Slapshot Tips – Where Slapshot Power Comes From

Slapshot tips

by Jeremy Rupke on May 29, 2010

This article is meant to help seasoned hockey players add more speed to their slapshot. If you are new to hockey, you may want to read how to take a slapshot, practice a lot, and then return here.

A vital aspect in maximizing your slapshot power is understanding where the power comes from. Most new players, and some old, believe that all of the power in the slapshot comes from the arms. The truth is that the arms are only one of many places you should obtain power from for a powerful slapshot. I have compiled a list below that explains every part of the body involved in the slapshot, and how you can use those muscles to put more power into your slapshot

Where Power Comes From

Your legs
The legs are the first place you go for power. Set the shot up, wind up, and then push off with your back leg. This is how you begin to transfer weight.
Your arms and hands
Of course your arms are also important in generating power for your slapshot. You generate power from your arms by winding up, then pulling down with both hands, and then really pushing through with your bottom hand in the follow through. Remember to roll your wrists in the follow through for a bit of extra power, and better accuracy. Another tip is to quickly transfer from back swing to downswing. This quick transition helps generate a bit of energy from the elastic properties of your muscles. This power would be lost if you pause at the top of the back swing. A lot of the power generated from your arms comes from the biceps and triceps
Core muscles

You know that six pack you have under your beer belly? Time to use it. Your core muscles (basically your body minus the arms and legs) provides a lot of power in your slapshot. When you wind up you will be turning your upper body away from the net, then during the downswing you will be rotating back towards the net. You want to focus on rotating your upperbody and really harnessing the muscles, especially the pecs and obliques (basically all the muscles on the side of your body) This creates torque and adds power to your shot. I cover this a bit in my video, but for more detail you can also check out this video from Brett Henning – creating power with torque
Shoulders

Your arms do a lot of work in the slapshot, but your shoulders are attached to your arms, so you might as well invite them to the slapshot party. When winding up make sure you rotate your shoulders away from the net, then, like a coiled spring, rotate back toward the net as you shoot. Your shoulders should work with your arms and core muscles to provide a lot of the power in the slapshot.
Stick

When you can start really loading your stick that twig is going to add quite a bit of heat to your slapper. What you want to do with your stick is build potential energy. You do this by hitting the ice first, allowing your stick to flex before it
hits the puck. Then continue to drive through the shot for more power. When the blade hits the puck a lot of that potential energy will be released onto the puck. I find a stiff stick works a lot better than a whippy stick (but only if you can properly flex it), a lot of the potential energy is lost with whippy sticks.

Advanced tip: Most articles recommend hitting the ice 1 to 2 inches behind the puck. This is fine and dandy for beginners, but not for some one with power and a decent shot. If you are only hitting the ice a couple of inches behind the puck, than your stick will not have enough time to fully flex before hitting the puck. If you have a powerful shot already, try hitting the ice about 10 inches behind the puck, and really lean on your stick. I can almost guarantee your shot will be much harder

Some More Slapshot Tips

I made a video to show you some tips that have helped me improve my slapshot power, I also have made a quick list below the video.

In summary in order to have a powerful slapshot you should make sure you are using proper form, and understand where slapshot power comes from. We have already covered where power comes from, so now I will share some key points from another slapshot article that have helped me increase my slapshot by 15 mph

  • Have your lower hand about half way down the stick, and really load the shaft
  • Bend your knees and push off with your back leg to really drive into the shot
  • If you hit the ice to close to the puck, you will not have enough time to load the stick and you will lose power. Try hitting the ice further back, and see if you notice a difference
  • Rotate your wrists after you contact the puck, and continue to put power into the follow through

A few more tips that have helped me improve my slapshot involve using different parts of the body to build power. I have summed up the points below

  • Power should come from your legs, shoulders, arms, core muscles, and stick
  • Rotate your upper body, and use strength from your shoulders and core muscles to add power to the shot.
  • By quickly switching from winding up, to shooting, you can use the elastic properties of your muscles to help add a little extra power

These tips should help you understand how to get more power from your shot, and maybe improve a few things you could have been doing wrong. If you have any slapshot tips be sure to add them in the comments section below.

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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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{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Joseph July 8, 2012 at 6:25 am

Is it good to slapshot off from the heel of the blade?
I tried it and suprisingly gives you more power………..is it good?

Reply

michael November 27, 2011 at 11:38 pm

I am 12 turning 13 i want to play so bad but my parents don’t have the the money i play roller hockey with my friend just messing around and wasting time.u forgot one thing you always do before hitting a puck.”feet square hip in-line with your feet. i don’t have money for a speed radar right now in fact i need new skates because the front 2 wheels on my old ones i actually wore off. so my question is how do i get a sponsorship or where do i go?

Reply

Jayloz September 14, 2012 at 5:05 pm

How much money do you need you think?
Jason

ivan August 31, 2011 at 10:16 pm

Hi there! is it the toe of the blade that hit the ice first in slapshot? what’s the different with mid blade part? Also right at the contact with the puck, do we snap the wrist quickly like in wrist shot or just rotate and point it?

In varsity hockey video, they said that player must mastering the wrist shot first before learning slapshot. what’s ur opinion on this?

Reply

Jeremy September 5, 2011 at 2:17 pm

Hitting the ice first with the toe can increase the flex on the stick, but it happens naturally and isn’t really something you should force. The slapshot is such a quick shot that rolling the wrist and pointing is very similar to snapping the wrist.

I agree that learning the wrist shot first is very important, it should be the first shot that any player learns.

michael November 27, 2011 at 11:41 pm

ivan u kinda snap your wrist a little but not much so 50/50!

Gage April 17, 2011 at 12:21 pm

Im 11 and dont have the money for a radar gun or a composite stick. My wooden stick doesnt flex so should i just hit the puck right behind it? Thanks( i ripped a hole in my net by using your tips)

Reply

Jeremy April 23, 2011 at 9:44 pm

Even at 11 you should be able to flex the stick, you just need to get a stick with the right flex in it. There are junior and intermediate sticks that should help, but you may have some trouble with a wooden stick. You will still be able to get off a good slapper with a wooden stick, but the flex can not be manufactured as well as with the composite sticks.

For younger players I recommend just hitting the ice about an inch behind the puck. Good job on the rip in the net!

michael November 27, 2011 at 11:42 pm

yes but try to push down a little more on the stick and it will come out like u want it !

Patrick December 13, 2010 at 10:26 am

Great stuff! When I teach my son the slapshot, I add one other aspect that you don’t cover, but which I believe adds tremendously to shot power – torque.

The stick actually stores potential energy to two ways- bend and twist. The bend part, everybody understands, because it shows up in photos. But the stick can also twist if you contact the ice with the toe end of the blade. The untwisting of the stick adds that much more power to the shot.

There is probably some torque in any shot, unless you contact the ice directly with the heel, but moving the contact point out to the toe increases the contribution of torque. To do this, you postion the puck closer to your feet. You also have to adjust your grip to a more “closed” position or you will be shooting off to the right as the blade opens on contact. I think good shooters do this instinctively without knowing what they are doing, but you can play with it a bit to see if this makes sense. Try moving the puck in and out from your feet and note the effect.

Either way, let me know what you think.

Reply

Jeremy December 13, 2010 at 2:58 pm

Thanks for your comment Patrick and I absolutely agree with you. I do mention torque in the article, but I talk about the torque of the body. The stick also twists and this does have an effect of storing energy and can be used to your advantage. That is why it is important to roll the wrists and follow through so you get all the energy from the flex, and torque

Ryan Peltenburg June 26, 2010 at 9:52 am

we have not yet read the whole article but looking forward to it. It has a lot of imformation for a better slap shot and shot over all. We will soon read the rest of the article at a later date. Good talking to you yesterday at Muskoka outfitters.

Thanks: Rob Peltenburg

Reply

dallas June 21, 2010 at 3:29 pm

my shot has improved a ton! it is getting higher and more powerful just need to twick it a little bit thx so much

Reply

MrRuin (from HF Boards) June 17, 2010 at 11:20 am

this is an excellent video. I took his advice of keeping my hand further up and pushing my shaft more into the ground/ice and I got great results. You have to be wary to not push too hard or too fierce or you will quickly ruin your stick. If you find your sweet spot you are golden. Previously I was kinda swiping the puck too much instead of loading up the shaft before hitting the puck.

I had a good slapper, but this took it up a notch. I still have to practice this technique a lot more to do it right constantly on every slapper I take but it feels great to see the puck rocket off the blade like it did yesterday. Another benefit with this technique is the lessened effort it takes to get a good shot off. Better balance (since my hand is higher up on the shaft, closer to my natural stance) and less required strength from your body (loading the shaft will generate the power).

Reply

dallas June 11, 2010 at 2:58 pm

thx that will help alot

Reply

Jeremy June 10, 2010 at 5:32 pm

There are a few tricks for getting the puck up high. Having the puck a bit further ahead in your stance helps. The biggest one would be following through high. The best way to learn is to lay off the power and just focus on shooting top shelf. As you get the feel for going top shelf with your slapshot, then add some power. Remember though, keep it low when people are in front of the net.

We have an article coming up talking about slapshot accuacy.

Reply

dallas June 9, 2010 at 2:33 pm

how do you get it high do you have to flick your wrists because i have the power i just cant get it up what do i do??

Reply

Dallas May 30, 2010 at 4:32 pm

Man i have never seen someone hit a puck that fast u should be playing in the NHL! nice tips by the way! :)

Reply

Jeremy May 31, 2010 at 1:12 am

Haha, thanks, but it takes a lot more than a good shot to make the N!
Plus pro’s can get over 100MPH on the ice. I want to get mine up to 90 on the ice so I can share with everyone how I did it.

dallas June 8, 2010 at 3:29 pm

that is true:P

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