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.
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.
As a kid I spent a lot of time in my barn shooting pucks. Sometimes I would get tired of shooting at the same four targets (or I would break the targets) so I would always try to think of ways to make target practice a bit more fun. One of my better inventions was a goalie that I made using a sheet of plywood and a jigsaw (being a farm kid I was using power tools around the same time I learned basic math). Eventually I destroyed the goalie, first he lost his goalie stick, then his glove side hand, then his head, but it was a lot of fun shooting on it and creating it.
In this article and video I aim to spark your creative side and help make shooting more fun. In the video I give you a few ideas that just came to me while I was at the dollar store. Below the video I will give you even more things you can use as targets that are FREE.
More ways to add some razzle to your shooting practice
Here are a few more things you can shoot pucks at, all you need is some decent string
old tires (great to use as a five-hole)
dryer (if you’re Sidney Crosby)
One more idea is to play music, music can put you in the zone and also keep you shooting for longer.
If you plan on taking a lot of shots I recommend the Ez-Goal with the backstop it gives you a few feet of extra room around the net, that way you don’t have to search for pucks as much. I use it on my net and it has saved me a lot of time and I am not worried about missing when I shoot top corner or bard down.
Leave your ideas for shooting practice in the comments section below
Practicing your shot can get a bit old if you are shooting on a regular basis, so I made a video showing a few drills that will make shooting a bit more fun. These drills are meant to test your accuracy, and also give you a goal to try to beat. I have embedded the video below, and underneath the video I have summed up the drills and also have a link to a shot log that you can download and use.
Drills to Improve your Shooting Accuracy
Download – Download the shot log sheet to keep track of your best times and best accuracy for each day
Around the World Drill ( perfect)
The goal of this drill is to hit all four targets in four shots. If you miss one you need to start over until you go 4 for 4
Around the World
With this drill you see how many shots it takes you to hit all for targets, say it takes you 7 shots. Now that is your milestone and you goal is to hit all 4 targets in less shots.
Around the World (multiple)
With this drill you can hit each target 3 times, or 4, times or 5 times etc, or go “around the world” multiple times. See how many shots it hit all four targets 5 times, or see if you can go 8 for 8, or 12 for 12!
With the time trial you time how long it takes you to hit all four targets, then try to beat your time. You can use a time trial for any accuracy drill
Pick a target and try to hit it 10 times, shooting as HARD as you can
Improve your Shooting Accuracy
Here are some old videos I did with tips to improve your Shooting Accuracy Shooting for the top corners
Last summer I worked on my slapshot and ended up increasing my slapshot speed by 20 MPH. If you want some help with your slapshot you can see the basics and links to other related videos and articles on our how to take a slapshot article, but this summer I want to see how much I can improve my wrist shot and snapshot. I also want to help others improve their shot so I am doing a case study and sharing all the little things that help me along the way.
Wristshot / Snapshot challenge Details
Current speed of wrist shot and snapshot about 50 MPH
Shooting 100 + pucks a day (taking the odd day off of course)
Here is a video of me shooting after one month of tweaking my shots with the Radar Gun. I noticed a few little tricks that REALLY helped my snap shot.
Finale of the Wrist Shot / Snapshot Challenge
After a few months of shooting and a little bit of slacking off I was able to improve my shot quite a bit. My average speed was about 50MPH and now it’s close to 60MPH with a top speed of 64MPH.
Hockey Training Aids I Use
Use our coupon code to save $10 on any of the items below – coupon code: HOWHCKY001
EZ Goal + Backstop – Had these for about 2 years, still holding up but the posts are dented, and the net is ripped. For the price I say it’s a good deal, but if you have a hard shot you will beat the net up a bit. It’s your best option unless you want to pay $600 + for an actual regulation on-ice net, but those things are HEAVY! Check out my ez goal review
Roll up shooting pad – Had it for about two years, loses some of it’s “slipperyness” after a bit of use, but still nice to stickhandle and shoot off, your sticks will last longer (bottom doesn’t wear away). We have a Shooting pad review if you are interested.
Radar Gun – I love this thing, I’ve dropped it, left it in (light) rain and hit it with pucks and it still works (although it feels like it’s really cheap so maybe I am just lucky). It doesn’t cost TOO much and it is a huge motivation to work on your shot because you can see how much you are improving. Check out my hockey radar gun review for more info.
How great would it be to step onto the ice next season and be BETTER than the last time you skated? Well it is quite possible and the summer time is a great time to sharpen some of your skills. The only thing that is coming in between you improving over the summer is yourself, below I have made a list of 6 ways you can improve.
Off ice Shooting
You don’t need ice-time to work on your shot, in fact last summer I improved my slapshot by 20 MPH (yeah it sucked before) by simply training with a radar gun and making note of what improved my power and what didn’t. What was the trick? There was no trick, I just got a radar gun and made a commitment to shoot 100 pucks a day (taking some days off of course). While shooting my muscles naturally became better, stronger and more effecient at performing the slapshot. I was training them while shooting over and over, and the radar gun helped me notice my improvements and motivated me to keep shooting.
Here is a Review I did a while back of the radar gun I use
Off ice stickhandling
Stickhandling is easy to practice at home as long as you have something smooth to stickhandle on. If you need some drills to practice you can check out my complete guide to stickhandling (if you don’t learn anything you can have it for free). I also have a few articles and videos that should help you, how to stickhandle, and how to toe drag. All of the above links show you ways to improve your stickhandling at home
Quick stickhandling tips (for the lazy)
Practice “quick hands”or dribling, moving the puck from forehand to backhand as quickly as possible. This keeps the puck moving and the other players thinking
Practice moving the puck around your entire body
Practice moving the puck quickly from one area of your body to the next (front to back, side to side, front to side, etc)
For off-ice stickhandling I recommend a few hockey pucks, the Green Biscuit and a shooting pad. Stickhandling balls are also a lot of fun
It is not too easy to improve your skating technique during the summer (unless you can get ice time) however it is easy to improve your leg power and acceleration. This is a great way to come back next year as a faster hockey player, I think acceleration is a very important skill to have if you want to get more scoring chances so this is a big one to work on. If you want to improve your hockey speed, you have to train your muscles to work in the same way they work on the ice. Short bursts of speed and explosive movements will help improve your leg strength and speed. Wind sprints are a good way to improve your explosive speed and you I also recommend checking out our article from Jarod Palmer of the Minnesota Wild – How to gain speed in hockey with off ice training
Get some Ice Time
I know that for some people this might be very hard, but if you live in a city it is worth your while to check the nearest rinks. In most bigger cities you will be able to find a rink with the ice still in, ask if there are any adult hockey leagues, or open ice time for hockey players. One of the most important skills in hockey is skating so take a few seconds to check if there is a rink near you with ice. You can use Hockey Community to find rinks, games, and pick-up games near you
Play Other Sports
Playing sports that keep your muscles working will help you maintain fast reflexes and good overall strength and speed. Some sports like lacrosse and ball hockey or roller hockey have skills that carry over to hockey. Even something simple like tennis, squash, or soccer can help because they require fast movements, rapid change in direction and hand eye co-ordination. Unfortunately I don’t think golf will help much
Go to a hockey Camp!
Hockey camp is a great way for kids and adults to learn a few new skills and work on sharpening the skills they already have. If you are an adult there are lots of great hockey camps out there, one fan of How To Hockey recommended Heartland Hockey Camp in Minnesot
If you have kids or are under the age of 17 check out the Summer hockey camp that I will be working at over the summer
Thanks a lot for reading the article, you can share it with the tools below, and don’t forget to join us on facebook!
Hey guys, we are pumped for the new hockey season and will be trying our best to get videos and articles up as quickly as possible. In this video we are on the ice again and sharing tips on how to safely block a shot in hockey. Remeber that blocking a shot is always dangerous, but you can help greatly reduce your chance of injury by following the tips in the video (and the text below)
How to block a shot in Hockey – Video
In this video Ken shows the WRONG way and the right way to block a shot
More shot blocking tips from Tim Thomas hockey school
Here are some more tips that I thought were very helpful
Quick tips for blocking a shot
Never expose – and always protect – vulnerable areas of the body (head, face, crotch, any areas with little padding)
Never turn your back, remember most of the padding is at the front of your body
Never turn sideways, open your legs, throw your stick out, or lift your leg. Remember, you are trying to block the shot, not screen your goalie
Never lead with your stick, the puck can deflect off the blade and hit you right in the kisser
Try to ensure that your entire body is covered with some type of protection. Know your vulnerable areas and remember to cover them with padding (the back of the gloves are great for covering those special areas)
The closer you get to the shooter the better. The closer you get the more of the net you will block, and the puck will not be able to build much speed
Try to remain standing as you block the shot, if you are standing and block a shot it could lead to a breakaway!
If you get hurt try not to squirm around on the ice for everyone to see, suck it up and get to the bench, then squirm all you want.
Thanks for reading, if you have any questions just leave them in the comment section.
I know that a lot of people will want to keep their hockey skills sharp over the summer. Every spring after a month or so without playing hockey I start to get the itch to play. I love hockey, and I not only want to play, but I also want to keep my skills sharp. I recently found a great combination of training aids that help me train, and get a bit of the feeling of hockey!
I have been using the Shooting pad and Slideboard combo for a few months now and LOVE IT. Hockey Shot sent me the slideboard to review and I thought it was pretty good to work the muscles involved with skating, but just sliding back and forth was not enough for me. In an effort to get the most out of the slideboard I put it in front of my shooting pad and started sliding while stickhandling. This combo gives me the sensation of skating while stickhandling while working my leg muscles and my stickhandling muscles! Then I thought what about using the slideboard while shooting? This was also a lot of fun and is a great way to hone your weight transfer and shooting skills.
How the Slideboard / Shooting pad Combo helps
Using just the shooting pad is a good way to practice shooting and stickhandling, but in hockey you are always moving. Using a slideboard gets your body moving in a similar way that your body moves on the ice. This will help train your muscles while you are off the ice so that you can move better while on the ice.
This combo will help with the following:
improve your stickhandling while moving
Practice moves that require lateral movement (dekes)
Bridge the gap between off ice practice, and on ice skills (more game like situation)
Build your skating muscles
Become a faster skater
Good whole body workout while improving your stickhandling, skating and shooting muscles!
I am a huge skeptic when it comes to products so that is why I only really review and recommend products I believe in on How To Hockey. I have been using this combo for a while now and definitely think it will help players improve. I actually told Hockey shot about it and they added a page to their site where you can buy the shooting pad and slideboard together and you save $10 by buying them both at the same time! You can also use our coupon code in the right sidebar to save another $10 off your order
What if I already have a slideboard or Shooting Pad?
If you want to pick up any of the products mentioned and used in this article / video here are the links
We have had a number of requests for a video on how to shoot while skating. Ken and I went out the other day and shot a few videos, so far we have two up on youtube with another one coming soon. So far we have the slapshot, and the snapshot so that is what I will cover in this article
How to take a Slapshot While Skating
The slapshot is a tricky shot to master, before you learn how to take a slapshot while skating I would recommend learning how to take a slapshot while standing still. A lot of people when they are first learning develop some bad habits, so it is important to learn the proper technique. Another important aspect is using your ENTIRE body to get power, not just the arms. For more on that read our article on how to take a slapshot and the follow up articles at the bottom with more info.
Prep the puck – One issue that some players might have is prepping the puck. When shooting while standing still the player will set the puck up, and then shoot. If the player sets the puck up in the same spot while skating the puck could end up a few inches behind by the time you are ready to take the slapshot.
When you are setting up for the slapshot while skating, you have two options. You can either push the puck a little bit ahead and then really skate into it, or just make sure the puck is going the same speed as you, and get a nice quick shot off.
Tips for take a slapshot while skating
Prep the puck by pushing it a bit in front of you, or ensuring it is going the same speed as you are before you wind up
Use the entire body to get power, use your arms, core muscles and legs
Really push into the shot with your back leg
Slapshot While Skating Video
How to Take a Snapshot While Skating
The snapshot is a tricky shot so I encourage you to practice it at home. We have an article on how to take a snapshot if you need any tips. On the ice there are a few things to consider, positioning, weight transfer and technique.
Positioning – I find that I have a pretty good shot to goal ration from certain areas of the ice. I always opt for a snapshot when I am in close because it gives the goalie less time to set up (get the puck to the net quicker). I also find I have a more powerful snapshot while on my wing. I’m right handed, and I like to take snapshots while on the right side of the net. When I am on the left I like to cut to the center and take a full wrist shot.
Weight Transfer – Your weight transfer is very important, you want to transfer all your weight onto your front foot, or the foot closest to the blade of your stick. This is the opposite of the leg you transfer weight onto for a wrist shot. You can also take a snapshot from the other leg, it just takes a bit longer to get the shot off.
Technique – The technique to taking a snapshot while skating is a bit tricky
Skate in and have the puck on your shooting side, on your side
Push off with the leg furthest from the blade of your stick, and sort of lunge onto the other leg
While pushing off with your back leg and transferring the weight onto your front leg, pull the puck in towards your body and towards the net
Now use a quick snap from your wrists to elevate the puck and put power on it
The snapshot is a very important shot in hockey. When players first start playing they will learn how to perfect the wrist shot, the backhander, and later the slapshot. Some hockey players will naturally learn the snapshot, but others have to be taught, and in my opinion it is better to learn the different techniques, where to use a snapshot, and how it can help you score more goals. In this tutorial we are going to show you how to take a snapshot, the different types of snapshots, the advantages of a snapshot, and when you should take a snapshot (the best chance of scoring a goal)
Two Types of Snapshots
When I was a kid I was taught how to take a snapshot, I was taught the old school way of shooting, but now I use the “evolved” version of the snapshot. This is just what I have observed, but there does seem to be a big difference in the two shots so I thought I would clear things up here (for the older players and younger players)
Old School Snapshot
The old way of taking a snapshot was basically a slapshot, but with very little set up time. Instead of doing a full wind-up and hammering the puck, you lift the blade of the stick about a foot off the ice, and then quickly shoot. For this method the steps are
Bring the blade about a foot off the ice
Quickly shoot (snap)
Hit the ice a few inches behind the puck to load the stick
Ensure you transfer your weight
Roll the wrists in the follow through and point the toe of the blade to aim where the puck goes.
For the most power you still need a bit of a wind-up, and transfer weight onto the foot furthest from the blade of your stick (you have to “step into” the shot which takes a bit more time) You can read my article on the two types of wrist shots for more information on transferring your weight onto different feet.
The New Snapshot
The new snapshot is a method that I see a lot of NHL hockey players using and also high level players. This shot requires almost no set-up time, and relies heavily on proper technique, and the flex of the stick to generate power. The advantage of this shot is that you can go from stickhandling to shooting almost instantly. With a quick release you can score more goals because the goalie will not have any clues that you are going to shoot and you will be able to catch them off guard and out of position. I will list the steps of the snapshot below
Snapshot with set-up
Draw the puck back a bit to set it up
Pull the puck forwards, and towards your body a bit. With a lot of practice you can use the toe of the blade to pull the puck in
The puck will now be moving on an angle towards your body, and closer to the net
Now is the time to really snap and shoot the puck
The puck will be a few inches in front of the blade of your stick, this is the tricky motion that you have to master
Pull back with your top hand quickly, while also pushing forwards with your bottom hand, this motion will cause the stick to flex, which will give your shot more power
When you hit the puck, you should then roll your wrists over for extra power and accuracy
Follow through low and roll your wrists over a lot to close the blade and keep the puck low, follow through high and keep the blade slightly open to shoot high.
Snapshot with no set up
This shot is easy to do while skating in on the goalie, for extra points do not break your stride while shooting, this will really surprise the goalie
Instead of pulling the puck back to set up, and get more power you can use the position of your body
Stickhandle with the puck on your shooting side, and move the puck forwards and backwards, this will allow you to shoot at any second you want
When you are ready to shoot simply step towards the net with the foot closest to the blade of your stick, this will line the puck up with your front foot
Now all you have to do is repeat the actions explained in the snapshot with a set up (without the set-up part) and you are good to go.
Remember to lean into the shot, and the trick is the quick snap, this will give you a powerful shot, and a quick release.
The Advantage of a Snapshot
Snapshots are important to learn because they can be very deceptive, and require very little set-up. If you perfect the snapshot you will be able to shoot without giving any clues to the goaltender, if the goalie is not prepared for your shot you will have a much better chance of scoring.
When to use a snapshot
A full wrist shot will give you the most power, but it takes longer to set up, many players can get a fairly powerful snapshot, but your wrist shot should always be harder. For this reason the wrist shot should be used when you are further away from the net, and you need to get the puck to the net quickly.
For the snapshot you should focus on accuracy, and still have a decent amount of power on it. The best time to use a snapshot is when you are in close to the net. The closer you are to the net, the less time the goalie has to react, and the more scared the goalie will be. If you are in close to the net a quick snap through the legs, or in the bottom corners will beat most goalies. If you have a quick goalie you can fake a shot, and if the goalie goes down, snap a shot up high.
How To Take a Snapshot Video
In this video I show you how to take a snapshot, I talk about the best times to use the snapshot, and even show you a few clips of me snapping some shots off in my backyard. If you want to show off your snapshot then upload a video response to this video on youtube.
At the beginning of the summer we started the slapshot challenge. Over 250 people signed up to find out how to improve their slapshot. So far we have published articles on how to improve slapshot power, where slapshot power comes from, how to improve slapshot accuracy and a few slapshot tips to help fix common mistakes made when learning how to take a slapshot. We have gotten a lot of great feedback from everyone who has entered, and for the final chapter of the slapshot challenge we are sharing some workouts that will help you improve your power.
Remember – In order to get the most power from your shot you NEED to have proper form and technique. Just from practicing with this radar gun and tweaking my shot, I was able to improve my power by 20 MPH, that is with no workouts. So please work on your shot first (radar gun recommended if you are serious about it) and then move on to the workouts
Update Oct 2013 – I spent the summer following the HockeyOT workout and one day decided to test my slapshot again with the radar gun. I was maxing out at about 75MPH before, but this time my first few shots were around 75MPH. I decided to put a little more effort into my shots and soon broke the 80MPH range, later on the ice I broke 83MPH standing still ( I was teaching kids so I didn’t want to skate in and blast the puck). I took some time off at the gym and later tested my shot again and it was down again below the 80MPH mark so I think the training at the gym with the HockeyOT program really helped me.
If you want a custom workout program specifically designed for hockey players you can become a member here, email me if you have any questions.
Where Slapshot Power Comes From
Before diving into the workouts I would like to educate the readers. Before just going and working out, it is important to understand what muscles are being used, and where the power comes from. For more information you can read our article where slapshot power comes from, and I will summarize below.
Your Legs – This is the first place you get power from, push off with your back leg to get your body moving and begin to transfer weight
Your Arms – Your arms play a big role in the power of your shot. You need to develop explosive power from your arms and shoulders, but also learn proper technique, and train them to work together
Shoulders – Some players use all arms when they swing, you can get a lot more power by driving into the shot and utilizing your shoulders
Core Muscles – By rotating your upper body while you shoot you are adding more torque and power, which will increase the speed of your shot. Strengthening your core muscles will help a lot of aspects of your game, including shot power.
Hockey Stick – The hockey stick (especially in the slapshot) will add a lot of power to your shot. Proper technique will allow you to utilize your stick and get the most power from it. Make sure your stick is the proper flex, you should be able to fully flex the stick.
Workouts to improve your slapshot and wrist shot
Just to be clear, I am not a fitness expert or personal trainer, but I am passionate about hockey and helping others. I have found a number of workouts that I think will really help you improve your shot. Some of them I have created, but most are from strength and conditioning coaches. All workouts that are not mine will be credited to where I found them. A lot of these workouts are from the book conditioning for ice hockey which I definitely recommend for anybody who plays hockey. If you want to grab a copy you can pick it up for under $20 on this page on amazon.
These workouts will train your arms and legs, build the muscles involved in the downswing and help link your arms and teach them to drive together. A few of them also incorporate the legs and help build the motion of stepping into the shot and transferring energy.
Resistance bands, or Slastix are a great way to add resistance to almost any motion you can think of. By using a resistance band you can target the exact muscles used in a certain motion, and then add some extra resistance to build those muscles. The are a lot of different workouts that you can do with resistance bands, but I thought I would just mention one of my favourites here. I like the Slastix more than the resistance bands because they give you a better workout. I found the best price for the Slastix was on Amazon, you can buy a Slastix here
Push Pull with Rotation
This workout helps develop rotary power that is vital in hockey shooting.
Execution: For this workout you will need two Slastix bands, or other resistance bands. One band will be attached to a solid object in front of you, and the other will be attached to an object behind you. This will allows you to pull on one, while pushing on the other.
Start in a “split stance” similar to how you would stand before taking a slapshot.
Keep the elbow of your pushing hand up, almost at the same height of your armpit, and bring the elbow of your pulling arm close to your body
Start by pulling and pushing while you rotate your hips, and pivot on your back foot
For the full exercise you will be pulling back with one hand, while pushing out with the other.
Remember to rotate your hips and pivot on the back foot
Purpose: This workout will help build a lot of the muscles involved in the slapshot and wrist shot. You can see the legs, arm, and core muscles are all being activated, as well as putting an emphasis on leg drive.
Wood chops are a great work out for hockey players because they help develop rotary strength which is important for any hockey player. To perform the wood chops you will need Slastix or resistance bands, I prefer the Slastix for the best resistance.
Execution: Attach the Slastix tube to something heavy (something that won’t move). Start in the “ready” position with your knees bent and feet a little more than shoulder width apart. Hold the Slastix in both hands at about a 45 degree angle to the anchor point.
Start by moving your weight toward the anchor point and bend your knees, you do this to load up your back leg.
Now with your legs loaded, start moving from your core while pushing with your back leg
Pull the Slastix away from the anchor point and across your body while pushing up with your legs
When you have completed the motion, hold for a few seconds and then slowly return to the starting point and repeat.
Purpose: This is another workout that targets the core muscles, legs, and arms and teaches the importance of using your core, and legs with your arms to generate power.
Credit: Complete Conditioning for Hockey
Workout shown in video at the bottom of this article
Sled pulls are a great way to build every muscle involved in shooting, as long as they are done properly. To perform a sled pull all you need is a few weight plates, a mat of some sort, and a strap with a handle to pull the weights and mat. For a cheap method you can do the same thing with a tire, just put a chain around a tire, attach the straps and you are ready to go.
Execution: Stand in a shooting position, with your knees slightly bent, and legs at least shoulder width apart. Gripping the handle (or handles) with both hands, reach back as if you are going to do a full wrist shot. Step forward like you would when taking a slapshot, then pull with both arms, push off with your back leg, and rotate with your core muscles.
Purpose: You can tell from the way the workout is executed that you are doing a sport specific workout that will target almost every muscle involved in shooting. This workout will teach your legs, arms, and core muscles to all work together to generate the most amount of power.
Source: Kris Beech conditioning video, linked to specific workout above. Watch the full video for more workout ideas.
Weight Plate Stickhandling
In this workout a 10 or 25 pound plate is put on a slideboard or hockey shooting pad. Turn a hockey stick upside down and put the butt end in the center of the weight. With your knees slightly bent, move the plate left and right as far outside your body as possible. Another workout is to move the plate slowly in a figure 8 pattern.
Purpose: To build your abdominal, hip, low-back rotation strength and teach the body to shift weight for shooting and stickhandling.
This workout will work the core muscles, and rotary plyometric action for wrist shots, slapshots and tight turns.
Execution: This workout is best done with a partner, but you can also throw the ball against a wall. You need a medicine ball, these balls come in different weights so pick one that will give you a workout. Take four strides away from your partner and start in the ready position and stand as if you and you partner are both on a line (right shoulder pointing at their left, or other way around)
Your partner will start by throwing you the medicine ball
Catch the medicine ball and bring it across your body, while lowering it to your back knee
Rotate back across your body as if you are going to throw the ball back to your partner, stop, and bring the ball back to your back knee
Now rotate back and give a powerful throw to your partner
Purpose: This workout builds your core muscles, and rotary strength. This workout will help you put more power and torque into your slapshot and wrist shot by teaching your arms and core muscles to work together to generate power.
In this video I show you how to do a few of the workouts described above, keep in mind I am not an expert, so my form might be a little off, but I found that these workouts have helped me improve my power so I thought I would pass them on.
Recommended Products for improving your shot in Hockey
My biggest recommendation to improve your shooting is to go out and shoot a few hundred pucks every day or so. Shooting is the best way to activate your muscles, build your muscles, and train your muscles. The most important thing for a good shot in hockey is proper form, with good form comes good accuracy and power. If you want a step up, and to really improve your power, here are a few products I really recommend
Complete Conditioning for Hockey
This book is a must have for any hockey player. When I was younger I read Complete Conditioning for Ice Hockey and it taught me a lot about working out, nutrition and how to be a better hockey player. There is a newer version called Conditioning for hockey, eac version has a tonne of workouts that are made just for hockey players. If you want a copy you can buy it dirt cheap here. The books are a bit different, so if you have the time you could pick up both copies.
A Medicine Ball
Medicine balls are a good way to add weight to your workouts, they are easy to use and good for building explosive power. Medicine balls are also great for building core muscles. There are quite a few hockey workouts that require a medicine ball, you can pick them up at most fitness stores, but if you want to order one online you can find them here. Also the book I recommended above has a bunch of workouts where you can use a medicine ball.
Slastix For Hockey
Resistance bands are great for targeting specific muscles and motions. For example instead of holding a hockey stick, you can rig up a resistance band and perform the same action. This will help build the muscles involved in the slapshot. There are a lot of Slastix workouts in the book mentioned above, and you can find the Slastix here. I just got a Slastix, and a Medicine ball, so I will update everyone in a few months to let you know how my shot is doing!
If you have any workouts that have helped you improve your shot just leave them in the comment section below!
This is our review of the Extreme passing kit which you can find for sale on this page
As a hockey player you should always be looking for ways to improve your skills. When I was a kid I would practice my shooting and stickhandling on a regular basis in my parents barn, but the biggest problem was finding a good surface to stickhandle on.
Trust me, I tried everything, I kept my eyes open for nice smooth surfaces, I used Plexiglas, laminate flooring, particle board, cardboard….everything. Despite my best efforts, the best surface I ever found was $50 at National Sports for a tiny hockey shooting pad. I used it until it turned black, and eventually misplaced it, but I loved it and I actually practiced a lot more because I knew I had a decent surface to stickhandle on, and shoot from.
Now that I am a bit older I want to help other players who may be going through the same thing I am, so that is why I like to review new products and test them out, it gives other hockey players a chance to see what they are like, and if they are worth buying!
The Extreme Passing Kit Review
The Extreme passing kit is a product by hockey shot that is meant to provide hockey players with a smooth surface for stickhandling and shooting, and also a pass rebounder for players to practice passing and one-timers.
Compared to Other Products
The extreme passing kit is similar to the tape 2 tape, and the hockey skill pad, but cheaper with a larger surface area and not so bulky
Out of the Box
The passing kit comes rolled up in a large box.The box is about 4 feet tall, and a foot wide
The extreme passing kit is 8 feet long and 4 feet wide, giving you plenty of room to line up a bunch of pucks in a row for rapid fire slapshots, or practice a few moves before you test them out on the ice.
You can buy this product for $139.95 on this hockeyshot page you can save $10 if you put in our coupon code HOWHCKY001 that means you get an 8×4 roll up shooting pad, along with a pass rebounder for $129, at that price you get the best value, and you will get a lot more use out of the pad than if you bought a smaller one.
You don’t have to do much to start shooting. The “extreme passing kit” is basically just a roll-up shooting pad with a pass re-bounder built into it. The key is to get the passing kit nice and flat before you start practicing. In order to get it really flat I was told it should be laid flat with something heavy on it for a few days.
For my roll-up shooting pad I just put a sheet of plywood on top, and that worked great!
Detailed Review of the Extreme Passing Kit
The kit is pretty simple, like I said before it is a roll-up shooting pad with a pass re-bounder. In the picture to the left you can see the re-bounder. The concept is pretty simple, a bungee cord attached to two posts. Could you make something like that yourself? Yeah probably, but this is done professionally, and it is really solid, so you don’t have to struggle with it to get it to work
The bungee cord posts are attached to the back with a solid steel (I think it is aluminum) backing.
Bungee cord vs elastic band – A lot of puck re-bounders in the past have used elastic bands, the problem with these is that the band tends to break after extended use. The Extreme passing kit uses a bungee cord because they are known to last a lot longer than a simple elastic band.
How does the puck slide?
The puck slides great on the shooting pad, one thing I like about the passing kit is the size. My previous shooting pad was big, but this one is huge! I can actually stand on it and pull a few moves. The puck moves just as well on the roll up shooting pad as it does on a hockey shooting pad, and the dry land hockey training tiles. If you want to get even closer to the on ice feeling I recommend the Green Biscuit, you can even use it on rough surfaces.
Passing is simple, just pass the puck into the bungee cord and it comes back to you. If you have a bad pass (wobbly) the puck will either go over the bungee cord, or come back, but flip over a bit.
If the shooting pad is not nice and flat, the puck will be more likely to roll over the bungee cord and not come back to you. The roll up pad comes rolled up, so to get it flat you should put something heavy around the edges for a few days. I put a sheet of plywood on top and it worked great.
I had a lot fun of practicing my one-timers with this product. It can’t get any simpler, pass the puck into the bungee cord, wind up, then shoot. I would definitely recommend the extreme passing kit rather than just getting one that attaches to a smaller shooting pad. With a smaller shooting pad you will not have a lot of time to set up.
The roll-up shooting pad / extreme passing kit is 8 feet long, so you have a lot of time to set up the one timer. I think this is important because it allows you to focus on proper form and technique.
You can also move the shooting pad around and practice receiving a one timer from different angles.
This one is a no-brainer, the roll up pad is perfect for shooting. With some of the small hockey shooting pads you will run out of room if you want to do a full wrist shot with a nice big wind-up.
With the extreme passing kit you can use a full wind-up and then some. Slapshots are great, I was hammering them at full force and the shooting pad held up to all my abuse. Another great option is lining up a bunch of pucks all along the pad, being 8 feet long you can put a puck every foot and practice rapid fire slapshots.
In the penalty box
There are only a few things I would like to mention about the extreme passing kit. The first one is that if you REALLY fire a puck into the bungee cord it will not send the puck back, I don’t see any point in passing them full force into the bungee cord though so that was not really a problem for me.
The next would be if you have ripples in the shooting pad, and then give a hard pass into the bungee cord, the puck may come a bit off the pad and then go over the bungee cord. I only had this problem if I tried using the extreme passing kit right after I un-rolled it. For the best results, just make sure the roll up shooting pad is nice and flat
On the scoreboard
I really like the fact that I can practice stickhandling, passing, shooting, and one-timers all with one product. Here are a few benefits of the roll up shooting pad
Fairly easy to transport ( a bit of a pain to roll up, use a belt to keep it rolled up) much easier to move than a regular hockey shooting pad of the same size
Puck slides great
Puck re-bounder works well
Lies nice and flat
Allows hockey players to practice a number of skills
Large area is great for practicing a bunch of different stickhandling moves comfortably
Good for practicing the one-timer
If there were a product like this when I was younger I would have bought it in a heartbeat. I am a firm believer in spending money on good products, especially if they will help you better yourself, or improve a skill. Money comes and goes, but when you learn a new skill it will stick with you forever.
Extreme Passing Kit Video Review
In this video we give you a detailed extreme passing kit review. I show you a close up of the product, show you how big it is, how the puck slides, and how the pass rebounder works.
Where to Buy the Extreme Passing Kit
If you want to buy the passing kit then check out the hockey shooting pads on Hockey Shot don’t forget to use our coupon to save $10 HOWHCKY001
I hear a lot of requests on hockey forums like modsquad hockey and the rink on hfboards.com about the curve of a hockey stick. Questions like “what is the best curve for shooting”, “what is the best curve for a toe drag”, “what curve should I use for saucer passes, or to score more goals”. I thought that it would be great to have a detailed guide to the curve, so hockey players could decide which one is best for them.
Luckily I found one published on the physics of hockey website. The Author, Alain Haché was kind enough to let me post the article here on How To Hockey.
Blade Pattern Charts
Another great resource are the blade pattern charts on Hockey Monkey. They update the charts each year with the current manufacturer blade patterns so you can better understand what you will get with each curve. Read the article below to understand what each part of the blade will do for you, and then select a pattern from the charts.
Hockey sticks: what’s in a curve?
Alain Haché, Ph.D.
Université de Moncton, Canada
Because hockey sticks come in so many shapes, it can be hard to make sense of it all. One feature of particular importance is the blade – the only point of contact between the player and the puck. Players attach a lot of importance to the way it is curved. Looking at the Koho (yes it uses older curves as examples, but it’s still relevant) sticks in the figure bellow, you see that each one carries a unique curvature pattern. There is more to a curve than left- and right-bend indeed.
Figure 1: a few sticks by Koho™
The stick blade, a curved and twisted surface, is complex enough that it can’t be precisely described in just a few words or numbers. Nonetheless, there are some key aspects that need to be considered, the first of which is the amount of curvature in the blade. The more U-shaped it is, the more pronounced the curve. Hockey leagues such as the NHL impose a limit on the amount of curvature:
The curvature of the blade of the stick shall be restricted in such a way that the distance of a perpendicular line measured from a straight line drawn from any point at the heel to the end of the blade to the point of maximum curvature shall not exceed three-quarter of an inch (¾”). NHL Rulebook 2007.
If you can’t picture this strange verbiage, the following drawing should help:
Figure 2: measurement of curve depth
The rule says that the red line should not be longer than ¾ of an inch, or 1.9 cm. Some people use the dime technique (not quite ¾”, but close) whereby the coin shouldn’t slip vertically underneath the blade when its lying against the floor, but nowadays NHL referees have fancier measuring gadgets to control illegal sticks. Note that the ¾’’ figure is an increase from ½’’ as of 2006. We will discuss the implications of that rule change later.
A second key aspect is where the curve begins on the blade. A blade can be curved like a circle, smoothly and uniformly, but sometimes it is not. Take a look at the Reebok™ and Easton™ sticks in Figure 3: the “Yzerman” stick has a curve that begins in the middle of the blade whereas the “Amonte” one starts at the heel. These are called “center” and “heel” curves, respectively. A third one is called the “toe curve” and has a bend closer to the end of the blade. While the difference between center- and heel-curves is mostly a matter of preference (hockey players can be very picky), a toe-curve makes scooping the puck away from someone else a little easier.
Figure 3: sticks by Reebok™ and Easton™
Next there is the “loft” or “face” of the blade. The loft is the tilt angle of the blade; you can see it when holding the stick normally and looking from the above. A blade that tips backward is said to be more “open faced”, very much like a 9 iron is compared to a 3 iron in golf. For example, notice in Figure 1 how the “Poti” blade has more loft than the “Jagr” blade. As in golf, the more tilt a hockey stick has, the easier it is to lift the puck up.
If blades have a heel they also have a toe. The toe is the very end of the blade, and it comes in two basic shapes: round and square, as Figure 4 shows. The difference is that a square toe offers more blocking area and the round toe gives more puck control at the tip.
Figure 4: round and square toes
Finally, the “lie” is the angle the blade makes relative to the shaft. It’s is measured as a number between 4 and 8 and printed in front of the shaft (most curves for senior sticks are between 5-6 lie). With a proper lie, the bottom of the blade is flat against the ice when the player is holding the stick normally.
How does the curve affect shooting?
It is a common misconception that curved blades became popular because they produce faster shots. The truth is, the curve is mostly about puck control, not puck speed. A curved blade makes the following three actions easier to achieve:
Consistency: the curve effectively forms a pocket at the bottom of which the puck will tend to go. When the puck leaves the stick always at the same place, the player passes and shoots more consistently.
Control: it’s easier to scoop the puck and take it quickly around an opponent with a curved blade. Other tricks are also made easier, like grabbing the puck at the tip of the blade and shooting it upward all in one move.
Puck spin: it can hardly be seen by eye, but a curve permits more puck spin
Spinning gives the puck more stability, like a football. In a “saucer pass”, spin is especially important because the puck must land flat on the ice. Although it is technically possible to spin the puck with a straight blade, it can be done better and more consistently with a curved blade. Applying cloth tape to the blade also adds adhesion and helps the puck spin.
Figure 5: spinning the puck with a curved blade
Spinning the puck is also done by goalies, and indeed most of them use slightly curved sticks for that purpose.
What about the negatives aspects of a curve? What helps the forehand shot hurts the backhander, unfortunately. Some accuracy is lost in that respect, but considering the popularity of the curved stick in the NHL, it seems that the benefits win over the drawbacks.
The reason why the NHL sets a curvature limit is probably to avoid excessive puck control. Can you imagine blades shaped like half-circles? Just grab the puck and go! Some argue that straighter blades are safer because they tend to keep the shots low. Deeper curves means easier upward shots, but the loft is probably the more important factor, especially in a slapshot where puck control is limited to a very short impact time. When the league decided in 2006 to increase the limit from ½ to ¾’’ (at par with the International Ice Hockey Federation), some goalies and defensemen expressed concerns about flying pucks. Their concerns may be justified if the new rule allows for more loft than before. However, according to the rule statement, it is not clear whether the “point of maximum curvature” is taken anywhere on the blade, not just at the bottom. If so, the new rule will allow players to put more loft (or twist) on their stick, making high shots more likely.
What curve should you choose?
Now that we understand blade curve basics, how should you decide on your next purchase? If you’re an experienced player you won’t need advice, as you already know what works best for you. High-level players select their stick based on their position (defense or forward) and on what type of curve they are accustomed to. Beginners, on the other hand, don’t need to go into the nitty-gritty and should select a curve that is neither flat nor overly bent. Buy what feels right, and as you get used to the stick, you might develop a preference for it. After all, an accurate pass, a hard slap shot and good puck control is above all a matter of practice and skills. But of course, don’t forget to blame your stick for misfires.
For the last few months a lot of our readers have been participating in the slapshot challenge where we have shown you how to take a slapshot, how to improve your slapshot power, slapshot tips and where slapshot power comes from. Now we are going to take a break from learning to break the glass with your slapshot and teach you how to pick the corners.
Improving the aim of your slapshot in five easy steps
Here are a few tips that you should remember when practicing your aim
Look at where you are shooting
Align your body properly
Practice proper form
Practice your follow through and rolling the wrists
Make sure you have the right stick
I will now go into more detail on how you can get better aim with your slapshot. In my article about where slapshot power comes from I mentioned the arms, legs, core muscles, and stick. If you have learned how to improve your slapshot power you should now be using all of those body parts to generate power, but now we have to learn how to use those body parts to get better aim.
Using Your Feet
You might think I am crazy, but you can actually improve your slapshot accuracy with your feet. I mentioned this in the how to improve wrist shot accuracy article and the same is true for taking a slapshot. When you are skating, you point your feet where you want to go, and when you are shooting you point your feet (or foot) where you want the puck to go. Pointing your foot will properly align your body, which means the rest of your body will be in a good position to take an accurate slapshot.
What you want to do is point the toe of the foot that you transfer your weight onto towards the side of the net you are shooting for. This not only helps you improve your accuracy, but also your power. By pointing your toe towards the target, and transferring your weight you will be moving your energy towards the net, which helps put more power into your shot.
Using Your Arms
This is where proper form comes into play, if your back swing looks like your golf swing then we have problems! You should practice nailing down your form so that there are very few inconsistencies. If your slapshot is different every time, then your aim will be different every time.
For the best aim you want to be able to draw a line from where you start your backswing, where the blade hits the ice (or ground), where the blade contacts the puck, and where you follow through to. Now if we put an arrow at the end of that imaginary line, that should be where the puck went
Using Your Stick
Your stick plays a big roll in having a great slapshot, but you have to know how to use it. Here are a few tips to using your stick properly
Make sure the flex is right for you
Make sure your stick is the right height
Hold the stick in the right spot
Contact the ground / ice before hitting the puck
Close or open the blade in the follow through to control height
Flexing the stick is important to get the puck off the ice, the recoil of the shaft and blade help get the puck up. DO NOT try to chip the puck, you will get NO power!
I covered most of those points in the how to take a slapshot article, but I will touch on a few of them now. For flex and the height of the stick these are usually personal preference, but if you are new (or newer) to hockey I would suggest using half your body weight as a starting point for your flex, and then going up or down depending on your strength.
How to Put the Puck Top Shelf, or Nice and Low
Controlling the height of the puck is a problem that a lot of players have. Some hockey players have the problem of rifling the puck over the net, while other can’t seem to get it off the ice; I will show you how you can do both!
How to get slapshots off the ice – The biggest problem I see here is players “cheating” they try the proper slapshot form a few times and can’t get it right, so they just chip the puck. This is when players make the blade of their stick like a wedge and chip at it like it is a golf ball BIG MISTAKE. The best way to take a slap shot is by hitting the ice first, with the blade of your stick cupped over a bit. This method, and angle allow the stick, and the blade to flex back before hitting the puck, now all you have to do is follow through properly and the puck should come off the ice. If you are using the proper technique and the stick is not flexing then try using a lower flex stick! If you want the puck to come off the ice then follow through high, and leave the blade of the stick open a bit (don’t roll your hands all the way over) remember to point the toe of the blade of the stick where you want the puck to go.
How to get the puck up when in close to the net – This is another problem some players have, they can pick the corner from the blue line, but not from the hash marks or closer. What you want to do here is change your form a bit, you don’t need a massive wind up, and beast of a shot when you are in close. The technique I use is not the most powerful, but it works. I find getting lower to the ice, and dipping your back shoulder helps you get under the puck more and get it up quickly (shown in video)
How to keep slapshots low – This is a fairly easy fix because most players already know how to take a shot, but they just want to keep them low. I find there are two things that really affect the height of the puck, follow through, and rolling the wrists. If you want to keep the puck low, keep the blade nice and low to the ice for the entire follow through, and start to roll your wrists over right when you contact the puck. By rolling your wrists you will be closing the blade of the stick, and this motion will keep the puck down.
Slapshot Accuracy Video
In this video I show you how to aim left, right, high and low and I even pick a couple of the corners myself just to prove I know what I am talking about 😀
I hope these tips have helped you improve your slap shot aim, remember to practice a lot because the best way to improve is by building your muscle memory, and you can only do that with practice. If you liked this article you can subscribe to this blog for more great hockey tips.
Yes there are two types of wrists shots in hockey, yet I am amazed at how many people are unaware of this fact. A newcomer to the game of hockey asked for some wrist shot tips in a popular hockey forum. Many beer leaguers who have been playing hockey for years tried to help. The problem was that different people were teaching different types of wrist shots as if they were the same type. I could not find one good article that addresses both types of wrist shots so I thought I would clear things up.
Two types of wrist shots
Both types of wrist shots are commonly used in hockey, and both have their pros and cons. The first one I will discuss is the first type of wrist shot you should learn, and also the most powerful. The second type of wrist shot is great for getting a quick shot off but not quite as powerful as the first.
The most powerful type of wrist shot
This is the first type of wrist shot you should learn because it teaches the fundamentals of how to take a wrist shot. For this type of wrist shot the player rotates the shoulders and trunk and draws the puck back, and across the body. Rotating at the trunk allows the player to bring the puck further back which will result in a more powerful shot.
The player will now execute the wrist shot by pulling the puck toward the net, rotating the shoulders and trunk towards the net, and transferring weight onto the leg opposite of their stick handiness (right handed shot transfers weight onto left leg)
This type of wrist shot allows the player to derive power from their core muscles, and also allows them to transfer more energy and power into their shot. The puck will be on the blade of the stick longer as well which will also result in more power.
The quick release wrist shot
This type of wrist shot is great if you want to surprise the goalie with a quick snapper. In fact some say this type of wrist shot is a mix between wrist shot and snapshot (it can be depending on how you execute it)
For this type of wrist shot the player keeps their chest facing the net and draws the puck behind them, and on their shooting side.
The player then leans into the shot, while quickly snapping the puck towards the net. For this shot the weight is transferred onto the same leg as the way the player shoots (right handed player transfers weight onto right leg) This type of wrist shot derives less power from the core and leg muscles, which results in a weaker shot.
In order to get as much power as possible from this shot the player must learn to use the flex of their stick to help generate power. Some NHL players refer to this as slingshotting the puck at the net ( especially if you have a low flex stick) the loss in power in this shot is made up with the quick set up and release.Know that you know about the two types of wrist shots, you should learn when to use each type of shot.
Where to use the powerful wrist shot
The powerful wrist shot is a great tool for defencemen to use. This type of shot can be used in situations when a slapshot would take to long to set up, or a more accurate shot is needed.
My favourite use of this shot is when I am coming into the offensize zone on the off wing, with one defencemen at the blue line. I penetrate the offensive zone near the boards, and the defence will now be near the top of the circle. At this point I push the puck forwards as if I am going to go hard into the corner or dump the puck in. Then I pull the puck back into position for the powerful wrist shot and cut to the cemtre. I shoot for the side of the net that I just came from. I know the goalie will be moving from the side I just came from, to the centre of the net, which gives me a good spot to shoot. The defence can also provide a partial screen which will increase chamces of scoring. (explained in the video as well for all you visual learners)
Where to use quick wrist shots
The best time to use the quick wrist shot is when you are in close to the net. The faster you can get the shot off the better. My favorite way to score with a quick wrist shot is to skate in, pick a spot and let it rip. The key to scoring this way is accuracy, and not giving any clues that you are going to shoot. A great way to perfect this is to practice executing the quick wrist shot without breaking your stride.
Another great way to score with the quick wrist shot is through the five hole. The closer you are to the goalie, the less time the goalie has to close the gap, and the better chance you have to score.
Two Types of Wrist Shot Video
This video shows you how to take each type of wrist shot, the difference between them, the benefits of each shot, and when the best time to use each shot is.