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-   -   How to Take a Wrist Shot - Video, Advice, Technique, Etc (http://hfboards.hockeysfuture.com/showthread.php?t=1185379)

Jarick 05-07-2012 09:51 AM

How to Take a Wrist Shot - Video, Advice, Technique, Etc
 
We've had something like a dozen threads recently on this topic, so I'm going to make a master thread here. I'll pull new threads here as they pop up.

If you have any questions about your shot, feel free to bump this thread and reply, and we'll help you out.

To understand the wrist/snap shot, look at the components involved. By manipulating the components, you can change the release point and consequently the height of the shot. Left-right is as simple as pointing to the target, but height is not as simple as pointing high or low.

UPPER BODY MECHANICS

There are three components to the upper body in the wrist shot. They happen in order, from biggest muscles to smallest: torso/shoulder rotation, then forearm push-pull to release, and the wrist snap is the last action at the finish of the shot.

Shoulder Rotation - this is just twisting from the waist up, both at the torso and at the shoulders. Beginners will try and shoot the puck only with this force, which is referred to as "slapping" at the puck. It's a starting point but lacks power and accuracy.

Mimic this by holding your stick with both arms straight out and without moving your forearms or wrists. Even as simple as sitting in a chair with both feet on the ground then twisting the upper body to face left or right.

Forearm Push-Pull - this is pulling back with the top hand while pushing forward with the bottom hand. This is going to generate a lot more power in your shot and is the first components of the "release" of the shot that I will talk about later.

Mimic this by holding the stick in front of you with both arms extended and pulling with the top hand and pushing with the bottom hand. See my video for a demonstration.

Wrist Roll - this is rotating the wrists to close the blade at the end of the shot. Closing the blade at the end of the shot can help control the height as well as add a little extra spin "flick" to the shot to help the puck rotate and fly through the air like a frisbee.

Mimic this by using a motion similar to using keys to start a car (if you're left handed, otherwise the right hand). I'll have to describe this in a video at a later point in time. It's important and can be practiced simply by flicking the puck in the air (the same you'd use to try and shelf it from the crease).

LOWER BODY MECHANICS

I understand less of the lower body and that's because I am learning golf now and trying to apply that. *I'll just say that your natural skating momentum should provide the majority of lower body power, which is why you can and should practice shooting off both feet and from all angles to the net.

The hips are important of course as they start the rotation that follows up through the torso and athe shoulders. *A lot of this is timing and determines how much power you can get: facing the net you get less hip/torso/shoulder rotation than being perpendicular to the net, but obviously it's better to get a quick shot off than to maximize your power, giving the goalie a split second to square up to the shot.

CONTROLLING HEIGHT

When it comes to the height of the shot, I believe there are a few factors that come into play:

First is the release point of your shot...and by that I mean the forearm push-pull. The further back in the shot (i.e. behind the body) you start the push-pull, the lower the shot will go. This is because the blade is closed behind your body and open in front, so releasing the puck as it crosses the middle of your body will shoot it low unless you're using a shovel for a curve. Unfortunately, the earlier you release the puck, the less power you get on the shot (less contact time with the puck and less imparting of your energy into the shot), which is why we love to rip high shots at the corners.

Second is the timing of your wrist snap and how exaggerated it is. As the puck crosses the body the blade opens up, so the wrist snap to close the blade up can be done earlier or to a greater degree to keep the puck low. Honestly, this is so much a feel thing and can potentially change the left-right direction of the puck (because you're closing the blade) that I usually prefer the early release to messing with the wrist roll when shooting low. If I desperately want to keep the puck on the ice (like a hard pass from our end to the far blue line), I might try and really roll the wrists.

The third is just your particular curve and toe shape. An open curve will naturally go higher because of the loft of the blade. You'll have to control the height by releasing earlier or exaggerating the wrist closure. If you take a full shot with a Drury copmared to a Forsberg, it will go to the upper net. Some folks think this is why you should use closed blades, but I feel open blades allow for more power on the shot because you can load the stick a little more (and maybe there's less friction on the ice...I dunno). It depends on your shooting mechanics and preferences, where you shoot from (slot vs point), etc. A squared toe MIGHT add a little more snap and contact time on the closing of the blade, but it might be in my head.

LEFT-RIGHT ACCURACY

For accuracy, it's as easy as wherever you point your stick left to right is where the shot will end up. Luckily in hockey (unlike golf) the puck is on the blade for a LONG time (relatively speaking), so naturally wherever you point the stick is where the puck will go. So long as the length and lie of the stick are good for you, it should be easy enough to figure out right away. Of course being able to go post and in on the go takes thousands of shots worth of practice and muscle memory. But for you just worry about getting passes in the right direction.

STICK FLEX

Get the right flex for your height/weight/strength and don't worry much about it. You want to cup the puck at the start of the shot, meaning turning the blade over so it pushes the puck up against the ice, and you want a little pressure on the ice itself to get some stick flex, but you don't have to dig in. Think of shooting ALONG the ice rather than ON TOP of the ice. The ice surface will be a part of the shot, adding a little friction to the blade, but you don't have to smash it into the ground.

PUTTING IT TOGETHER

I would say you want to:

- learn the basic shoulder rotation and left-right movement
- learn the forearm push-pull and play with the release point
- learn the wrist roll snap and play with the timing
- put it together in motion and work of hitting targets

Other Tips
Wrist Shot Advice
Help With My Wrist Shot

Videos:












donkers* 05-07-2012 09:58 AM

I've always thought that Kessel shot was more of a snap shot.

Jarick 05-07-2012 10:04 AM

Whatever it is, it's a great video. He's got the push-pull, rolls the wrists, points to the target, etc.

hishyB 05-07-2012 11:09 AM

Not saying that kessel's wrist shot isn't great but in that video hes using a 44 flex :laugh:

qmechanic 05-07-2012 02:30 PM

Hey Jarick, awesome thread! Thanks for doing this.

What about your blog post? I thought you had some great tips in that.

Jarick 05-07-2012 02:38 PM

I built off the blog post into the video, thought it would be redundant, but here's the original post.

qmechanic 05-07-2012 03:21 PM

I don't think it's redundant. There are some people like me, who like to read, in addition to watching video.

Fanned On It 05-08-2012 07:59 PM

I could've sworn I posted in this thread last night...?

But anyways... I'm having trouble getting some serious power on my wrist shots/snap shots. I want to be deadly from out at the top of the circles, especially with my snapper, but as it is now a goalie would be able to track it I feel like and make the save.

Also, I don't feel my stick flexing when I shoot, so is there a certain way you're supposed to lean on your stick when shooting?

EDIT: Never mind I posted in a different wrist shot thread... My question still stands though.

Jarick 05-09-2012 08:42 AM

I thought you said you were 6'2 and using 85 flex, right? What kind of stick? How long is it?

Fanned On It 05-10-2012 07:32 PM

It's a Warrior Widow 85 Kovalchuk. And keep in mind I'm only 160 lbs so I'm pretty light. It's cut down a couple of inches so it's probably even more than an 85 I guess. I found a cool TPS pro-stock stick that is a 70 flex but Senior length. I'm thinking that should be the right amount of flex.

TickleMeYandle 09-12-2012 09:41 AM

Working on my shot, what should be my priorities?
 
My husband built me a nice little shooting area in the backyard - shooting pad, chicken wire to stop any pucks from hitting things on either side of the goal, and a little soccer goal to aim at. It's smaller than a hockey goal, so I figure if I'm able to hit it accurately, it should be easier to hit the hockey one!

My goal is 100 shots per day. I've been working on my wrist shot mostly since that is the one I'm weakest on. I can't get it to lift at all, and I don't have a lot of power behind it.

I did 90 wristers yesterday and found that as I went on, I got progressively more accurate. Towards the end, I was getting 10/10 to go in the net, while earlier it was more like 6/10. I did 20 slapshots and about 14 of those went in the net.

So I've got three goals: accuracy, lift, power. Accuracy seems to be the easiest one to improve at first; I really took the time to note the relation between where my stick ended up pointing and where the puck ended up. (Not that it was a huge mystery, but I never really stopped after my shots to compare the two).

For lift and power - are these things that will likely develop as I get stronger? Or are there specific things I should be doing to build these up?

I've watched tons of videos and I have the whole thing in my head - in theory. But when I get into practice, putting it all together is not happening. I can get the flex OR the accuracy. Or I can get the wrist snap but not the flex. As soon as I focus on one thing, the others go out the window. So I'm thinking maybe the way to go about it is to do one thing enough times that it becomes muscle memory, then add the next thing - so get the flex down, and then once I don't have to think about it any more, start adding the other parts.

Is there a progression of drills I could be doing to make this work efficiently? Should I be trying to do everything right at the same time, or is it better to just focus on separate portions of the shot?

Gigantor The Goalie 09-12-2012 10:03 AM

Did a little bit of research and found this: http://howtohockey.com/drills-to-tra...oting-accuracy

Maybe just something to try? As a goalie who sometimes shoots for fun like your doing I can't really explain how I'm able to pick corners. I don't think you can just work on accuracy, lift and power individually. All three go together and to separate them might cause some problems. Best just to do all three at once.

The way I shoot a wrister is to bring the stick and puck slightly past my back foot and then do a full follow through. The follow through is very important considering it helps to guide the puck to where you want it.

I know this isn't very helpful but I believe at least the link should help in some way.

One last thing, are you shooting with any equipment on? Such as gloves?

TickleMeYandle 09-12-2012 10:13 AM

I didn't wear my gloves yesterday (mostly I was just testing out the set-up). I do plan to wear them from now on.

Gigantor The Goalie 09-12-2012 10:21 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Clownquestion (Post 54265503)
I didn't wear my gloves yesterday (mostly I was just testing out the set-up). I do plan to wear them from now on.

What I like to do usually is just fire a few pucks without the gloves at first just to get the feel or into a groove then switch to the gloves. Usually my power and accuracy goes down at first then right back up. It's not a huge dip but noticeable enough.

Anyways I quickly found out that there's little point in practising my shot if I wasn't wearing gloves. Shooting with gloves and without gloves is different. And as common sense follows since your using gloves to shoot in a game, might as well use them to practise.

Jarick 09-12-2012 11:50 AM

Thinking about this, it's much more difficult than I initially thought.

To understand the wrist/snap shot, look at the components involved. By manipulating the components, you can change the release point and consequently the height of the shot. Left-right is as simple as pointing to the target, but height is not as simple as pointing high or low.

UPPER BODY MECHANICS

There are three components to the upper body in the wrist shot. They happen in order, from biggest muscles to smallest: torso/shoulder rotation, then forearm push-pull to release, and the wrist snap is the last action at the finish of the shot.

Shoulder Rotation - this is just twisting from the waist up, both at the torso and at the shoulders. Beginners will try and shoot the puck only with this force, which is referred to as "slapping" at the puck. It's a starting point but lacks power and accuracy.

Mimic this by holding your stick with both arms straight out and without moving your forearms or wrists. Even as simple as sitting in a chair with both feet on the ground then twisting the upper body to face left or right.

Forearm Push-Pull - this is pulling back with the top hand while pushing forward with the bottom hand. This is going to generate a lot more power in your shot and is the first components of the "release" of the shot that I will talk about later.

Mimic this by holding the stick in front of you with both arms extended and pulling with the top hand and pushing with the bottom hand. See my video for a demonstration.

Wrist Roll - this is rotating the wrists to close the blade at the end of the shot. Closing the blade at the end of the shot can help control the height as well as add a little extra spin "flick" to the shot to help the puck rotate and fly through the air like a frisbee.

Mimic this by using a motion similar to using keys to start a car (if you're left handed, otherwise the right hand). I'll have to describe this in a video at a later point in time. It's important and can be practiced simply by flicking the puck in the air (the same you'd use to try and shelf it from the crease).

LOWER BODY MECHANICS

I understand less of the lower body and that's because I am learning golf now and trying to apply that. *I'll just say that your natural skating momentum should provide the majority of lower body power, which is why you can and should practice shooting off both feet and from all angles to the net.

The hips are important of course as they start the rotation that follows up through the torso and athe shoulders. *A lot of this is timing and determines how much power you can get: facing the net you get less hip/torso/shoulder rotation than being perpendicular to the net, but obviously it's better to get a quick shot off than to maximize your power, giving the goalie a split second to square up to the shot.

CONTROLLING HEIGHT

When it comes to the height of the shot, I believe there are a few factors that come into play:

First is the release point of your shot...and by that I mean the forearm push-pull. The further back in the shot (i.e. behind the body) you start the push-pull, the lower the shot will go. This is because the blade is closed behind your body and open in front, so releasing the puck as it crosses the middle of your body will shoot it low unless you're using a shovel for a curve. Unfortunately, the earlier you release the puck, the less power you get on the shot (less contact time with the puck and less imparting of your energy into the shot), which is why we love to rip high shots at the corners.

Second is the timing of your wrist snap and how exaggerated it is. As the puck crosses the body the blade opens up, so the wrist snap to close the blade up can be done earlier or to a greater degree to keep the puck low. Honestly, this is so much a feel thing and can potentially change the left-right direction of the puck (because you're closing the blade) that I usually prefer the early release to messing with the wrist roll when shooting low. If I desperately want to keep the puck on the ice (like a hard pass from our end to the far blue line), I might try and really roll the wrists.

The third is just your particular curve and toe shape. An open curve will naturally go higher because of the loft of the blade. You'll have to control the height by releasing earlier or exaggerating the wrist closure. If you take a full shot with a Drury copmared to a Forsberg, it will go to the upper net. Some folks think this is why you should use closed blades, but I feel open blades allow for more power on the shot because you can load the stick a little more (and maybe there's less friction on the ice...I dunno). It depends on your shooting mechanics and preferences, where you shoot from (slot vs point), etc. A squared toe MIGHT add a little more snap and contact time on the closing of the blade, but it might be in my head.

LEFT-RIGHT ACCURACY

For accuracy, it's as easy as wherever you point your stick left to right is where the shot will end up. Luckily in hockey (unlike golf) the puck is on the blade for a LONG time (relatively speaking), so naturally wherever you point the stick is where the puck will go. So long as the length and lie of the stick are good for you, it should be easy enough to figure out right away. Of course being able to go post and in on the go takes thousands of shots worth of practice and muscle memory. But for you just worry about getting passes in the right direction.

STICK FLEX

Get the right flex for your height/weight/strength and don't worry much about it. You want to cup the puck at the start of the shot, meaning turning the blade over so it pushes the puck up against the ice, and you want a little pressure on the ice itself to get some stick flex, but you don't have to dig in. Think of shooting ALONG the ice rather than ON TOP of the ice. The ice surface will be a part of the shot, adding a little friction to the blade, but you don't have to smash it into the ground.

PUTTING IT TOGETHER

I would say you want to:

- learn the basic shoulder rotation and left-right movement
- learn the forearm push-pull and play with the release point
- learn the wrist roll snap and play with the timing
- put it together in motion and work of hitting targets

Each of those steps might take several weeks or even months to really understand and ingrain in your muscle memory. It took me two years to really get all of it down, although I didn't have the benefit of this giant mind dump that I made :laugh:

Okay, that should be plenty to work on for like six months :laugh:

Oh yeah, my video:


TickleMeYandle 09-12-2012 03:07 PM

Thanks! Yours is one of the videos I've watched multiple times and I've been trying to break it down much as you've done above.

It seems like one of those things that either you get it or you don't. Until you get it, you're just messing around with trial and error. Then once you get it, it sticks and you don't do it wrong any more. But then once you get it, it's hard to teach someone else how to do it, they just have to learn for themselves! I've had so many different people tell me what I need to do at practice - one will say 'hold your stick this way' while another will tell me 'start more towards the back' and a third will say 'roll your wrists more.' And it's quite likely that at that particular point in time, that IS the biggest issue they can see with my shot. So I'll focus on that issue, and in the meantime lose focus on the other things that need to be done.

Eventually I'm sure that I will get it, and then I'll be the one trying to tell n00bs how to do it and making it seem so darn EASY when there is really so much going on that is easily overlooked once you know how to do it properly!

Wilch 09-12-2012 03:45 PM

I don't wear my gloves when I practice as well.

They already stink enough as it is.

ean 09-12-2012 09:44 PM

I wouldnt over complicate things too much. Just practice. And also, work on your release. A fast release is just as important as a hard shot.

Baggy Spandex 09-12-2012 10:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Wilch (Post 54273921)
I don't wear my gloves when I practice as well.

They already stink enough as it is.

Newspaper man, newspaper. It saved my love life.

hockeyisforeveryone 09-13-2012 01:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ean (Post 54281893)
I wouldnt over complicate things too much. Just practice. And also, work on your release. A fast release is just as important as a hard shot.


Clownquestion I think we can feel two attitudes toward improving your shot in the first few reply's. On one hand you have the dynamics/physics of your technique, and another way to look at progressing is just physically shooting, shooting, shooting. I think we need both approaches.

My thought is don't worry about counting how many shots you take. Keep it fun and creative. Dangle a little bit, pull back and bam! Try with your back to the net pivoting quickly and then let loose. All different angles, may be with your hand at different positions on the stick, etc.

At the end of the day when your forearms and shoulders are burning take time and reread an explanation of the dynamics like Jarick was saying. It will inspire you and start to make that connection of being able to describe or truly relate to the experience.

I would agree it sounds like you're starting at the primitive, brute level of strengthening the bones, tendon, and muscles. Here you don't need to talk to much about it, just practice and more practice. Look at a 15 year old's wrist shot, they've had 10 YEARS to build up that ability. I am willing to guess if you keep it up you could surpass that in 1-2 years.

Sorry for the long winded post...I'm just excited and happy for you. I set up a practice pad and a tiny net like 2 years ago and my strength and technique, hands and puck feel have accelerated tremendously. Like the Buddists say the goal is the path...enjoy! :)

TickleMeYandle 09-13-2012 07:26 AM

Yeah, it always looks so easy for those guys on my team and the teens and stick & puck - but it's easy to forget that they've been playing forever! I've been playing for 4 months. When I actually thought about it the other day and realized that in 4 months I've learned how to skate 1000X better, how to be accurate with the puck, how to get a little force behind it (not a lot, but much more than I had), how to pass and receive...etc. I'm shocked at the amount of difference in just 4 months!

I just do 100 shots because it's a nice round number. I've got 10 pucks. I set them up, shoot them all, then my little girl picks them up for me. If I tell her that after 10 sets she can practice, she's happy to help. If I just tell her I'm going to shoot for a while, she'll probably get bored and go away.

Both of my arms have that achy feeling from when you first work out after a long break. It's a nice achy feeling, not really pain.

My shot is getting way more accurate. If nothing else, I'll be able to hit the net more consistently than before. And some of my shots are getting more powerful. I'm sure that as the muscles get stronger, that will continue.

I think that I'm starting to get some lift on the shots. But I can't really tell, since between the practice pad and the net is about 15' of rocks. And a slightly raised rock path. There is lots of resistance on the puck between my stick and the net, I'm curious to see how it plays out on the ice tomorrow night. I figure that if I'm able to consistently get from my blade to the net despite the obstacles of the rocks, the path, and the fact that the net is tiny, it should make it much easier on the ice.

My son - who is 13 and legally blind, so he can't play hockey - has teased me a lot about being horrible. He said he was going to come watch me shoot so he could tell me how bad I am. Well, c'mon out, boy...He came out and I hit the net 9 out of 10 times. Then I did some slapshots and hit it 9 out of 10 times again, but with a louder thunk and a lot more speed. Then he took a shot. Totally missed the net.

I just wanted to do the Nelson laugh. Anyway, he expressed his admiration of my shooting, so now that makes me the cool mom (at least for a day or two).

Jarick 09-13-2012 11:37 AM

The reason I dumped a whole crapload of info there is because...well it's the distillation of all the material I took in for several years trying to learn to shoot. Easier to find it all in one location than to dig around and read between lines and come up with your own theories.

You're still going to need to take shots, tens of thousands of them, because a lot of it is muscle memory and timing and building strength. But I do adhere to the thought that practice doesn't make perfect but permanent, and practicing the wrong way can make you worse. There are a lot of folks on my hockey team who have played for 5-10 years, maybe longer, and still have a fairly weak shot.

I suppose some people who are natural athletes will think it's self-explanatory and/or too complicated...but people like me who need to understand what they need to do and why, it makes things simpler.

I'd say each of those things (rotation, push/pull, wrist roll) were "AHA!" moments for me. I recall using the wrist roll for the first time on the ice and thinking "wow, I can hit the lip of the boards 8/10 times from 20 feet away!" Same with the push/pull, that was when my shots not only got a LOT harder, but my release was a lot quicker. Before that, I was trying to sweep the puck from back to front and it took at least twice as long to take a hard shot.

OTP Legend* 09-14-2012 02:45 PM

With today's sticks, I really think the most important thing to work on is your form/technique. Higher level players are extremely good at using the whip in their stick to quickly launch snap shots off. The most common error is shooting when the puck is too far in front of them. They don't use the whip of the stick to it's full potential.

I think a good shot is like...

50% technique.
30% core strength - basically your ability to generate and transfer energy to the stick.
20% upper body strength.

There is an Alexei Kovalev video on youtube that you may find useful to see what I mean. He just uses his stick and completely launches the puck off his stick like nothing.

Mr Jiggyfly 09-15-2012 03:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Clownquestion (Post 54264745)
My goal is 100 shots per day. I've been working on my wrist shot mostly since that is the one I'm weakest on. I can't get it to lift at all, and I don't have a lot of power

Honestly, don't even bother with your wrist shot... It is a clunky, slow shot that I haven't used in maybe 20 years. Almost every high level player, and especially NHLers, use a snapshot instead of a wrister.

I constantly see young kids and adults new to hockey trying to practice their wrist shot, but perfecting your snapshot will make you a much better overall player. Most newbies and young kids will do a wrister and the puck will wobble, flip end over end, etc. There honestly isn't much reason to practice a wrist shot, when you can focus all of that effort on perfecting your snapshot.

Why? It is faster, harder, more accurate and puts consistent rotation on the puck. You can also use a snapshot to pass the puck. It is so much easier to use a snapshot to saucer a pass... Snapping the puck to an open teammate way up ice (or across) is effortless, and you will rarely see the puck flutter using this shot.

Here are a couple of videos that will teach you the mechanics of a snapshot:

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xci...key-shoo_sport

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TYEE7...e_gdata_player

The second video will give you a real clear idea of the mechanics you have to follow to snap it.

Just remember that with a snapshot, you are snapping the blade of your stick a microsecond before it hits the ice/ pavement. With a wristshot you are dragging the puck with your stick... Slow...clunky....

Here is a drill I did as a kid to learn how to snap the puck:

Put the puck a few feet in front of your power foot (shoot lefty, your left foot; shoot righty your right foot). This is your "strike zone" and where your blade should ideally be making contact with the puck. You will be leaning all of your weight onto your front (power foot). Slowly lift up your back leg and practice a few "snaps" with your blade, then snap the puck.

Some quick tips:

- Fight the urge to keep both feet on the pavement and to drag the puck with your blade.

- The toes of your back leg should be off the pavement as you are snapping the puck. But practice with your toes raised and just barely touching the pavement until you become comfortable shifting your weight like this.

- No stick handling, no pulling the puck behind your leg... The puck should be perfectly still until you snap it...

It will feel awkward at first, but eventually you will find your center and your inertia will keep you up. This drill will allow you to get optimal transfer of power into every snapshot.

It sounds like a lot to remember, but once you start snapping the puck, you will eventually find what feels comfortable to you and you will start to feel your mechanics come more naturally.

Happy Fan 09-15-2012 07:43 PM

Your priority is finding as much time as you can to shoot and try to shoot AT LEAST 100 times a day, everyday.

Step one. Get a bucket that can fit 25 pucks.

Step two. Fill the bucket with 25 pucks.

Step three. Find a large brick wall or fence to shoot at *schools, tennis courts, baseball fields do fine*

Shoot the entire bucket 4 times in 4 different ways.

25 of each Sweeping wrist shots, Slapshots, Backhands and Snapshots.

This should take about 30 minutes total, depending on how quick you put all the pucks back in the bucket.


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