you have never played outdoor hockey before, you should. It’s the most amazing feeling of freedom and pure joy. Pond hockey is where I forged many of my skills, and some of my best memories from my childhood. Whether you’ve played outdoor hockey before or not, there is an amazing opportunity for you and all your friends to collectively indulge in this amazing experience!
The Canadian National Pond Hockey Championships
If you’re looking for an amazing weekend out with your closest friends, this is it! Hockey, Beer, Nature, Food, and hundreds of other beauty hockey players all having a great time and playing hockey. This is what it’s all about!
The tourney is hosted at Deerhurst Resort in Huntsville, Ontario.
The dates are
Jan 23rd – 25th for 25+ Mens Rec and Open and 19+ Womens competitive
Men’s 19+ division just added!
Jan 30th to Feb 1st for Mens 35+ Mens 50+ and Women 19+ Fun and Competitive
The cost is $600 and each team is allowed 6 players. Registration covers entry into the tournament, you can book a hotel room at Deerhurst or many of the other hotels in Huntsville.
What’s the Tournament like?
I played in this tournament a few years ago and it’s amazing. You’re with your best friends, playing hockey together on a pond, and trying to win it all! There is more to the weekend than just hockey though, I have included some details below
Friday Nights they have a “Food Truck style” meal at the “Gibson’s Finest Friday Night Bash” with a live DJ etc…no reservation required and it’s held at Deerhurst Resort. I’m looking forward to the food truck inspired meals!
Saturday Nights they have the “10th Annual Pond Party” with All-You-Can-Eat buffet, Raffles, giveaways, Hockey on the big screens, and live band and dance party! ( the dinner tickets are sold separately by Deerhurst) You don’t have to go to one in order to attend the other.
Throughout the entire weekend they have music pumping and food & beers flowing in the rinkside food and beverage tent all weekend! All the action is in one location with 28 rinks on Deerhurst’s Sunset Bay
The biggest piece of advice you will get from any coach when it comes to shooting is “Shoot a lot of pucks”. Most coaches will recommend to take 100 shots a day, some recommend more, but the general consensus is that in order to improve you need to get A LOT of shots in.
This makes sense from a scientific standpoint, because muscles have muscle memory. In order to train your body to perform an action consistently and well, you must repeat the motion over and over until you can perform it automatically. In order to allow hockey players to take hundreds of shots in a quick period of time, the Super Shooter was invented.
More than just a shot trainer
After training on this net I quickly realized that it can help improve much more than your shot. I found the following benefits.
More time spent shooting because it’s fun
Hand eye co-ordination from catching pucks with the stick when they are returned
Receiving a pass
Being prepared for a rebound
Mentally rewards the player each time the target is hit (the puck comes back)
Video Review and Shots
Pro’s and Con’s
Benefits – It works great and is fun and can improve a number of skills. It is also very durable and made to withstand 100’s of thousands of shots. It would be a great addition to a training rink or private training centre, or even a AAA organization to use at stations.
Downfall – The obvious downside is the price. At $3500 the Super Shooter has a steep entry point. This makes the product expensive for personal use, however if we look at the benefits that an entire organization could gain from having this handy for any practice or training time the price may be justified.
Another downfall may be with younger players who don’t have good accuracy and power. The puck may not come out every time when they hit the target. However, this could also be a benefit as this will motivate them to improve so the puck will come out the other side.
We are giving away some of the gift ideas shown below. To enter, simply share this post on Facebook or Twitter and then enter the contest box at the bottom of this post. (even if you don’t win, sharing this post increases the chance your friends will buy you cool stuff!)
In no particular order, here is our list! This one is a no-brainer. The obvious choice here is a new hockey stick, but if you really know your player you may be able to surprise them with something else. (Skates, gloves, or maybe replace that gross old jock) Check out Hockey Monkey, Total Hockey or Pure Hockey for some good online deals!
The foolproof gift for a hockey player
If you’re not sure what to get, no problem, you can’t go wrong with a gift card. A gift card lets your hockey player pick whatever they want, they’ll be in heaven! I recommend a gift card from Hockey Monkey for anyone in the USA, and from a local hockey store for anyone in Canada.
The Colt Hockey Stick
If you’re looking for a stick check out Colt Hockey, they are working to design the most durable hockey stick out there and you can save $20 with coupon code HOWTOHOCKEY. Check out Colt Hockey to see their sticks You can really surprise them with tickets to the game. The great news is, you get to go too! You can snap up some good deals on StubHub.com
If that special person on your list is a Leafs fan and tickets cost $300 each, why not do something a little crazy. Book two flights to Florida when the Leafs play the Panthers and get your tickets for $20 each!As a kid, all I wanted to do was practice at home. As an adult, I still enjoy ripping some shots beside the garage and working on the dangles from time to time. So what does EVERY hockey player need? My suggestions are simple:
a net – The EZ Goal is good for shots under 65 MPH
I’ve put together a video mentioning some of the must have training aids for shooting. Check out the video on stickhandling products as well
Any of the above should give a hockey player hours and hours of enjoyment and help improve their skills Personally, I’m a Leafs fan. If you get me ANYTHING with a Toronto Maple Leafs logo, I’ll be happy. A hat, shirt, pajama pants, slippers, coffee mug, etc. Any die hard fan probably feels the same about their team.
Where to shop –Amazon.com or Amazon.ca for Canadians is a good start (all items pictured are from Amazon.ca), they usually have free shipping and good selection. Every hockey player wants to play more hockey! This isn’t always easy, but here are a few ideas
Sure we can watch highlights on YouTube, but it’s tough to find good edits and compilations. If you want to give an entire years worth of highlights get them Rock’em Sock’em 26. This years latest release from Don Cherry.
Better yet, get them 25 years worth of hockey highlights by picking up the Rock’em Sock’em box set (Don Cherry has been doing these tapes since 1988 and you can own them all.
You can buy: BOX SET On Amazon.ca for $49.99 and free shipping OR Amazon.com for $71.99 (sorry USA, the one time something is MORE expensive in the states) We’re a little obsessed. We want everyone to know we play hockey, and what better way to do that than with some sweet hockey threads.
There are a few different hockey apparel companies including Sauce Hockey and Gongshow hockey, but I really like Scrappers Hockey. (and they designed the hockey movement logo!) There are some things that every single hockey player needs. They aren’t expensive, and it’s an easy item to pick up.
A few items include
Hockey Tape (cloth, and clear)
Skate laces (great to have as backup in case laces break just before a game)
These recommendations are a little on the expensive side, but if you’ve got the money they would make a hockey player very happy!
The Puck Passer Pro launches pucks at you. This is great for the player who wants to practice passing, shooting, one timers and more. When there is a machine sending pucks at you, you can get pretty creative.
Retails for $1495 on PPP website, or HockeyShotSynthetic ice is a plastic that you can actually skate on! put this in your garage, or basement and you can play hockey any time you want! I am actually putting this in my garage at the moment. I already have it all laid out, and now I am building dasher boards (Yes I’m lucky ) – Check it out on HockeyShot Every player dreams of having skill like Crosby, a slapshot like Chara, or silky hands like Pavel Datsyuk. In order to improve, players need to be taught, motivated, and inspired. I’ve created two training courses for hockey players to help them improve. Yes this is a shameless plug for my training courses, HOWEVER I have received countless emails and messages from players who have used these courses to improve, so of course I would like you to purchase them for your hockey player and help them improve. Both courses are delivered digitally, simply create an account after purchasing to access the training videos and e-books.
The complete guide to stickhandling
This guide is everything a hockey player needs to know to go from a beginner to a confident player with the puck. This comprehensive guide covers technique, common mistakes, and how to have complete control of the puck in any situation. I also include multiple drills as well as a half hour off-ice training video, and a half hour on-ice video where I answer the most common stickhandling questions and show a number of drills.
The Goalie Buster video training series (buy both together to save)
This is for every player who wants to have sweet shootout moves, and score every time on the breakaway. In this video series I teach every single move out there (I watched NHL shootout moves for about 6 hours straight to make sure I covered them all). NHL examples of each move are shown, I then break down how to do each move on the ice, and show me trying the moves on different goalies. Every move is categorized so the player knows when to use the move. I also teach when to shoot, and how to read the goalie. I have gotten great feedback from players ranging from house league, Junior A, AAA and Men’s league
Whenever I have some downtime you can find me reading hockey books! Here are a few suggestions I have, most of the books I have read are coaching books however I do own most of these recommended books as well.
There are some awesome biographies out now Bobby Orr just released his last year, Gordie Howe released his in October, Ken Dryden’s “the game” is a classic 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
A common problem I see with newer hockey players is something I call “not finishing your shot”. In hockey it’s common knowledge that to get more power, you need good weight transfer, but that’s how you start your shot, so how do you finish it?
Finishing your shot requires a “snap” motion at the end. It happens in the wristshot, snapshot, and backhand and will help you get some extra power and accuracy in your shot. A good snap requires the use of your wrists, and proper placement of the stick to allow for a push-pull motion at the end of your shot. In the video below I explain the concept and show some examples
Need More Details?
In this video I talk specifically about using your wrists in your shot to get more power and accuracy. I also share a simple exercise that you can do on a daily basis to improve.
Beyond using the wrists
Using your wrists is important, but getting the stick in the right position to finish your shot is also crucial to adding more power. In this video I show you how you can add extra power to your shot, and improve your quick release.
I post new hockey training videos every single week on my YouTube channel. You can also subscribe to our newsletter on The Hockey Movement
The Green Biscuit Alien is the newest training puck in the Green Biscuit lineup. This one probably has the coolest feature, in that it lights up! This means you can still throw that sauce, even when the sun has gone down. Check out our video below for full details, if you want to pick one up we have links below.
Long lasting LED lights illuminate when the puck is in use
Slides amazingly on almost any surface (just like the original Green Biscuit)
From our tests the design looks very sturdy, this puck should last!
Hockey drills are the backbone of a good practice. Coaches are always scouring for new drills to try to teach a certain point, or help their players develop and enhance their skills. There are a lot of drill resources out there, however most free sources lack organization and experience. By experience I mean a coach that has actually tried the drill, modified it, tried it again, etc.
Coach Weiss runs Weiss Tech Hockey which is a blog dedicated to coaching hockey and hockey drills. In this e-book he shares his collection of his 101 favourite advanced hockey drills. The categories in the book include
Competition / Competitive drills
Small area games
Some sample drills
Here is one of the many drills from the competition section. I love competitive drills as the players almost always give 100% effort in these types of drills. I like this one as it’s an upgrade from a similar drill I already know and love. I could easily run the drill I normally run first, and then run this one next in the sequence.
This is a good on ice agility drill to get the kids skating and performing a number of moves. You can always modify the drill by asking the players to perform reverse pivots, mohawks / spread eagle, 360 turn, etc
How much is the Advanced Hockey Drill Book?
The e-book is only $9.99 and you can also buy the Weiss Tech systems book which I highly recommend if you are interested in choosing and developing a system to run. You can download the e-book immediately after purchasing and then have a copy on your computer, tablet, and phone so it’s always available!
How to use the Drills
This sounds silly, but having the drills alone is not enough to run a good practice. I wanted to take a few seconds to re-iterate the coaches job.
A good coach will run drills based on what the team needs to work on. Pay attention in practice and use drills that will challenge your players and help improve their weaknesses and their strengths. While running the drills provide a lot of feedback. Have the assistant coaches work the whistle sometimes while you encourage and correct the players.
That’s all for now, check out the drill book, and I strongly recommend Coach Weiss’s hockey systems book which you can also find through the links provided above.
Every hockey player loves to score! For newer players getting that first goal can be a real challenge, and for some experienced players they can get in slumps. Other players might find the back of the net the odd time, but then wonder why they can’t score more goals. In this video I am going to share a secret with you (as well as a few fun drills).
What All Good Goal Scorers do! (and why)
So how can you score more goals in hockey?
Go to the net
Tip pucks that come your way
Hunt for rebounds, jump on them quickly!
Shoot when you get in the high percentage scoring areas
I have been playing hockey for a long time, and I have a knack for scoring goals. Last season after a hatrick I was reflecting on my goals on the ride home. I soon realized none of the goals were because of any sort of skill. I didn’t have any bar-down snipes, or sweet dangles. Every single goal was a tap-in, or me shoveling the puck past the line. I got each goal because I went to the net! I realized that I still could have the hatrick that night without even knowing how to shoot the puck or stickhandle.
Thanks for reading! If you like this article and video please share with the tools below. You can also subscribe to our blog to get updates and improve your game and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!
Yes I know, this entire website and Youtube channel is dedicated to helping you improve your hockey skills, so what kind of lunatic would tell you to play different sports? This one (and many others). Don’t get me wrong, playing hockey and training for hockey is the single best way to improve your skills, however something I strongly encourage for all athletes is something called BALANCE.
If you are a newer hockey player, chances are you are completely obsessed with playing, that is great, play and practice as much as you can, however don’t discount the benefits and advantages of playing other sports. Other sports CAN aid in your hockey development!
Advantages of Playing Other Sports for Hockey Players
Specializing in hockey early will restrict development of other muscles
Playing a number of sports will help create a well rounded athlete
Playing multiple sports will help reduce injuries. Other sports will build some areas of the body that may get neglected in hockey
Playing hockey all year can result in over-use injuries. Areas of the body may never have time to recover (knees, hips, back)
Most team sports help build play making abilities, ability to read and react to situations, mental quickness, hand-eye, speed, explosiveness, other areas of the body
Kids and Adults get a break from hockey and come back with a greater desire and passion to start again
Some skills will be “over trained” in other sports compared to hockey. The skills will carry over well
Hand eye coordination in racquet sports, Lacrosse and baseball
Foot skills in soccer
Change of direction, footwork and acceleration in Squash, Tennis
Body fakes and deception in Lacrosse, Soccer, Football, Basketball
Overall team work will be experienced in all team sports
From reading the above points it’s easy to see that playing other sports can actually help you become a BETTER hockey player. In fact some of the best hockey players were multi-sport athletes.
Examples and Quotes
Gretzky did not play summer hockey, he played baseball and lacrosse in the summer. According to Gretzky’s biography he was a very skilled baseball and Lacrosse player and spring was one of his favourite times of the year!
“If a sport has a high point of the year, it must be the first week of spring. When I was growing up, I used to love this time of year. It was when I put my hockey equipment away and I was absolutely ecstatic to see the end of the hockey season. One of the worst things to happen to the game, in my opinion, has been year-round hockey and, in particular, summer hockey. All it does for kids, as far as I can tell, is keep them out sports they should be doing in the warmer weather. I could hardly wait to get my lacrosse stick out and start throwing the ball against the walls and working on our moves as we played the lacrosse equivalent to road hockey. All the good hockey players seemed to play lacrosse in those days and everyone of them learned something from the game to carry over to the other – things athletes can only learn by mixing up the games they play when they are young.” — Wayne Gretzky, National Post, March 2000
“Kids play far too much [hockey]. I mean, kids are playing 12 months a year—little ones. They don’t need it. Play other sports. Have other coaches. Hang around other kids, other parents. I think that’s all healthy. I never went to a hockey school until I turned pro and I went as an instructor. Kids don’t need to play all year, they can have a program of light exercise and play other sports. If you look at the best players in all sports, they’re athletes— they play other sports.” Source: Bobby Orr: How we’re killing hockey
“People always talk about my hand-eye coordination and how that translates from lacrosse to hockey and from hockey to lacrosse, which is true,” said Tavares, who played lacrosse for 13 years before switching focus solely to hockey. “But the biggest thing that translated for me was using my body to protect the ball, spinning off checks and moving through traffic.
“All those things translated into skills on the ice that have helped me excel in many areas in hockey, such as puck protection, moving through traffic and gaining time and space from tight checking.” Source:NHL Star honed hockey skills in box lacrosse
Coach Brent Sutter
“It is so noticeable on a hockey team that the kids who have played other sports and experienced different things are always the smarter players on your team, and they are able to handle adversity better,” Sutter said. “They deal with adversity better because they are thrown into different environments and they trust their skills that they may have learned elsewhere to get them through certain things.”
“I’ve really noticed it since leaving (to the NHL) and coming back to the WHL how it has changed,” he said. “We are lacking in areas that we never used to lack in. I want our scouts to look at athletes not just strictly hockey players.” Source:Wanted for NHL: True Athletes
“Some young athletes now face surgeries befitting their grandparents. Young hockey goaltenders repeatedly practice butterfly style — which stresses the developing hip joint when the legs are splayed to block the bottom of the goal. The sports surgeon Marc Philippon, based in Vail, Colo., saw a 25-year-old goalie who already needed a hip replacement.”
It’s connected to physical literacy and the need to develop a wide range of physical, mental, and emotional skills within sport. When researchers look at top athletes across a range of sports, the majority of them are distinguished by broad athletic ability from playing a variety of sports as children. This kind of broad athleticism doesn’t happen when kids specialize in one sport from an early age.
(Please note: We haven’t even mentioned the problem of overuse injuries to tendons, ligaments, and bone growth plates due to premature specialization. There’s enough research on that subject to write a book. Premature specialization is also linked to kids dropping out of sports early.)” – Source: Active for Life: Why early specialization is a bad idea
What about adults learning the game?
It depends on what type of shape you are in and if you have played other sports in the past. The quickest way to improve is to play and practice as much as you can (within reason)
For adult players who are new to the game, I still recommend balance. In this case we want to help aid development, but also reduce the chance of injury. Being in better shape, and a better overall athlete will certainly help reduce your risk of injuries. When you are injured you can’t play, and when you can’t play you can’t improve. Consider a sport like soccer, basketball, ultimate frisbee or some racquet sports to keep you in shape and developing a number of skills and abilities that you can carry over into your hockey development. You can also practice hockey at home over the summer to fine tune some skills while also enjoying some other sports.
Playing other sports is also great for your social life, and mental well being (healthy body, healthy mind)
The Final Verdict
Yes there are some specific hockey skills that you can only learn on the ice (or practicing at home), however many skills you will learn in other sports will lend themselves to learning your hockey skills
Whether you are a young hockey player, or an older hockey player, playing other sports will help improve your health, mental well being, and of course, HOCKEY SKILLS!