How To Hockey

How to take a Snapshot in Hockey

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.

Snapshot Video

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.

Coach Jeremy

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