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
In an effort to bring you the most comprehensive and in depth hockey training I have created the complete guide to stickhandling. I have written a number of articles on stickhandling as well as produced quite a few videos but many of the How to Hockey readers wanted a complete guide that shows everything from start to finish. I spent the entire summer writing, editing and shooting video for this e-book and training video. Every time I thought it was finished I would remember a few more drills, or a few more tips but eventually I think I emptied my brain into this book and training video.
What you get
Stickhandling Guide – You get an 18 page e-book that covers everything you need to know about stickhandling. This e-book will take you from knowing nothing to knowing basically everything. After you learn what is possible with stickhandling I show you how you can practice and train to become amazing with the puck. I include over 20 off-ice stickhandling drills to help you improve every aspect of puck control that I teach in the e-book.
Stickhandling Training Video – The training video is over 30 minutes long and explains the concepts discussed in the e-book. I also show you exactly how to do every drill that was outlined in the e-book.
Progress tracking sheets – I include a progress tracking sheet with instructions so you can keep track of your improvements. This will encourage you to keep on practicing and improving and gives you something to look back on and see how much you have improved.
Lets be honest, there is a lot to learn when it comes to positioning in hockey and you might have heard it 20 times but some of us just aren’t verbal learners. For all the visual learners out there I have created the hockey cheat sheet. This is an all encompassing guide that pretty much covers everything that your coach will yell over the boards at you. If you like this guide be sure to share it with your friends
How To Hockey Cheat Sheet
This guide should help you figure out what to do wherever you are on the ice!
In the third edition of the deke of the week I am going to be talking about fakes. In my opinion a fake is not the same as a deke, but you can use fakes in your dekes. A “fake” is just a slight, or subtle movement that might freeze the opposing player for a slight second, sometimes a simple fake is all you need to get around a play. A deke requires a set of actions, with a deke you are baiting the other player, forcing them to move or opening them up, and then pulling a move on them. So with a deke you have the preperation (set the bait), pull the move, seperate yourself from the player, then accelerate. With a fake it is just a quick movement you do, and you can use them in your dekes. Here are some fakes you can do
Eye fakes (I’m not joking they work!)
Head fakes (usually used with shoulder fakes)
Stick fakes and hand fakes
In the video below I go through each fake and tell you how you can use them in a game, in combinations, and when is the best time to use each fake. I thought it was important to cover all the fakes because I will be mentioning them in future deke of the weke videos.
Deke of the Week 3 Video
Thanks for watching! Next week we will be back on the rink. Don’t forget to subscribe to our blog and videos on youtube to stay up to date with the latest hockey training.
Hey guys, I know I was promising this forever and here it finally is. I originally was going to call this 20 ways to beat the D, but I decided to call it the Deke of the Week and post a new on every week. We are going to start at the most basic moves, and then work our way up to some more advanced and tricky moves.
Why are we starting at the basics?
It is important for hockey players to understand the EASIEST ways to beat somebody, why try a complicated move when you can easily get past them and have a much better chance of getting a shot on net? Don’t worry, we will get to the nifty dekes later in the series, so be sure to subscribe to our blog to get notified of the newest moves.
Deke of the Week Part 1 Find Open Ice
In this video
Here is a quick summary of the video plus some extra tips
When players get the puck sometimes they get excited and lose it, instantly pass it, or blindly give it away. Take a quick peak before you get the puck so you know if you have room to move, or someone to pass to.
If you have the puck and have room to move GET YOUR SPEED UP. It WAY easier to skate past two players rather than deke through them (while other players catch up to you)
The point of this video is to teach players to look for the open ice, if you can beat a guy with speed than do it.
What not to do
If you have one man to beat, don’t skate right to him so you can try to deke him. Although it looks cool there is good chance you could lose the puck. If there is room to skate around him, then just skate to the open ice and blow past him.
That is your first deke of the week, be sure to subscribe to be notified of the next Deke of the Week
Getting a new hockey stick is a big purchase now-a-days. When I started playing hockey I would buy $10 wooden kohos from Canadian Tire, now I am dropping $100 for a mid-level one piece hockey stick! Some players are spending up to $300 on a stick, that might break after a few games. If you are spending so much on a stick, you want to make sure you get the best out of it, and one of the ways to get the most out of your hockey stick is to have a good tape job!
Hockey sticks are like owning a pet, your stick is your best friend, you take a lot of time picking out a new one and when you get it the tape job is your time to bond. I always look forward to taping up my new stick. I thought it would be cool to share how I tape my hockey stick, and then get some feedback from other hockey players (like you) on how they tape their stick. Remember there really is no “right way” to tape a stick, everyone has their way, and in the videos below I share how I like to tape my hockey stick.
How to Tape the Blade of a Hockey Stick
In this video I show you how I tape the blade of my hockey stick and also mention a bunch of other options that I have seen team mates and also NHL players use. Let me know how you tape the blade of your hockey stick in the comments on this page, or with a youtube video response.
How to Tape Hockey Stick Grip
In this video I show you my favourite way to tape a hockey stick grip. I like a decent grip that I do by twirling the hockey tape so it is like a rope and twisting it around the top of my hockey stick. For the knob I use a technique that I saw a lot of NHL players using, I tried it and loved it. Watch the video to see how I tape the grip of my hockey stick, and share your method in the comments section, or with a youtube video response
How often do you have a perfect scoring opportunity staring you right in the face? There is a nice open spot that the goalie is not covering so you pull the puck back, take aim, and fire… and you miss the net, or put the puck right in the goalies chest. This unfortunate non-goal did not have to happen, but it is happening to hockey players around the world. Please help stop non-goals from happening by practicing your wrist shot accuracy for a few hours a week, and sharing this article with friends.
If you have missed that perfect scoring opportunity, you are not alone, but do not worry I am here to help. This article will show you a number of ways that you can drastically improve your aim. If you are a new player you will see the proper way to aim, and take a wrist shot. If you are an experienced hockey player you may find a few ways that you can tweak your wristshot for even better accuracy. If you follow the steps below, you should be snipe’n those corners in no time! Enough small talk, lets get’r’done.
Look at where you are shooting!
Yes you may have heard this a million times before, but that is because it works, and still some players (even players in men’s leagues who have been playing for years) do not look at where they shoot. This very simple RULE should be the first thing you practice. Scan the net, look for a spot to shoot, and then go on to the steps below.
Note: Some players look down because they want to make sure the puck is on the right spot on their blade. If this is your problem then practice getting a feel for the puck on the blade of your stick. You can do this (when you are practicing) by looking up at the net, stickhandling the puck for a second and then guessing where the puck is on the blade of your stick. Now look down and see if you were right. Repeat this process until you are right every time. Now you will know where the puck is, just by stickhandling.
Point with your feet!
But Jeremy, I take a wrist shot with my hands and arms, what do my feet have to do with anything?
I am glad you asked! Your feet guide you in the direction you are skating, but they also help guide where you are shooting. If you are aiming for the right side of the net, then the toe of your foot should be pointed to the right side of the net. Which foot? The foot of whichever leg you are transferring your weight onto (see video below for an example)
Why does this help with accuracy? If you align your body properly before you take the shot, then chances are your body will follow the proper alignment and your accuracy will improve. Pointing your foot also improves power because it helps you transfer energy in the direction of the shot.
Track the trajectory of the blade of your stick
Oh boy, that sounds confusing! Well it is actually quite simple. Take a few shots and watch the path that the blade of your stick follows, now draw an imaginary line from where you started shooting to where the blade left the shooting surface. If you put an arrow at the end of that line, it should be pointing at where you were shooting.
When taking a wrist shot the follow through is important for both power, and accuracy. I have already told you how to get more power from your wrist shot, so I will focus on accuracy now.
Improving your accuracy with your follow through is fairly simple, follow through high to shoot high, follow through low to shoot low. As easy as that sounds, there are players who forget.
There is one more trick that really helps you aim the puck. We know about shooting high, and low, but what about aiming left and right? Assuming you are looking at where you want to shoot, aligning your feet properly and you are ready to shoot there is only one point left.
Point at where you want the puck to go
This is another trick that involves the follow through. When you are following through with your wristshot you want to point the end of blade or the “toe” of the blade at where you want the puck to go. Why does pointing the blade help with accuracy when you do it after the puck leaves the blade of the stick?
When you point the blade you actually have to start pointing it during your shot. Right when the puck begins to come off of the ice, you should begin to flick and roll your wrists over. Flicking your wrists while rolling them over helps with accuracy and power but many players do not do this properly.
When you are rolling your wrists you are keeping the puck snug to the blade of the stick, and guiding it in the right direction. Also pointing your blade at the end of the shot, will remind you to roll your wrists at the right time. If done properly, at the end of the shot the blade of your stick should be pointing at where the puck went.
For your viewing pleasure, I have put this video together to help with your accuracy, and help you score more goals.
I hope these tips have helped you improve your wrist shot, if you have any tips of your own you can add them below.
There are two wingers in hockey, right wing, and left wing. Both wing men, as well as the centermen are referred to as forwards. The forwards are offensively minded and will score the majority of your teams goals. As a winger you will mostly play on your side of the ice, right wing will play up and down the right side of the ice (to the right of the centermen at faceoff) and the left wing will play on the left side.
The responsibilities of a winger
Your general duties as a wingman are to dig in the corner, feed the centermen and defence, wreak havoc in front of the other teams net, and outsmart the other teams defensemen on both ends of the rink. I will explain more below
A wingers duties and positioning in the defensive zone
The defensive zone is your teams end of the ice (the side where your goalie is in net) When you are playing in the defensive zone your team is trying to get the puck out (break out) and get into the offensive zone (the other teams end of the ice). When you are in the defensive zone you should generally stay between the blue line and the hash marks. You want to stay in that area for a few reasons:
To stop the other teams defensemen from getting the puck and getting a shot on your goalie.
To get a break out pass from your own team member
To block shots or passes if the other teams defensemen does have the puck.
To intercept passes and break out.
Video Tips on Defensive Zone Coverage For Wingers
This video was created by Kevin at HockeyShare.com, thanks for the awesome tips! Most wingers start just trying to cover the defense. As you get older and more skilled you can come down further and further like shown in the video.
What is your job in the Defensive zone?
When you are in the defensive zone it is your job to cover the other teams defensemen. When the other team has the puck you should keep a close eye on the defensemen as some times they will sneak in front of you, or move over to the center. When you are in the defensive zone the defensemen is your man, but it is also your job to accept passes from your own team members. You typically stay between the hash marks and the top of the circle. You will come up to the blue line when challenging the defence.
If your team has the puck there are a few ways to get the pass. The easiest way to get a pass is to take a few quick strides forward and take a pass at the hash marks along the boards, now your job is to break out. The safest way to break out of your end is to bank a pass off of the boards to your center men who should be breaking out, or if the defensemen is right against the boards you can gently redirect the puck to your centermen, or your winger who should be cutting to center (Always look before passing because the last thing you want to do is give a one timer to the other teams defence!). Another option is to carry the puck out yourself, don’t try anything to fancy because if you mess up and the other team scores it will be very embarrassing.
How to break the puck out of the defensive zone
One of the biggest responsibilities of the winger in the defensive zone is breaking the puck out. Usually you will be taking a pass from the defencemen and it is then up to you to receive the pass, control the puck and either break out with it, or make a quick pass to your centremen or other winger. Playing the puck off the boards and making yourself available to receive that pass from the defencemen is VERY important. Here is a great video from HockeyUS.com that explains how you can become more effective when breaking out of the defensive zone
A wingers duties in the offensive zone
When you are in the offensive zone your team is trying to score a goal. You will mainly play in the corner, inside the circle, and in front of the net. When the puck goes into your corner it is your job to get it out. If the puck is in your corner you have a few options, the most common and usually the best options are.
Carry the puck out and get a shot on net (your centermen or other winger should be there for a rebound).
Look for a man in front of the net and set him up with a pass
Look to see if the D is open, if so give them the puck.
Carry the puck up the boards a bit and cycle it back. Cycling the puck may be a bit advanced, so we will cover that in another article
Sometimes when the puck is in your corner the other teams defence will get there first, as it is their job to get the puck out. If this happens you can try to take the puck from them, or tie them up and wait for your centermen to help you out. A good trick is to put your knee between their legs and press them up against the boards, this makes it hard for them to move the puck.
If the puck is in the other corner then you have a few new jobs. When the puck is in the other corner you can.
Go to the net and look for a pass from the winger
If your winger looks like he is going to be tied up you could skate behind the net and call for a pass
If it looks like the other team may get the puck you could skate to the hash marks and try to cover a man / take away a pass.
If the other team does clear the puck being closer to the blue line makes it easier to back check.
Do not go into the other wingers corner unless you have learned a special drill in practice that calls for this. If your winger is in trouble, it is the job of the centermen to help him out.
Wingers duties in the Neutral Zone
Typically in the neutral zone you are either breaking out, or back checking. If you are on the attack you make hard passes through the neutral zone and feed the head man. This means if you get the puck out of your end you should be looking for a streaking centermen or your other winger. If there are no options try to break into their end, and if that is not an option just cross the red line and dump the puck in (then chase it, or get a line change). If your team mate has the puck and you are breaking out skate for open ice and try to get that lead pass.
If the other team has the puck in the neutral zone you are playing defense. You should be hustling to get back into position and get the puck from them / cause a turnover. Keep an eye on who has the puck, and where they might be skating to or who they might be passing to. If you see a potential passing lane try to block it.
I like to always think of the ice as lanes, lanes for them to skate and lanes for them to pass. I am always looking at the guy with the puck and thinking “what are his lanes, what are his options” I try to get in their lanes and take away options.
What about the faceoff?
For a winger you also have a role on the faceoff. When you faceoff you will be facing off against the other team. When you are on the face off both teams want the puck, but only one team can have it. This means your role during the face off is to either get the puck, or stop the other team from getting it. Talk to your centermen before the faceoff because he usually has a devious plan as to what he is going to do with the puck. Most face offs involve winning the puck back to the defensemen, when this happens your job is to tie up your man so your defensemen has time to make a play. Sometimes the centermen will pole the puck forward and have you pick it up with speed, or the centremen could tie up the other centermen and have you get the puck. This means you have to explode off of the hash mark and go right for the face off circle.
A wingers responsibilities on the power play
A power play means that the other team is playing with one less man on the ice. Your position does not change during the power play unless you have a set play with your team. When the other team is down a man they will play with two defensemen and two forwards, this means that on the faceoff there will one open spot. This means if you are on the open wing, and the centremen wins the faceoff to you, you will have some time to skate with the puck and set up a play.
Wingers duties on the penalty kill
When your team gets a penalty there will be one less man on the ice. This means that on the faceoff you need to pick a side to faceoff on. The proper side to faceoff on is the side closest to the center of the ice. If you were to faceoff on the side closest to the boards then the side closest to the center would be wide open, and give the other team more of an advantage if they win the faceoff.
When you are on the penalty kill you should think of your position more like another centermen. If the puck goes into the offensive zone either you or the centremen will go in after the puck, only one man should go deep into the offensive zone, while the other hangs back near the blue line.
When the puck is in the defensive zone most teams play in a box formation, this means your two defensemen will play down low, and the centermen and the winger play up high. The idea is your formation will look like a box, and you want to keep the other team outside of the box, and take away any passing or shooting opportunities.
If you have any other tips for positioning for forwards you can add them below. I will be adding positioning for the centermen and defence soon.
In my last post I showed you how to make a weighted hockey stick, now I will show you what you can do with it. Stickhandling is a very important skill to master if you want to be a great hockey player. There are many ways that you can improve your stickhandling and in this article I will show you the benefits of using a weighted hockey stick, and how to make your own weighted stick.
The benefits of practicing with a weighted hockey stick
When you practice with a weighted hockey stick you will be working all of the muscles involved in stickhandling BEYOND the point they are typically worked when you normally stickhandle. This is great because you will be building sport specific muscles, and training them beyond the level that they would normally develop. Here is a great analogy, if you bench press 150 pounds every day, then your muscles will plateau and only be able to lift 150 pounds. If you continue to push your muscles and eventually bench 300 pounds, then when you go back and lift 150 pounds, it will feel VERY light.
The same concept applies to stickhandling, if you only use a regular stick and puck, your muscles will learn the motions, but they will not be as quick as they could be. If you train with a weighted hockey stick for a while and then go back to using a regular stick you will be able to move the puck a lot faster.
What about the muscles
Another great benefit of using a weighted stick is the muscles you will build. When you practice your stickhandling with a weighted stick you will be building your wrists, forearms, bicep and triceps, pecs and core muscles. These muscles are involved in shooting and stickhandling and your core muscles will help with balance and stability, as well as shooting and stickhandling.
How to practice stickhandling with a weighted hockey stick
You should practice moving the puck all around you, just like you normally would. I like to train in segments, this is my typical session with my weighted stick.
Stickhandling with the puck in front of me
Two minutes stickhandling the puck in front of me, moving the puck wide to the left and to the right
One minute stickhandling the puck in close, moving the puck quickly side to side, about one to two foot distance
One minute with the puck in front of me, I move it as far as I can on my backhand, then reach with one hand and pull the puck back in
Toss in a few toe drags, and moving the puck forwards and backwards
Stickhandling on my shooting side
Two minutes moving the puck as far forwards and backwards as I can
One minute of toe drags, and moving the puck side to side
One minute moving the puck as far forwards as I can, reaching with one hand and pulling it back
Stickhandling on my backhand side
Two minutes practicing back and forth, and side to side on my backhand side, also practice moving the puck from your backhand side to your forehand side
Stickhandling with the puck behind me
Four minutes with the puck behind me. I practice reaching around to the right and stickhandling, and then reaching around to the left and stickhandling, also moving the puck from behind me to in front of me. This is a great way to twist, and work the core muscles
Take Your Time
I take short breaks when I need them, you can come up with your own routine, and be sure to change up the weight, duration, speed and intensity of each session. After doing training with a weighted hockey stick I noticed a HUGE improvement in my stickhandling. The two main benefits I noticed was that I could move the puck a lot faster, and I was also a lot stronger on the puck. I have also made this video to show you some of the moves that I practice
Weighted Hockey Stick Drills
I hope these tips have helped, but remember reading this information will not make you a better hockey player PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE!
Tennis and sqaush are great sports to participate in because you really only need two people to play. You can also play by yourself if you really want, however you will not be challenged quite as much. I like squash a bit more because you are constantly changing direction, and you must move fast in order to get to the ball. I find with tennis if you are not that good you will spend more time getting the ball, rather than actually playing. Squash is a great sport you can start with your child and you will both benefit from the extra activity.
Skills that will transfer to hockey from Tennis and Squash
Importance of following through with shots
Stop and starts and explosive movements
Hustling to complete a play
Hand eye coordination
Building quick decision making
I have listed a number of skills that tennis and squash will help build that will also be important in the game of hockey, however there are many other sports that you can participate in that will help your game in hockey. You can read some of my articles to find a whole list of sports that you can play that will not only make you a better athlete, but also a better hockey player!
5 Tips That Will Help You Score More Goals This Season
One thing every player, coach and parent likes is more goals. Every hockey player loves to score goals, especially in clinch situations like the playoffs and overtime. The moments that are created when a hockey player scores a game changing, or game winning goal are the moments that will last a life time. This is why it is important to learn how to score goals. Practicing your shooting and stick handling is a great way to score more goals, however by learning new tricks and techniques you will be able to learn faster and improve faster. This is why it is important to not only practice hockey, but also research and learn how to be better at hockey, and that is why I wrote this article, to help you become a better hockey player. So here is the list I have compiled
Shoot the Puck
This is nothing new but still a point that should be driven home. It is no coincidence that 10 out of the 10 forwards in the NHL with the most shots ever all have over 600 goals. Don’t try to make every goal a pretty one, every goal counts whether it is a beautiful dangle or a fluke shot that goes in. If you see a shot, take it. Even if you don’t score your team mates can pick up rebounds making more scoring opportunities.
Shoot for different spot, you don’t have to shoot top shelf every time, if you do the goalie will be expecting this and your shot will be even easier to stop. Do something different, I found (a little to late) that a lot of good goalies love to make glove saves, you make them really mad when you slide a hard, low shot right in one of the bottom corners. Goalies expect good players to score flashy goals, try taking a quick shot down low, some goalies cannot get into the butterfly quick enough to stop it.
Shoot five hole – This is great if you are in close and the goalie does not have time to close his legs in time, when you are in close and you see the legs open hammer the puck through.
Know the Goalie
Watching the goalie can be a great advantage to you and your team. When I was younger I would take a minute (or ask my coach or parent) to watch the other teams goalie during the warm up. The other teams goaltender will be trying to stop a lot of shots, so if you see where most of them go in then you know the goalies weak spots and you can shoot there during the game. Also a lot of the players on the other team will know their goalies weak spot and shoot for it during warm-up because they like to score goals even in the warm up.
Read Your Players
Knowing your team mates is a great way to get more goals. If you know when to go to the net, when to set up for a give and go, and when to hang back for a drop pass you will definitely get more scoring opportunities.
Use your brain – Hockey is a team sport, don’t just go out on the ice and turn your brain off. You should ALWAYS be thinking when you play, believe it or not if you make an effort to think, you will get more goals thinking about where you should be, where your team mates are going, where the puck is going, and how the goalie will react, will help you make decisions that will lead to more goals.
Don’t Telegraph Your Shot
I think this is one of the most important tips to know and practice. Many players, without knowing it, tell the goalie or defensemen exactly when they are going to shoot, or deke, or pass. Good goalies pick up on these subtle (sometimes not so subtle) hints allowing them to stop your shot, robbing you of more goals. Here are some tips that will help keep the goalie thinking
Don’t approach the net with the puck in front of you. If you are on a breakaway and you have the puck in front of you then the goalie will know you are going to deke, once you bring the puck to your shooting side then the goalie knows you are going to shoot. If you come in on the goalie stickhandling on your shooting side you can deke, pass, drop pass, or shoot. Giving the goalie more to think about
Don’t break your stride. Here is a neat little trick that many pure goal scorers possess. A lot of players come in skating, pause, draw the puck back, and then shoot. You can still score goals like this, but it gives the goalie that much more time to react. The best goal scorers can put the puck in the back of the net before the goalie can blink, this is because they do not break their stride when they skate (I will have a video demonstrating this later)
Try not to stare at where you are shooting. Believe it or not goalies will notice this. Take a look at where you are shooting, but don’t make it really obvious, many times this is why backhand shots go in. The player and the goalie do not know where it is going!
I hope these tips will help you score more goals in hockey. Keep an eye out for my next article called – 5 Traits Every Pure Goal Scorer Possesses. If you would like to get more articles like this when I post them you can enter your email address in the box to the left. You will get tips like this sent right to your inbox whenever they are posted on the site.
Hey my name is Jeremy I love hockey and have wanted to start a site with how to hockey videos and articles for a while now. I finally got into a position where I could dedicate some time to making a how to hockey website so that is what I am doing. I plan on adding a lot of instructional hockey videos over the winter and if all goes well this site will have a lot of good information about hockey by the end of the winter. You can subscribe to my posts if you want to get hockey tips as I post them and I will add an option where you can get the articles and videos by email as well.