How To Take A Wrist Shot

how to take a wrist shot

by Jeremy Rupke on January 15, 2010

How to Take a wrist shot in hockey

This article focuses on how to take a wrist shot. I believe it is important to master technique and accuracy before working on power. I will be adding an article on how to improve wrist shot power soon. I have bought a radar gun and will test every possible way to increase wrist shot power through technique and I will also be adding workouts and training, I will post the article after extensive testing and research. For now though lets focus on the basics

Wrist Shot Tips

This article will outline how to take a wrist shot in hockey, or if you already know how to take a wrist shot, it may provide you with some tips on how to improve your wrist shot.

  • Puck Location
      • When taking a wrist shot the puck should be drawn back behind or even with your back leg (wherever you feel most comfortable), think of it as throwing a ball, in order to get more power, you want to pull it back so you can get a lot of power. You can raise a puck off of the ice without pulling the puck back, however pulling the puck back gives your wrist shot a lot more power.

  • Location of Puck on the Blade of the Stick
      • In order to take a wrist shot the puck should be between the heel and middle of the blade. While you are executing the wrist shot the puck will roll forwards toward the toe of your stick. This will give the puck a spin, and also allow you to aim where you want to shoot.

    wrist shot heel of blade

  • Location of your Hands
      • When shooting your top hand should be holding the top of the stick, and your lower hand should be no more than half way down your stick, many players hand position differs and your hand position will vary depending on different types of wrist shots (close to the net, cutting in, angle, etc..). Some guides say to have your hands about twelve to fifteen inches apart, but this depends on how old (and tall) you are. A good guide is to touch your elbow of the bottom hand to your top hand and then grab the stick. You don’t want your hand any higher than that.

     

    Where to hold hands when taking wrist shot In this picture my bottom hand is close to the middle of the shaft. Anywhere between the middle and 3/4 of the way down is fine, and the position changes depending on where you are shooting from and the angle you are shooting from.

    How to take a Wrist Shot Video

    In this video I take you through the steps of the first type of wrist shot you should learn. When taking a wrist shot you can transfer your weight onto the foot closest to the blade of your stick, or the one furthest from the blade of your stick. You get the most power if you transfer the weight to the foot furthest from the blade, so that is the technique I show below. (other method shown below the video)

    Now that you have watched the How to take a wristshot video check out shooting from the “off foot” below, the points about weight transfer and stick flex are the same for both methods of the shot

    Wrist Shot From the Off Foot

    There are two types of wrist shots, the method below shows you how to shoot from the off foot, you should practice both methods. You can see my article and video for more info on the two types of wrist shots.

    • Weight Transfer
        • When you begin to take the shot most of your weight or power should be on your front leg, while taking the wrist shot you should move even more weight to your front leg, and push off with your back and front leg, thus putting more power and energy into your wrist shot.

      Preperation for wrist shot, and weight transfer This picture is taken just before I start to shoot. You can see I am leaning over and forward a bit. I am just about to push off with my back leg. Using your legs is a great way to add more power and energy into your shot.

    • Stick Flex
        • Some people do not know that the stick actually adds a lot of speed and power to your shot. When you are shooting if you lean into the shot you will load the stick, putting energy into the shaft, which is then transferred to the puck when you release your shot.

      flex of stick in wrist shot You can see the amount of flex that is on my stick, mid shot. This flex adds a lot of power to your shot. When that flex (potential energy) is released, it will launch the puck at the net. You can generate a lot of flex on your stick by buying a stick with appropriate flex (depends on your weight and size), leaning into your shot, and building the muscles involved in taking a wrist shot. Right now I am pushing hard with my bottom hand, while pulling back with my top hand, the puck generates resistance on the bottom of the stick which results in the shaft flexing.

    • Follow Through
        • Your follow through is very important, when you follow through you are essentialy aiming where the puck is going. A good follow through also ensures that you are getting full power from your wrist shot. By continuing to push through with your shot you will keep the puck on the blade of your stick longer, thus transfering more energy onto the puck, and building more speed on your shot. Practice a good hard shot, along with a powerful follow through. When you are following through you should roll your wrists over, and point at where you want the puck to go. After shooting it should look like you are looking down the scope of a rifle

      You can see I have completed the wrist shot and this is the follow through. I shot high, and I am looking down the shaft of the stick at where I was aiming. My leg is up in the air because I put all of my weight onto my front leg. I pushed off with my back and front legs to drive more energy into my shot.

    • How to execute the Wrist Shot
        • To take the wrist shot have the puck drawn back, your hands in the proper position, and the puck near the heel of the blade of the stick. When you are properly set up begin to take the wrist shot, pull the puck towards the net with the blade of the stick. When the puck has moved a bit on the ice, you want to pull with your top hand, while pushing with your bottom hand, this generates flex on the stick and lifts the puck off of the ice. While the puck is off the ice and on the blade of your stick you will want to roll, or flick your wrist in order to get full power from the shot, and also get more accuracy from your wrist shot.  You should point the toe of the blade of the stick at where you are shooting, and follow through. Learning to take a wrist shot can feel very awkward as it is an unnatural movement for the human body. When explained in words it sounds very complicated, however once you learn how to do it, you will never forget! A good way to learn the basics is to start with a light puck, once you have the basic motion and muscle memory of how to take a wrist shot, then try with a normal puck.
      Wrist shot In this wrist shot I had my bottom hand a bit higher on the shaft of the stick. You can see I had the puck near the heel of my skate to start, pushed off with my back leg to transfer my weight into the shot, shot the puck and followed through.

      Wrist Shot

    I hope you enjoyed this article, how to take a wrist shot. I will be adding more articles, pictures and videos regularly. You can subscribe to my posts using the box to your left, or an RSS reader if you would like helpful hockey tips on a regular basis. I have also included a video to show you exactly what to do.

    Wrist Shot Video for Beginners

    In this video I show you every step involved in taking a wrist shot.

    How to Take a Wrist Shot From Your off-foot

    In the video below I show you how to take a wrist shot from your off foot.

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Jeremy Rupke

Coach
Hi my name is Jeremy. I LOVE hockey and I am passionate about improving and helping others improve. 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. If you want to learn more about me you can read my about page. Thanks for reading and sharing!

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{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

JRM January 13, 2014 at 12:07 am

decent article, i couldn’t watch the video but the explanations were vivid and on-point. real helpful. thanks

Reply

Athena February 24, 2013 at 6:43 pm

Hey Jeremy, what exactly is the difference between a wrist shot and a snapshot? They look pretty similar to me.

Reply

Jeremy Rupke February 26, 2013 at 2:37 pm

It depends who you ask. I explain the difference if you watch my on-ice videos for the snapshot and wristshot. My definition is the wristshot pulls the puck across the body, delivers the most power and weight is transferred to the foot furthest from the blade of the stick. The snapshot delivers the quickest release, is taken with your chest facing the target, and the weight is transferred to the foot closest to the blade of the stick

Jeremy May 16, 2012 at 9:45 pm

Good instruction on two types of wrist shots
I find the wrist shot of the back foot comes off more natural for me as I grew up playing ball hockey on the streets so running towards the goal and wristing it from the off foot is a common shot
It was when I started playing ice hockey that the wrist shot off the front foot is more powerful and easier shot when on skates and cutting across the net
Sakic and Messier had the best wrist shots from either foot that I remember on tv

Reply

Buddy the Elf April 3, 2012 at 9:28 pm

When you follow through, where should your upper arm end up? Should it end up right near the shoulder of your lower arm, or should it be near the other shoulder?

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Chris January 21, 2012 at 6:29 pm

I just started playing ice hockey around 3 months ago and howtohockey.com has helped a lot. As I’m not able to practice on the ice much, I play on the street. However, while I can get the street hockey puck off the ground, I can’t seem to get the puck off the ice. I feel like I’m keeping the blade of the stick to open when I practice. How can I correct that? And how far back to you have to keep your stick behind your back?

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Buddy the Elf April 3, 2012 at 9:26 pm

Try shooting with the blade slightly closed as you start the shot, but quickly open it to where the face is pointing at the target, then close it again, much like a saucer pass. It might take some power off the shot, but the wrist shot isn’t made for burning holes in the back of the net.

Gage November 23, 2011 at 9:56 am

I always shot with the puck at the toe of my blade so I read this article and tried shooting at the heel at practice but I couldn’t get the puck off the ice. I did everything on this article and I read the accuracy article. Any tips?

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Clayton November 20, 2011 at 11:14 pm

When i take the wrist shot, were ever i point i goes lower then what i meant for the puck to go

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Danny July 25, 2011 at 8:17 pm

I am learning wrist shots, and find it is easier when I “choke up” on the stick-move my top hand down a little, that is. Is that flawed? I don’t want to learn a flawed technique. I use an appropriate length stick for my height.

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Nathan June 7, 2011 at 8:03 am

Hi, As i look through many shooting videos i see all these crazy flexing, and i’ve never been able to do that. I have access to the gym and a net but i’m not quite sure what exercises i should do at the gym to strengthen my shot. and when i’m shooting at the net do i pull my top hand back?

Reply

Ryan February 21, 2011 at 3:24 am

Glad to hear from new players and even happier that you love the sport!
I have been playing hockey for over 10 years (ice over 10, roller 5).
I have been working on my wrist shot for just as long. I have a decent shot, but still not “effortless” looking as you see with the good players.
The tips here are great, and it is not easy to master. With practice, you’ll see results soon.
We can keep each other posted on our progress!

Reply

nasty sik January 28, 2011 at 10:15 pm

u have to roll your wrists at the end of the shot

Reply

Dani Vomit October 1, 2010 at 10:47 pm

Hey, I just took up hockey, put on skates for the first time less then six months age. I love your site, I just discovered it yesterday and its already really helping me a lot. My wrist shot has already become more accurate, but I’m having trouble getting air on it. I’m using either a street ball or street puck when on cement as I cannot always get to ice. Any help would be awesome!

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Stephanie July 16, 2010 at 10:51 am

I play hockey (street & ice) with a group of men who have been playing for years. While I have watched hockey since I was born, I have only starting playing this year and quickly found that eventhough I have the fundamentals down, it is not nearly as easy as the Pros make it look.

I love that I can come to your site to find useful information broken down into steps that I can easily follow to improve my game. (Especially since the guys I play with aren’t always helpful when I ask questions).

I am so excited to get out there and practice all the tips I have read on here! Thank you so much!!!

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Bill June 24, 2010 at 12:23 pm

Well here you show a right handed wrist shot using the left foot to push off. Couldn’t you have also used your right foot to push off??
Probably important to make the distinction that a left foot push off (assuming a right handed shot) is suited for when a player is moving toward the net. Right foot push off is standard technique for when a player is stationary (again assuming right handed shot)

Reply

Jeremy June 24, 2010 at 2:41 pm

Yes Bill, thanks for noticing!

I have been meaning to update this and also write a new article. I am going to change this one to show shooting off of the left foot because that is the way to get the most power from the shot. I will also write an article on the two types of wrist shots (this one, and transferring weight onto your other foot) and explain the difference between the two, and when to use each one.

MikeB January 15, 2010 at 12:28 pm

I really liked this article, google searching for other articles just gets me boring articles from 10 years ago!

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