Written by Jeremy Rupke
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.
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.
Photo credit: Goalie – Michael Carlier, Binoculars – gerlos
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