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-   -   Shooting - power, strength, technique? (http://hfboards.hockeysfuture.com/showthread.php?t=1179061)

TickleMeYandle 04-27-2012 12:02 PM

Shooting - power, strength, technique?
 
I've not had any actual instruction in shooting, so I'm just trying to do my best with what I can find on Youtube etc.

I've been playing now for 6 weeks. I can actually shoot now - it's weak, but I can actually get it to the net. First time out, I usually missed the net by going wide, or just not getting the puck there because it stopped short.

So I can see the improvement - my accuracy is better, distance too. But I seem to be the only one at stick time who can't do the type of shots that get the puck really flying, or higher in the net. I can hit it hard enough to make it go THUNK against the boards and then bounce back - but not hard enough to be any sort of impressive.

What is the next step? What shot should I be working on? Is it mostly a strength thing that makes it go further/harder/higher? Or a technique thing? I know a lot of it is going to just be practicing shots until I get it right - but I really don't want to practice it wrong and then have to unlearn.

I never make any shots past goalies unless I get super-lucky with a rebound, because they always have tons of time to stop the puck, and it's very predictable where it's going to end up. I'd like to have the option of shooting low or high rather than always low and slow.

Stories 04-27-2012 12:26 PM

I would say, make sure you're putting enough force into the stick downwards. Remember, most of the power on a shot comes from flexing the stick and the whip that comes from the stick into the blade. Also, make sure you're pulling back with your top hand enough so that you're getting adequate lever-like action.

nightfighter 04-27-2012 12:38 PM

How's your balance and weight transfer? Are you cupping the puck (on a wrist shot) instead of just swiping at it?

You don't need a lot of strength to raise the puck or even to get a hard shot. Focus on your technique (hands and balance) and you'll figure it out.

Uncle Slick 04-27-2012 12:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by frackiewicz (Post 48927277)
I've been playing now for 6 weeks. ....

What is the next step?

Easy answer is repetition of proper technique.

How old are you?
Advice for a kid is a bit different than advice for an adult.

Coached AAA for 26 years (13-15 yr old boys). All our shooting sessions were wrist shots and snap shots. Our focus was technique, wrist positioning during weight transfer and stick speed. Repetition, on dry land and on the ice. Over these years, we had some of our more successful players (NHL/AHL) return and volunteer as quest coaches to reinforce various skills with our players during our off-season workouts.

fwiw, ... We let the boys work on their slap shots on their own time, not team time.

TickleMeYandle 04-27-2012 01:33 PM

I'm 40.

I haven't worked a whole lot on weight transfer, positioning, etc. My balance is pretty good, I think I've got a couple of pieces of the puzzle but not all. It would be helpful to find someone who can maybe walk me through it a couple of times slowly so I can see how it's supposed to be and then practice that on my own.

Jarick 04-27-2012 01:48 PM

My advice:

Check the stick length, possibly shorten it. I find it's easier to do nearly everything in hockey with a little shorter than average stick. If you're above the nose in bare feet, try cutting to the nose. If you're at the nose, try 1-2" shorter.

Check the stick flex and possibly go down. Too stiff means you can't transfer power into the stick properly and might cause you to miss shots wide and/or injure your joints.

Try keeping your hands a forearm length apart. It should help with accuracy, push-pull action, and making passing easier too. I'm assuming you're talking about wrist shots.

Cup the puck slightly. A lot of guys want to swat at the puck or swipe it or try and whack it like a golf ball. That's not how you get power in hockey. You need to push slightly against the ice to really get some power into the shot.

Come to think of it, maybe that's why people used to start the shot so far behind them. You naturally cup the puck when the puck is so far back in the shooting stance. It's not the distance but the cupping that traps the puck between the blade and ice and then you push-pull with your arms and upper body to fire it.

Read through some of the threads on the subject especially stick guide and wrist shot ones. Feel free to bump them or come back with questions too!

TickleMeYandle 04-27-2012 03:03 PM

Thanks! I'll read through those threads.

I just had my husband cut my stick last night. I was told by 2 different people last week that it was too long, it was about nose height and now it's even with my upper lip. I didn't notice a huge difference yet, but we'll see.

Jarick 04-27-2012 03:04 PM

In skates or bare feet?

TickleMeYandle 04-27-2012 03:07 PM

bare feet

I have a pretty basic stick: Easton Synergy SY50
It's part of the starter kit from the local shop.

Jarick 04-27-2012 03:23 PM

That's wood, right? I'm guessing you're not too tall? Might be WAY too stiff for you.

neksys 04-27-2012 03:30 PM

FWIW as a sort of beginner, I switched from an 87 flex senior stick to a 67 flex intermediate.

I'm 5'8 and had to cut both down. According to the scale printed on the side, my senior stick was close to a 100 flex, and my INT stick is around 73 or so.

HUGE DIFFERENCE.

I'm 5'8" and 180 lbs so conventional wisdom says I should probably use a slightly heavier stick, but my shooting has improved immeasurably with the whippier stick.

mug25 04-27-2012 04:07 PM

My advice to you is get a net. Set it up in your driveway or garage, get a ton of pucks and shoot, shoot, shoot. When I was learning how to play (was 24), after work I would shoot close to 100 pucks a night for 4-5 nights a week.

You dont have to be on the ice to practice your shot.

Anyway, aside from some of the great advice on here, you may want to check these videos out along with the 100's of other How-To videos on YouTube.

http://howtohockey.com/category/ice-...hockeyshooting

Marotte Marauder 04-27-2012 05:52 PM

Always remember to turn (snap) that bottom hand over on follow through. Much more power, particularly on a snap/slap shot.

Good luck

qmechanic 04-27-2012 11:46 PM

When I coach beginner adult hockey, everyone wants to know how they can lift the puck. Women, in particular, really struggle with lifting the puck.

I'll talk about the wrist shot. The lifting comes at the end of the wrist shot, when you quickly open and close the blade, snapping your wrists. The sweeping motion where you bring the puck from behind your body to in front, has nothing to with elevating the puck. So if you want to practice lifting, start with the puck aligned with your front skate, with the puck in the middle of your blade. Then practice just the part where you open your wrists, snap them, and follow-through. Imagine a video of a pro hockey player taking a wrist shot and just do the last part of the video starting when the puck is already near the front foot.

Some general tips: Try to avoid staring at your feet when you're shooting (don't know if you have this problem, I do this all the time). Always keep your eye on the target and follow-through to where you're looking. Also, you'll get more power in your shot, if you take a big hard step with your leading leg.

qmechanic 04-27-2012 11:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mug25 (Post 48939051)
My advice to you is get a net. Set it up in your driveway or garage, get a ton of pucks and shoot, shoot, shoot. When I was learning how to play (was 24), after work I would shoot close to 100 pucks a night for 4-5 nights a week.

I find that shooting off a board (dryland) is a lot easier than shooting on the ice. Dryland shots experience much more friction, which gives you a better feel for the puck and allows the puck to stay on your blade longer (more leniency on timing). Because of friction, it's also much easier to flex the stick. When I shoot dryland, I can really feel the stick bending like a bow, not so much on the ice. One of the biggest problems with shooting wrist shots on ice, is that the puck has already rolled off the blade and lost contact, at the moment when the snap is attempted. Dryland is more forgiving on this timing.

So you might want try shooting dryland first. When you've aced those beautiful high wrist shots, try the same on ice, but with a much faster snap and follow-through. This motion needs to be very quick and almost violent. (Sometimes I pretend to be very angry at the puck :) .)

michaelshu 04-27-2012 11:52 PM

In my experience teaching older players (not really a coach tho), they often forget the push-pull motion. I find this will help in rolling your wrist and snapping.
Get the techniques right first, proper flex, then you can worry about adding strength later.

Sample video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wHrDJybht-Q

qmechanic 04-27-2012 11:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by frackiewicz (Post 48927277)
What is the next step? What shot should I be working on? Is it mostly a strength thing that makes it go further/harder/higher? Or a technique thing? I know a lot of it is going to just be practicing shots until I get it right - but I really don't want to practice it wrong and then have to unlearn.

The traditional way of learning hockey shooting is to first master the forehand wrist shot. I think that's still good advice. The wrist shot contains most of the shooting techniques you'll use in hockey -- weight transfer, torso rotation, flexing the stick, opening/closing blade, wrist snap, follow-through.

That previous sentence show that the wrist shot is much more about technique than strength. Can you imagine trying to think about weight transfer, flexing the stick, wrist snap, etc simultaneously while perfectly timing the sequence of events?

I'm a fan of the approach where you break a complicated technique down into smaller, more manageable parts. Here's a progression I made up, which incorporates some of my earlier discussion:

1) Get a net and a board and practice 100 partial wrist shots daily (or as much as your schedule allows) on dryland. Break the wrist shot down into the sweep/weight-transfer (part 1 of the shot) and the open-wrist/snap/follow-through (part 2 of the shot). Practice just part 2 until you get good at it. This kind of motion is very similar to a snap shot.

2) Practice just part 1. Only sweep and weight transfer, without shooting the puck.

3) Shoot 100 full wrist shots every session with both part 1 and 2. The tricky thing is tying part 1 and 2 together. You have to time it, so that you start opening the blade up at the right moment during the sweeping motion.

4) As you start getting better, focus on placing your shots (e.g. upper righthand corner). Also, try shooting from weird angles and positions. This can be a lot of fun. (Can you shoot off one leg?)

5) Transition from dryland to ice. Go through the same progression (1-4), shooting on the ice against the boards.

6) (on ice) Skate with the puck toward the net and practice shooting on goal.

Notes:

[1] "part 1" and "part 2" of the shot break down into smaller components, but too much technical detail to get into here.

[2] Realistically one would probably be doing multiple items on this list at the same time (e.g. dryland shooting and going to practice/stick time at the rink), but it's most effective to really focus on mastering a particular item.

[3] If you're frustrated with the forehand wrist shot, you can take a break and work on the backhand wrist shot (same technique) for a changeup.

Sorry, I always write too much. Hope this was helpful. Shooting experts, feel free to correct any mistakes.


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