Tag: hockey backhand tips

How to Backhand Topshelf Video

This is a video we made that show’s how to backhand topshelf. This backhand video has gotten some good feedback on youtube and shows a skill that too many hockey players ignore. WORK ON YOUR BACKHAND! you will score more goals. I see to many players just shovel the puck into the goalies pad because they haven’t mastered their backhand. If you really want to learn to snipe topshelf on your backhand you could read the article that we wrote to go along with this video How to backhand topshelf we also have another backhand article that is in the related articles section below.

If you can already raise your backhand then I think the biggest point that helps you get it top shelf is in the follow through. If you put a lot of power on your follow through then you will actually guide the puck right where you want it. The harder your follow through on the backhand is, the more time the puck will be on the blade of the stick, and the more time you will have to aim the puck. Check out the video for more tips

How to Put a Backhand Topshelf

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How to Snipe Top Shelf on Your Backhand


Backhand Shot Tips

This article shows you how to take a backhand when you are close to the net, I also recommend my article and video on how to take a backhand shot, where I show the most powerful method that should be used when further from the net.

Not being able to put your backhand shot in the top shelf is a problem that many players have, but few realize. Most hockey players tend to focus on their wrist shot or slapshot because these are the two most commonly used shots in hockey, but how often do you really use your backhand shot? I bet you would use it a lot more if you could snipe top shelf every time. For this reason I decided to write a tutorial detailing how you can use your backhand to put the puck right where momma keeps the cookies.

Raising Your Backhand Close to the Net

I like to think that there are two types of backhand shots in hockey, the first type you would use when you are further away from the net, and would like a lot of power on your shot. I have detailed how to take this type of shot in my article How to take a powerful backhand shot. Now that you have read that article you should learn how to get the puck up quick when you are close to the net.  Practicing getting the puck up quick is important for a number of reasons

  1. Many goalies utilize butterfly style goaltending. This means the goaltender can quickly and easily cover the bottom of the net. In order to score on a good butterfly style goaltender you will need to be able to lift the puck quickly, at least over the goalies pad.
  2. A quick, powerful backhand shot, up high can be very deceptive as many goalies will not expect a backhand shot to be flying for the topshelf.
  3. Many times players waste time moving the puck to their forehand to shoot (giving the goalie time to set up to make the save), because they are not comfortable with their backhand. Other players just whack at the puck and drive it right into the goalie because they have not mastered their back hand shot.
  4. The main reason you should practice sniping top shelf on your backhand…You WILL score more goals

I hope these points will convince you to take some time and work on getting your backhand shot up quick. You may be thinking “ok I get it! Get to the backhand tips already” I will do you one better. I went out and made a video for you! I find seeing it makes learning a lot easier, but if you have a thing against watching videos feel free to read the tips below the video.

Hockey Backhand Shot Video

How to Raise Your Backhand in Hockey

When you are close to the net, power is not as important as height. You want to get the puck up quick, fast, and in a hurry. Follow the steps below to snipe topshelf

  • Start with the puck forwards in your stance
    • By having the puck forward in your stance you can get a better angle on the puck. You want to make the blade of your stick like a wedge, get under the puck, and almost shovel it up top.This picture shows the stance to shoot a the puck high from the backhand
  • Location of the puck on the blade
    • In this shot the location of the puck is not crucial, somewhere close to the center of the blade is fine, but do not worry to much about it.
  • Get some momentum
    • If you have to fire the puck off quick, just get low, wedge it up, and pull up hard to put power on the shot. If you have some time it helps to get the puck moving towards the blade first. Tap the puck towards you quickly then wedge your blade under the puck and pull up quickly
  • Get low to the ice
    • The idea of this shot is to get under the puck, then scoop it up high. Bend over a bit at the hip to help you get lower. The reason you want to get low is because you want to wedge the puck up high. To get even more of a wedge on your blade you can drop your top hand (the one holding the top of the stick) lower to the ice.Get low when trying to put a backhand shot up high in hockey
  • Lead with your bottom hand
    • When the puck is on the blade of your stick use your bottom hand to pull up hard on the middle of the shaft, while pushing down with your top hand.
  • Follow through
    • Follow through is very important, the puck will be on the blade of your stick right until the end, so you must continue to guide the puck right into the top of the net.Backhand follow through in Hockey

By reading this article you should have a few good ideas of how to put the puck top shelf on your backhand. First you get the knowledge, then you get the experience, so go..now…PRACTICE!

I have summed everything up in the picture below.

Hockey Backhand Shot

How to take a backhand shot in Hockey

In the first picture you can see the puck is forward in my stance. I am tapping the puck away from the net to get some momentum towards the blade of my stick. In the next frame I get behind the puck to “catch it” and get it on the blade of my stick. In the next frame you can see the puck actually on the blade of my stick, and I am pulling it hard to the top of the net. The key is the follow through and to guide the puck top shelf. In the last picture you can see I have put the puck top shelf.

Once you perfect this shot let me know in the comments 😀


How to Take a Backhand Shot

Hockey how to take a back hand

How to Take a Backhand Shot in Hockey

In hockey a backhand shot is very important. Some players such as Mats Sundin, Patrick Kane, Evengi Malkin, and Sidney Crosby are known for having powerful backhand shots. Sidney Crosby is said to use a flatter curve on his stick (as did Doug Gilmour) which does help with backhand shots.

3 Steps to going topshelf on the backhand

Why backhand shots are important

A powerful backhand shot gives you more opportunities to score goals. You will not always have time to switch to your forehand and shoot. Sometimes a quick forehand to backhand deke is the perfect way to beat the goalie. One more advantage of a backhand shot is that many goalies find backhanders hard to read, making it difficult for the goalie to stop the puck.

How to take a powerful Backhand

Here is another video I did with step by step instructions for taking a powerful backhand shot.

For some pro examples (and another video from me) check out our article on getting MORE power on your backhand

When to take a backhand shot

The backhand is the perfect shot when you are cutting in front of the net and the puck is on your backhand, or when you are deking. Many players deke to their backhand and shoot, only to have the puck stopped by the goalies pad. A player with a good backhand shot will be able to shoot the puck over the goalies pad (or top shelf )and score more goals. A backhand shot can also be useful when you need to shoot the puck quickly (no time to move to your forehand and shoot). There are many times when you should use a backhand, or need to have a powerful backhand shot in order to score. By following the tips below, and a lot of practice, you should be able to perfect your backhand and score more goals!

Different types of backhand shots

There are two types of backhand shots that I like to use. In this article I will explain the most powerful backhand shot. This shot is good to use when cutting to the net, or if you want to get a fast, hard backhand shot on net. I have explained the other method of backhand in the article How to backhand topshelf

How to take a powerful backhand shot

The first step is to draw the puck back in your stance. If you are cutting in front of the net then you will be drawing the puck to your leg furthest from the net (see picture) If you are skating towards the net then you will be bringing the puck to your backhand side and pulling it back slightly. It is a bit easier to take a powerful backhand shot when you are cutting in front of the net because you have more room to draw the puck back and put power on your shot. When you are skating towards the net you almost have to cross your hands over and do not have much room to draw the puck back and build power.

how to take a back hand shot in hockey

You can see the puck drawn back, the puck is at the center of the blade, the blade slightly cupped over the puck, and weight is beginning to transfer forwards

Location of Puck on Blade

You must have the puck in the right spot on your blade. You DO NOT want the puck on the toe of your blade; this will make it very hard to get a lot of power on your backhand shot. When taking a backhander you want the puck to be between the middle and heel of your stick (the flat spot of the blade is ideal)


The next step is to move the puck towards the net, the motion of a powerful backhand shot is similar to a wrist shot (except for the release point), you start by pulling the puck towards the net, you want to do this quickly and with as much power as you can. Remember to also transfer your weight into the shot. You want to move your weight in the direction of the shot; this will give you more power. I find using your legs to push off really adds a lot of power to this shot. Once you pull the puck towards the net with the blade of your stick, you will want to lift the puck up off of the ice (while still on the blade of your stick) and push it towards the net. You do this by by opening the blade, and then pushing down with your top hand while pulling up with the bottom hand. I also like to quickly roll the wrist of my top hand to get a bit of a pop (see the video for an explanation)

Hockey back hand shot

In the first frame the blade of the stick has shifted in order to move the puck to the top right (players perspective) corner of the net, this is just before the player shoots the puck. In the next frame the player is starting to shoot. You can see his right arm has come down, and his left arm is pulling the stick towards the net.

The release point of a backhand shot

With a wrist shot you will let the puck roll off the toe of your stick, however with a back hand shot this is not the case. Most blades (unless you have a flat blade) have a curve on the forehand, this means that when shooting a backhand shot, the curve is in the wrong direction. For this reason it is important to release the puck from the middle of the blade of the stick. Try to keep the puck on the flat spot of the blade (between the heel and middle of the blade) If the puck reaches the toe it will reduce your accuracy and power.

The final stage of the backhand shot

In the final stage of the shot (just after the puck comes off the ice) you will add a snap of the wrists to give the shot a little more power. With a powerful backhand you will also roll your hands over to aim the shot (sort of like a snap and roll combined). This means that the palm of the hand that is lowest on the stick will be pointing up, and the palm of the hand on the top of the stick will be pointing down. Writing out every step of a backhand shot makes it sound difficult and complicated, but the entire shot should take less then a second to perform. You can also check out our video on how to take a backhand in hockey which is embedded in the article above.

hockey backhander

The player has completed the shot, shooting the puck top right. It is important to follow through with your shot, and just as with a wrist shot, point at where you want the puck to go. Follow through high for high shots, low for low shots. If the player were shooting from further away he would roll his wrists more, and the palm of his left hand would end up facing up.

The most important way to get a more powerful backhand shot is to practice. If you have trouble getting the puck off of the ice, practice with a lighter puck so you can get your technique down. If you already can perform a backhand shot then try using a weighted puck. This will strengthen the muscles used to take the shot, and once you go back to using a regular puck it will seem a lot easier to shoot.

If you enjoyed this article then keep an eye out for my next article. “How to backhand top shelf” this article will show you how get the puck up high when you are in close to the net. You can also subscribe to my articles in the box to the left, this means the articles will get sent to your inbox whenever they are posted to the site.

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