As part 2 of the backhand challenge (be sure to sign up to our newsletter to join our next challenge!) I wanted to teach you how to get more power on your backhand shots. In this post I have a new video for taking backhands from further away, as well as a number of videos from the pro’s unleashing awesome backhands. There are three steps to having a great backhand shot in hockey, I will explain them all in the article and video.
3 Steps to a Great Backhand
Puck Location – You want to release the puck when it is roughly lined up with your front foot. Using this location as your release point allows you to get your body weight behind the shot, add more power through weight transfer, and build more speed on the puck with the set-up and execution of the shot.
Blade angle – The blade angle when you release the puck is important. I think most people who can not lift their backhand probably do not open their blade enough. If you watch the pro examples below closely you will notice they all open the blade of their stick and then unleash all their power into the shot
Explode – This last tip comes from weight transfer and timing, but also includes the movement of your hands and arms. I notice that most guys with good backhands prep the puck, and then unleash everything they’ve got on it. It doesn’t seem like too many guys do a long sweeping backhand shot, it’s almost more like a backhand snapshot. Watch my example above and the pro examples below to see what I mean
Pro Examples of Great Backhands
Crosby pops the water bottle
Here is a game situation backhand from Crosby. Notice at the 33 second mark he has the puck cupped to control it’s location. He has the puck lined up with his front foot, and then in the next frame he opens the blade and lets it rip. Also notice after the shot his back leg is extended, which is a result of pushing with the back leg to get more power on his shot
This is a good example of turning the feet first, and then letting the backhand go. Turning the feet also allows you to get more torque on the shot. With your feet turned more towards the net you can rotate your body more into the shot and get more power, watch the magician himself
Here is a near identical goal, notice how he cuts towards the net while he’s shooting. This helps get more energy moving towards the net for a harder shot.
This is an amazing snipe by Zetterberg! Check the 22 second mark of this video to see his position. The puck is forward in his stance and he has the blade opened up. He is also leaning in towards the net, next he does a nice snap motion to put the puck in an almost impossible opening.
How can you improve your backhand?
Take the tips from this article and my video as well as the tips from my roofing the backhand video and article and start shooting!
- Make sure you have what you need to shoot at home. A shooting pad and net are all you need, see my favourite hockey products if you are interested in some good training aids
- Set a schedule to improve your shot. Make a goal to take 50+ shots a day and stick to it. As long as you know the proper form and work each day to improve your technique you will improve your shot very quickly
- You can use my iSnipe app for Apple or Android to help keep track of how many shots you take each day and learn how to take each shot, the app has 16 training videos.