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BHDefensiveForward 02-05-2012 12:10 AM

Advice needed for a short/light weight player
 
I'm looking for some advice being a light weight player. I'm only 5ft 6", but I'm not even 150lbs! I'm very fast, and I'm able to stick handle very well and deke. My slap shot is pretty hard for my size, which is nice. The issues is that it takes a shove and I'm out. I've tried waiting for a pass by moving around a lot to prevent myself from getting shoved over, but then someone will just steam roll me from behind. Any advice on technique for surviving out there? I can have a great shot, and stick handling ability, but if I'm being knocked around all the time it doesn't help my team, plus I never get passed to because of this.

Super Dave 02-05-2012 12:43 AM

Just a few tips off the top of my head:

-Use your speed to your advantage; always keep your feet moving and always look/go for the open ice
-To be stronger on the puck, widen your stance and bend your knees more
-Work-out your legs and core as much as possible

If you put in the time (especially in the gym), your size won't hold you back. With a low, wide stance, and the muscle to back it up, you could be very hard to knock over/get off the puck (think Marty St. Louis). Good luck.

BHDefensiveForward 02-05-2012 12:55 AM

Thanks Super Dave!

I'm actively working out in the gym, I believe my body fat percentage was 9% last I checked. I will give some of your ideas a test next game.

Thank you!

cptjeff 02-05-2012 01:05 AM

Use your speed to get to open areas. That's why you're not being passed to, you're in higher traffic areas where people aren't going to pass anyway. If you're getting shoved and knocked down when somebody's looking to pass the puck, that means there are opposing players right there, and you're in the wrong place to receive a pass to begin with.

Be quick, get to open areas. Learn to catch players going the wrong direction. Work on your core to improve your balance when you do get pushed, and don't expect to stay in the same place. Let yourself be moved some- you'll stay upright and skating.

You're never going to be somebody who can play a strong physical game. That's fine. Build your game around shiftiness, quickness and speed. For example, instead of staking out a spot in front of the net, you'll be much more effective if you keep moving. If you're in one spot trying to hold it, you'll be knocked around.

But if you're skating around in front, constantly finding the weak spots, you're going to give the D a hell of a time positioning themselves, and they won't be able to mess with you physically while they're trying to adapt to your position. Don't be afraid to drift away from the net too. Keep moving, pick your spots. Master your timing crashing in with other players.

Stay in motion. For an example, look at #2 on this video:


Yeah, there were D there, but he never gave them a chance to use their bodies.
There are probably better examples out there, but just watch the body of his work. St. Louis plays a great style for any short player to model their game after.

hockeyisforeveryone 02-05-2012 03:25 AM

Attack like a ****ing tiger. Be tenacious. I am your size and was a captain of some of my teams because of how hard I fought. I love this game because it's not about the size of your body, it's the size of your heart that matters. You can knock guys a foot taller flat on their ass by sheer power and skill. Remember, the bigger they are, the harder they'll fall.;)

michaelshu 02-05-2012 04:19 AM

i agree with spending some time in the gym to train your core and legs, they really help a lot. I'm about your size too and i workout daily

thing is if you have a stronger core and legs, it's easier for us to hip check taller guys and roll them over because when we lower our stance, our hips would be at their thighs.. remember, we are closer to the ground than they are so gravity will be in our favor :)

Capathetic 02-05-2012 05:09 AM

Learn to counter hit as well. I also agree with the poster above..you gotta fight them.Not saying go out and deliver big hits to get a target on your back,but bigger guys are often caught by suprise by smaller players fighting in corners.

Im 5,7 145 and do quite well playing in college. Yes I get trucked often,esp if I score early in a game but I score a decent amount still in high traffic areas.

izzy3 02-05-2012 05:50 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Super Dave (Post 43621225)
Just a few tips off the top of my head:

-Use your speed to your advantage; always keep your feet moving and always look/go for the open ice
-To be stronger on the puck, widen your stance and bend your knees more
-Work-out your legs and core as much as possible

If you put in the time (especially in the gym), your size won't hold you back. With a low, wide stance, and the muscle to back it up, you could be very hard to knock over/get off the puck (think Marty St. Louis). Good luck.

I think this is the best advice you can get. I even had big guys falling OVER me, as I get so low as soon as I realize a hit comes, that they do not have anything to hit, just air. Other then that, just be as elusive as you can. :)

Guffaw 02-05-2012 07:45 AM

I don't even think being small is that big of a disadvantage if at all. Today's hockey is all about speed, agility, quickness. I'm 6'2" and there are moves in tight areas I'll never be able to pull off that you probably can.

There are so many small players in the league now doing very well that are a testament to that. Briere, Girby, Gionta, Parise, Gomez, St. Louis, to a lesser extent Giroux. Matt Read may win the Calder. I don't know what he's listed at, but I don't think he's over 5'8".

backhander 02-05-2012 08:16 AM

work on skating...you can be 200lbs and get pushed over if you can't skate so improve your skating with a wide stance and workout to put on some muscle mass or gain higher strength in general. finally, use your confidence and determination to stay on your skates. if it doesn't work after the next 10 yrs of work then try or new sport or enjoy the game and your level of play.

goonx 02-05-2012 12:49 PM

Hmm... I'm in the same situation as well (definitely not as good as you) but I'm working hard on my skating. I'm one of the better skaters of my group and I can use my speed to chase down pucks in the corner. I'm not afraid to go into corners and try to battle it down low. I think for small guys, you just have to use the boards as leverage against the bigger guys.

Also, tight turns and quick start-stops are great maneuvers to slide around aka "spin-away" from your check. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TXQfT...eature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b7tBt4lUvxQ

As a small player that's going to my strategy to my game moving forward. What you lack in size, make it up in skill with skating and puck handling. :yo:

AndreD 02-05-2012 01:01 PM

Im 5 7/8 120 pounds so in a way even easier to be pushed around than you. The key is to use your height as an advantage. Work on staying as low to the ice as you can, a wide stance will also help alot. As long as you stay lower than the guy trying to push you, you have the advantage. You're never going to be able to be a physical player but you can use your size as a way to avoid being pushed around, in that sense you're alot better off than someone who similar weight to you and maybe 3 inches taller.

Basically don't try and match up push for push, stay low and push from underneath their centre of mass to take them off their feet.

BHDefensiveForward 02-05-2012 08:05 PM

The main issue is never present in a full size arena, just pick up games in smaller areas, or half rink. I'm always open on full ice because I keep on moving around.

I will try using my legs a bit more in tighter areas. Sadly in smaller play areas, if someone just ghosts you the whole time, it's hard to get fully open unless you stay out of the slot, then sneak in for a quick one timer, or rebounds.

Jarick 02-06-2012 11:01 AM

Welcome!

I'm 5'8 so I know about being short...but I haven't been under 150 in 10 years :)

The advice to keep your knees bent and legs wider is great. If you don't already, get squats and deadlifts in your workout routine.

I found going to a higher lie and shorter length stick helped me hold on to pucks better. In a tight area that might give you an advantage. Something to think about. Also, intermediate sticks are your friend. 65-70 flex even if you're strong.

I also took a cue from a teammate who was pretty much your size to just drive the net like you don't care. Hold that puck in tight close to the body and attack. Most of the time you'll draw defenders and get the puck around their net, buy some time for your linemates to come around.

jorbjorb 02-06-2012 02:56 PM

I'm 5'7 and 156lbs. Just keep your head up lol. As said before use your speed/stickhandling to your advantage. Also get little man syndrome you'll destroy people bigger than you if you put your mind to it.

BHDefensiveForward 02-07-2012 01:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jarick (Post 43680579)
Welcome!

I'm 5'8 so I know about being short...but I haven't been under 150 in 10 years :)

The advice to keep your knees bent and legs wider is great. If you don't already, get squats and deadlifts in your workout routine.

I found going to a higher lie and shorter length stick helped me hold on to pucks better. In a tight area that might give you an advantage. Something to think about. Also, intermediate sticks are your friend. 65-70 flex even if you're strong.

I also took a cue from a teammate who was pretty much your size to just drive the net like you don't care. Hold that puck in tight close to the body and attack. Most of the time you'll draw defenders and get the puck around their net, buy some time for your linemates to come around.

Thanks! I guess this works great considering my last topic about no slap shot height! I shortened the stick last game, and I was shooting boomers that made the goalie clinch! I was even able to out deke two guys, mainly because of my quick hands and waiting for them to make a stupid move like a poke check while I'm coming at them with speed, so I just toe dragged around their sticks.

I just need to watch the shoves. When I move forward with speed, all my weight is in front of me, and if I take a hit to the back I'm face down on the ice!

I'm using a stick at my collar bone, with lie 5.5! Works great so far, just I suck on the defensive unless I can get my body under someone, as I have no reach anymore.

Jarick 02-07-2012 09:37 AM

Nice, that's exactly what I do. Get close, dangle the puck out to them, and then go around. Usually they can't skate backwards/turn as well as I can forwards, so at least I can get it in the zone. Parity is better this year though so only one team was I able to just cruise around the D-men (and scored several embarassing goals).

What position do you play?

BHDefensiveForward 02-07-2012 11:23 AM

I normally play Right Wing, as I shoot left I like pulling the goalie to the right side, and shooting top left on him! I do play Left Wing as well, but I have no issues receiving for making a pass off my backhand, so I play on my off wing more. I do play center for face offs, but not as often.

I'm also an ex goalie. ;)

newfr4u 02-07-2012 12:05 PM

BH,

how about hitting a buffet a couple of times a week and replacing water with a few pints of chocolate milk? make a point of adding some muscle (say 5lbs of muscle, maybe 7-10 lbs total) and see how it affects your game.

Jarick 02-07-2012 12:16 PM

I'm also a winger (mostly, although sometimes a D-man). I either stay close to the D-man in our zone if he's pretty good or else pinch in near the top of the circles and the middle to try and cut off the pass.

Great read on playing wing in the D zone

ponder 02-07-2012 12:51 PM

Just to clarify, are you talking about ball hockey or ice hockey, and contact or non contact? Because the tips will be fairly different. I ask because your previous thread was about ball hockey, but in this thread you mentioned ice. I think ball hockey favors larger players even more so than ice, it's a slower, less fluid game, so speed doesn't help as much, and while getting low and being tenacious can win you a lot of puck battles on the ice, where you can catch guys off balance, in ball hockey it's tougher because everyone is pretty balanced on concrete in shoes, so strength plays a bigger role.

Samcanadian 02-07-2012 01:32 PM

Jim Slater and Tyler Myers.

Myers with an 8" height advantage.




Mc5RingsAndABeer 02-07-2012 01:41 PM

Agree with basically everything people have said so far.

You've have to be very sound with your skating fundamentals. If you can get a coach to critique your stride / cross-overs / etc... it'll be very helpful. Some of the things you gotta do to keep balance are unnatural and even some NHLers don't do it well.

BHDefensiveForward 02-07-2012 02:09 PM

My issue is with both ball and ice hockey. When I play in smaller areas for ball hockey I have one heck of a time trying to stay open without getting slapped around. On ice hockey I have little issue in full rinks, just half rinks or pond hockey.

Kulluminati 02-07-2012 03:42 PM

A lot of the previous posts have very helpful ideas.

I'm similar in size to you, 150lbs and 5'9", same skill set more or less; speedy, dangles, decent clapper (i hardly use mine) and i got a really nice wrister. I played contact hockey from ages 12-18 and by the time i was 16 i was one of the smaller guys on my team. I was never one to give out alot of hits, but be aggressive and don't let the idea of being roughed up a bit change your gameplay (don't get shell shocked). you should go to the gym and do leg work outs, squats and other exercises that use exercise balls to increase balance. see if you can tweak your stance as despite my size, ive had guys tell me im pretty damn hard to knock off the puck. also as others have said, move around a lot, if your fast and have good positioning your a nightmare for the opposing D-men. keep your head up and good luck.


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