Last year I started a series on stickhandling drills. This is the first skill that I recommend any hockey player learns when it comes to stickhandling. It’s a simple movement, but is quite difficult for new players to perform quickly. Learning to do this at a decent speed will teach many things.
What we’re learning
- Puck blade relation
- Control and technique
- Good habits (when done properly)
The Soft Touch Drill
Why you need to learn this
It’s a foundation
First off, you can’t get “too good” at this. If you watch guys like Datsyuk and Kane they perform this at a ridiculous speed with amazing efficiency and consistency. The more you practice this simple movement the more deceptive you’ll be, and the easier you will be able to tie a few moves together. The ability to control the puck with subtle movements is a foundation for many other moves
What we should focus on
While performing this drill I’d like you to focus on how the top hand movement can manipulate the blade, and the effect this has on the puck movement. We also need to focus on cupping the puck on the forehand and the backhand. That’s in bold because we often see players neglecting this part of the movement. To better visualize this think “put shade on the puck” or “trap the puck” we don’t want it getting away, it only gets away if we neglect to cup it, so trap it between the ice and your blade by cupping it.
Want to get better?
For more videos be sure to subscribe to our Youtube channel as I will continue this series over the winter, you can also sign up to our newsletter in the right sidebar. Also, remember to practice daily, repetition and deep practice is the only way to improve a physical skill.