How to take a Snapshot in Hockey

As a hockey player there are two shots that you should practice ALL the time until you are a master of both, the wrist shot and the snapshot. The wrist shot will provide you with a very powerful and accurate shot, while the snapshot will give you an accurate shot with a very quick release. The snapshot is the best shot to use while in close to the net because you don’t want to give the goalie any time to set up, or any indication that you are about to shoot. The trick to a good snapshot is not giving any clues that you are about to shoot, getting the shot off in a fraction of a second, and being accurate. In the video below I teach you how to take a snapshot while on the ice.

Snapshot Video

What we cover in this video

Hand location – Where you have your hands is important for generating power on your shot. For the snapshot I like to have my bottom hand a bit lower than with the wrist shot, and a bit high than with the slapshot; I usually put my bottom hand close to the middle of the shaft. The reason I like it close to the middle of the shaft is because I want to be able to flex the shaft as much as I can to get extra power from the stick.

Body position – With the wrist shot your shoulder should be facing the net, but with the snapshot the chest should be facing the net. The snapshot is mainly used while you are skating towards the net and you are in close. You won’t have time to set-up for a wrist shot so you will need to be able to snap the shot off right away.

Puck position – You want to have the puck to the side of your body (where it would be if you are stickhandling with the puck on your shooting side). We need the puck here so you can shoot it whenever you want

Weight transfer – With a wrist shot you are transferring the weight to the leg furthest from the blade of your stick, while pulling the puck across your body, however the snapshot is different. For the snapshot you are transferring your weight to the leg CLOSEST to the blade of the stick (see T.J Oshie picture above). If you are shooting in stride you will push off with the leg furthest from your stick, lean over and transfer the weight onto your other leg and then SNAP.

Key to a good snap shot – For this type of shot you want to get the puck off as fast as possible. All you want to do is get your hands out in front of your body while still cupping the puck, and then really pulling back with your top hand and pushing forwards with your bottom hand. I show this in the video but I found a picture of T.J Oshie that really shows how the snapshot should look (shown above) and a picture of Ovechkin (shown below)

Below is an example of Ovechkin taking a snapshot, notice the weight transfer, puck location, and hand location as explained above.

You need to get both hands out in front of your body so you can really pull back with the top hand and push with the bottom.

NHL Example – Cammalleri slow motion snapshot

How to master the snapshot

  • Practice a quick release, the faster you can get the puck on the net the better. This will come in handy when you get  rebound, or catch a goalie out of position and only have a second to shoot before the goalie is in position to stop you.
  • Shoot 100 pucks a day (practicing the technique described in the video). Every day your muscles will learn a little bit more and get faster and stronger. You need to train your muscles and the only way to train them is with repetition
  • Remember to get those hands out in front of your, and transfer the weight.
  • When practicing the shot, work on your accuracy as well, you need to be able to pick corners if you want to score with the snapshot.

Another Picture for the Lefties

See how Recchi gets his weight over the leg closest to the blade of the stick and his hands out in front. Thanks to Ariel B. Enhaynes for the picture!

Thanks for reading! If you have any questions you can ask in the comments below and I will answer them soon. We also have an article on how to shoot while skating that covers the slapshot and snapshot and provides a few tips to getting a better shot while moving. Another good article is the two types of shots in hockey which provides more detail on why the shots are different and when to use each one.

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Coach Jeremy
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!
  1. […] quick release method is most helpful in the snapshot however you can use the same principle to finish your shot in the wrist shot and […]

  2. Reply Matt March 29, 2013 at 2:48 pm

    Jeremy what do you think are the best off ice exercises any hockey player should do. thanks

  3. Reply Hockey Tips from George Parros March 6, 2013 at 9:32 am

    […] lot of power and a deceptive release. This snapshot is a hybrid between the full wrist shot and the quick release snapshot that I taught in another article and […]

  4. Reply Donal January 21, 2013 at 6:53 pm

    thx 4 the gr8 vid jeremy! it really helped!

  5. Reply Seth December 30, 2012 at 6:50 pm

    Hey Jeremy

    I play AA and I was just wondering when is the best area on the ice to shoot a wrist shot?

    Thanks, Seth

    • Reply Donal January 21, 2013 at 6:50 pm

      sorry i made 2 comments by accident

    • Reply Donal January 21, 2013 at 6:49 pm

      at the top of the circle when there is a lot of people in front of the net

    • Reply Donal January 21, 2013 at 6:49 pm

      at the top of the circle when there is a lot of people in front of the net

  6. […] of these videos check out my articles on how to take a wrist shot, how to take a backhand, and how to take a snapshot. In the videos I give you step-by-step instructions to help you learn the […]

  7. Reply nick November 7, 2012 at 8:23 pm

    hey im a bantam a player in the us and im used to scoring in peewees but im having a little more trouble in bantams with scoring, mainly because of less ice to use and the goalies seem a lot bigger. do you have any suggestions for me?

    • Reply Jeremy November 10, 2012 at 5:22 pm

      Every time you move up it gets harder, you are a first year so you won’t be as good, next year you will be much better because you will be older, playing against guys your same age or younger. Just keep working on improving your shot, skating, and stickhandling and you will find your scoring knack again. Move the puck, and play smart hockey, always be thinking about where you should be to get the puck, where your other players will be, where the other team will be. Being a smart hockey will make you “faster” because when you are in the right spot you get a lot more chances.

  8. Reply Taylor November 3, 2012 at 8:01 am

    Hey Jeremy,

    D’you rent a rink all for yourself for videos just like this? Or d’you get a few buddies to pitch in to reduce the cost?

    • Reply Jeremy November 10, 2012 at 5:20 pm

      This time I rented it, there is a small town rink nearby where it is cheap in the middle of the day. I usually try to get it for free, I shoot a quick video just before or after public shinny.

  9. Reply Vicky October 29, 2012 at 4:52 pm

    Thanks Jeremy i got to work on this one

  10. Reply Alejandro October 26, 2012 at 1:19 am

    Thanks Jeremy Nice vid

  11. Reply Richard October 25, 2012 at 11:53 am

    Hi Jeremy! That was really helpful. Especially what you said about the puck having a better angle on the net than you if the goalie is showing right net and you are shooting right.

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