Tag: stickhandle

Deke of the Week 9 – Backhand Toe Drag

how to do the backhand toe drag in hockey

If you are looking for a new move to try out during practice or shinny then todays deke of the week is a great one to practice. This is a shifty move that I like to use when I need to gain the center and there is a pesky defencemen in my way. Usually this works the best if the D-man is a few feet in front of you, and a few feet to your side (the side furthest from the blade of your stick) and he is trying to keep you to the outside. I have used this move a lot in games, it looks great and it works! If you want a full explanation of how to do this move visit our article and video on how to do the backhand toe drag.

Backhand Toe Drag Video On the Ice

Backhand Toe Drag Tips

  • Practice a lot before trying it in a game
  • You need to pull the puck in close to your feet to protect the puck
  • Don’t be afraid to try variations of this move and come up with your own style / moves
  • Make sure you have enough room to do this move otherwise the d-man will stop you every time
  • Keep your head up (especially if you play contact hockey) so you can read the defencemen and tweak the move if you need to

How to Backhand Toe Drag

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Deke Of the Week 5 – Double Deke

double-deke

Last week we all learned about the single deke which involves a simple fake to one side, and then beating the player on the other side. Sometimes the player does not bite on your first fake, so you might need to toss in a second one, that is where the double deke comes in! In this video I show you how to do the double deke, what you will need to practice to perfect the move, and when the best time is to use it. One situation I forgot to mention in the video is to use this move to split the D. If there are two defencemen you skate to the center of them, fake towards one, then fake towards the other, then bust through both of them, it doesn’t work every time but I have pulled it off a few times.

Double Deke Video

In This Video

  • Fake to one side, fake to the other side, then beat the player on the side you faked to originally
  • To make it really convincing toss in a head fake and shoulder fake
  • You can modify the move by really selling it, or just moving the puck quickly to one side, to the other, then back to the other side.
  • Good lateral puck movement is VERY important, so practice at home with your green biscuit and your hockey shooting pad
  • Make sure you start the move early enough to keep out of the players stick zone and avoid the poke check
  • The best time to use this move is while the player is coming at you, or stopped or skating slowly backwards
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Deke of the Week 3 – Fakes

fakes-hockey

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)
  • Leg 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.

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Deke of the Week 2 – Protecting the Puck

protect-the-puck

Here is the deke of the week #2, last week we talked about skating for open ice and this week we are building on that and teaching you to protect the puck. I know this isn’t really a deke, but it is very important to know the fundamentals of hockey and really the point of playing is to set-up plays, score goals and win games, not be a show-boat that tries crazy dekes and loses the puck. I will be teaching some very effective (and some crazy) dekes later on, but first I want to teach the most effective ways to beat the other players on the ice.

Protecting the Puck In Hockey

This is a basic video on protecting the puck while hustling! There are other methods for protecting the puck that I will likely write an entire article about, but for now here are some tips for beating the D!

Don’t forget to to subscribe to our blog to get notified of the newest videos and the next Deke of the Week

In This Video

Here is a quick summary of what you will learn in the video, along with some additional tips.

  • The easiest way to beat most players is to use your speed / skate around them
  • When you are evading a player on the ice, move the puck to the opposite side of where the player is, this moves the puck into a safe area where the defender can not take the puck from you
  • When protecting the puck you can use your leg, body, arm and shoulder to block the player from getting the puck (see video for a technique I like to use)
  • This technique works best when you have speed, when a player is skating backwards, or if a player is coming at you quickly ( instead of deking you just sidestep them while protecting the puck)
  • While skating past a player do not simply keep the puck in front of you, this makes it easy for the player to knock it off your stick
  • A technique I like to use is the “bait and switch” sometimes if I am approaching a player I will move the puck closer to them (if they are to my right I stickhandle with the puck to my right, if they are behind me I leave the puck a bit behind me) then when they are almost close enough to get it I quickly move it to the other side of my body. This allows me to put about 5 to 10 feet of separation between the puck and the defender.

That’s it for this week, remember to practice a lot and try to remember these techniques while playing. Being a smart player can GREATLY improve your game, all you have to do is think more while you are on the ice and remember what works ūüėÄ

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Deke of the Week – Week 1 – Skate to Open Ice!

deke of week 1

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

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How to Toe Drag – Off ice Tutorial

off ice toe drag tutorial

I have had a tonne of requests from the subscribers of how to hockey to teach them how to toe drag. I wanted to wait until the ice is in, but I know a few good ways to practice the toe drag off ice so I thought I would write this article (and make a cool video!).

Why Use a Toe Drag

In my article and video on how to stickhandle I mention that to be master of the puck, you need to be able to control the puck around your entire body, and also have the ability to move the puck from side to side, and front to back in any situation. Perfecting the toe drag will give you the ability to move the puck quickly backwards and forwards, and side to side no matter where it is.

Another great advantage to the toe drag is to use it to deke out the opposition or the goalie. There are a number of situations where a quick toe drag can be the best (and prettiest) way to get around the defense. Sometimes the defensemen thinks you have no room to move the puck, but by using the toe of the stick to pull the puck backwards you give yourself more room move the puck. Then you can move it over and up and blow past the D (and look awesome!)

How To Toe Drag

I was hesitant to show people how to toe drag off-ice. I learned how to toe drag with a stickhandling ball, I had it perfected, then I stepped onto the ice and tried it with a puck….not good. The puck flew backwards…over, and over, and over. I did have the general motion down, but I had to adjust a bit to get it to work on the ice. I think the biggest problem was that I learned with a ball, and with a lot of friction, but on the ice you use a puck, and there is very little friction. So my best recommendation for learning to toe drag off-ice… get a green biscuit, and a hockey shooting pad (I really like the roll up shooting pad don’t forget to use our coupon)

Green BiscuitThe Green Biscuit is a great puck to use to perfect the toe drag off-ice.

The toe drag is pretty simple on paper (or computer screen), but actually getting it down is tough, here is how to toe drag

  • Roll your wrists to roll the blade of the stick over, so the toe of the blade of the stick is pointing down
  • Catch the puck with the toe, and pull it backwards (or sideways if the puck is to your side)
  • As the puck is coming backwards, roll your hands back and catch the puck
how to toe drag

Make sure you have the toe centered on the puck, otherwise it will slide to the side.

This is the most basic toe drag, once you get better you can use the toe drag to move the puck straight back, in a J motion, or a wide U to pull the puck from one side of your body, all the way to the other.

toe drag off ice

How To Toe Drag Video

In this video I show you the toe-drag, and how I practice it off the ice. I also show you in detail how you can learn to toe drag off ice with a detailed step-by-step guide. If you have any problems you can leave a comment in this article, on the video, or on our facebook page

If you like this video you can subscribe to our channel on Youtube
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Stickhandling Tips that Every Hockey Player Should Know

stickhandling-fundamentals

How to Stickhandle

Stickhandling is very important in hockey, many young players may think they know how to stickhandle, but you may be surprised what you are doing wrong!

I used to think I was pretty good with the puck, I could get around players, I could deke and I could score goals. I lived by this notion until I was about 16 years old, and wanted to score even more. I started looking around for information about stickhandling and deking. I started studying the best stickhandlers in the NHL and I began to realize something, I could be a lot better. Don’t make the same mistakes I did, learn the proper way from the start. This article will help you learn the proper way to stickhandle, and how you can control the puck in any situation

Stickhandling Basics

When most players practice stickhandling they practice with the puck in front of them and¬†moving the puck back and forth. For beginning players this is fine, you need to get a feel for the puck, and practice stickhandling with your head up. But when you get older, or better at hockey¬†you should practice a lot more. When you first start stickhandling practice moving the puck back and forth. Lift your head and just feel the puck, see what it feels like on your forehand, on your backhand, near the toe of the blade, near the heel of your blade. Get to know these feelings, by registering those feelings in your brain you will improve a lot at keeping your head up and not losing the puck as much. But there is more to stickhandling than moving the puck back and forth….

This is the proper way to hold the stick when you are stickhandling

You can see in the left picture that my top hand is to the side of my body. This reduces range of motion, the proper way to hold the stick is how I am holding the stick on the right. This allows free movement of the stick around the entire body

The Golden Rule of Stickhandling

Many players think that stickhandling is moving the puck back and forth, this is wrong. When you practice stickhandling you should practice controlling the puck every where you can reach with your hockey stick. This means moving the puck side to side AND forwards and backwards, in front of you, on both sides of you, and even behind you. Practice this as soon as you can and as often as you can. Not only will you be able to stickhandle through heavy traffic, and around a lot more players, you will also be able to recover the puck more often when it is knocked off of your stick, and you will also be able to receive more passes.

How to practice stickhandling

You can see here that I am practicing controlling the puck within the furthest reach in every direction. Every hockey player should practice this in order to have full control of the puck whenever it is close to them

If you can control the puck around your entire body you will not have to slow down and wait for a pass, you will be able to reach back, tap the puck forwards and take off. Stickhandling around your entire body will give you a huge advantage over other players who only practice stickhandling in front of them, and you will be able to stickhandle around a lot more players.

Practice your Reach

This is very important in stickhandling. A lot of players keep their top hand (the hand on the top of the stick) by their side, this is very restricting and gives you a limited range of motion when stickhandling. The proper way to hold the stick is with your top hand in front of you, this allows you to move your stick (and the puck) all the way around your body. Practice moving the puck as far as you can to the right, and then bringing it back, and then moving it as far as you can to the left and then bringing it back. For even more reach practice let go of the stick with your bottom hand when you are reaching to your backhand side.

Practicing reach in hockey

You can see here how much ice I can cover, simply by moving the puck from one side to the other. Having this knowledge can help a hockey player in many situations

Practice the Toe Drag

The toe drag is such a powerful move in hockey, you would be crazy not to master it. How often have you seen NHL players embarrass NHL defensemen with a ridiculous toe drag? It happens quite a bit,  I have attached a video of a nice toe drag by Michael Ryder .

If players can use this move on NHL defensemen and get away with it, then once you master it you should be able to use it to get around your opponents. For more information on the toe drag see my article and video How to Do a Toe Drag

Hockey Toedrag

Here I am practicing a toe drag around another puck. There are many different types of toe drags which I will cover in another article

Take it to the Ice

Now that you have practiced stickhandling and mastered controlling the puck around your entire body you are ready to take it to the ice. Keep in mind you should always be practicing your stickhandling and deking, but try to leave the moves you have not mastered yet to the practice, and only use moves you have mastered during games (especially playoff games)

Always Move the Puck

This is a good general rule, by moving the puck you are always prepared to make a deke or move on the opponent, and the opponent will always be thinking about what you are going to do next. Moving the puck is also known as dribling (moving the puck back and forth quickly) There are dekes that require you to keep the puck stationairy (like the bait and switch, will add article soon) but for the most part you should always be moving the puck.

Use Your Body

Stickhandling should not just be arms, stick and puck. Use your entire body in the process. Your body is a great tool to block other players from getting the puck (see protect the puck below) Your body can also be a good tool in deking, remember to use your head, shoulders and legs. Here’s a quick breakdown for you – Use your head for fakes, shift your head left or right when you deke left and right with the puck. Use your shoulder for fakes, you can dip your shoulder left or right when you deke left or right. Use your feet for dekes – You can incorporate your feet in any number of dekes, you can drop the puck back to your skates and then kick it back, pull the puck behind you, then pull it in between your skates and kick it forwards.¬† You can even use your legs for fakes, think about when you fake a shot on the goalie, if you lift your one leg as if you are transferring weight you can really sell the fake. (I will upload a sweet goal by Teemu Selanne where he does this)

Stickhandling Tips Video

This video explains how a player should be able to control the puck and shows a few quick drills you can use to practice being a better stickhandler

How to Get Around the Defense

For more on this check out my deke of the week videos РA good way to beat most defensemen is to beat them with speed. Instead of skating up to them, or waiting for them to come to you and then deking them, just blow past them with your speed.

When skating around the opposing players puck location is very important. Many players will skate with the puck in front of them all the time. To get an advantage over the opponent you should position the puck on the side furthest from the opposing player while stickhandling. This means if the opposing players are on the right side, move the puck to your left side and skate around them.

Another way to deceive the defense is to make them think that they can get the puck from you. For example, say the defense is in front of you and on the right hand side. If I move the puck to the left side to soon then the better defencemen will move with the puck and stop me. Sometimes I will stickhandle with the puck so it appears the defencemen will easily be able to get it off of me (if the defence is on the right side, I stickhandle on the right side). I skate full tilt towards them, so they think all they have to do is knock the puck off my stick. I then quickly move the puck as far to the left side as I can, while turning, or crossing over to the left side, this gives me about a 15-20 foot difference between where the puck was, to where it currently is, and lots of room to skate around the defence.

Protect the Puck

Remember when driving to the net, or trying to push around another player that you should protect the puck. You protect the puck by putting your body in between the other player and the puck. Another good trick is to hold your hockey stick with one hand, and use the other hand to block the opposition from getting the puck off of you. I will add more tips on how to protect the puck soon (man I have so much information I still need to add!)

Well those are all of my stickhandling tips for now. If you have any tips of your own that you would like to add feel free to add them in the comment section below.

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How to Deke in Hockey

how to deke in hockey

If you are reading this article then it is likely that you play hockey. Well I’m here to help; we will get right to the point. We will first look at deking out the opposing team members. Every player should know how to deke, however many players do not deke properly. This article shows the fundamentals of deking a player or goalie.

The first rule is that you should always be moving the puck. Think of it as dribbling in basketball. Basketball players continuously dribble the ball in order to keep their opposing team members thinking about what they will do next. Hockey players should also continuously stick handle the puck so that the players on the other team cannot simply skate up and knock the puck off of your stick.

I’m sure you have watched some players walk around their opponents and you wonder “how do they do that?” well there are four steps that you must know in order to properly execute a deke.

The first step is the preparation.

You must prepare yourself before you can execute a deke. Where you put the puck is dependant upon which move you would like to make. If you are trying to just skate around your opponent then a general rule is that you should protect the puck by stick handling it on the side furthest from your opponent. However If I want to deke my opponent out then I try to trick them into thinking that they are going to be able to get the puck off of me, and dangle the puck right in front of them and wait for them to make a move.

The second step in a deke is the fake or the move.

After you have the puck and the other player right where you want them it is time to make your move. There is an unlimited number of moves that you can make at this point. You must trick the other player or fake him out with this move. Some common moves are putting the puck through the other players legs, putting the puck under the other players stick, or pulling the puck to the other side of your body. One move that I like is putting the puck right in front of the other player, and then when they try to knock the puck off of my stick, I simply pull it away and skate by them.

The third step to a deke is the separation.

After you have made your move, you must separate yourself from the other player. A general hockey rule is that you should protect the puck. After you have made your move try not to stick handle the puck near the opposing player, move it to a safe place. You can use your body to protect the puck by stick handling it on whichever side of your body is the furthest from the opposing player.

The fourth and final step to a deke is acceleration.

Once you have completed steps one through three you are ready for the fourth and final step. For this step you simply must accelerate. You must accelerate in order to get away from the person that you just deked out. Once you have deked out the last player you will be facing the goalie.

Check out my next article on how to score to find out how to put the biscuit in the basket.

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