How To Hockey

How to Snipe Top Shelf on Your Backhand

Backhand Shot Tips

This article shows you how to take a backhand when you are close to the net, I also recommend my article and video on how to take a backhand shot, where I show the most powerful method that should be used when further from the net.
Not being able to put your backhand shot in the top shelf is a problem that many players have, but few realize. Most hockey players tend to focus on their wrist shot or slapshot because these are the two most commonly used shots in hockey, but how often do you really use your backhand shot? I bet you would use it a lot more if you could snipe top shelf every time. For this reason I decided to write a tutorial detailing how you can use your backhand to put the puck right where momma keeps the cookies.

Raising Your Backhand Close to the Net

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

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

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

How to Raise Your Backhand in Hockey

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

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

By reading this article you should have a few good ideas of how to put the puck top shelf on your backhand. First you get the knowledge, then you get the experience, so…PRACTICE!
I have summed everything up in the picture below.

Hockey Backhand Shot

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

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

Coach Jeremy

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