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-   -   Ball Hockey, Shooting with Longer Stick (http://hfboards.hockeysfuture.com/showthread.php?t=1282981)

BHDefensiveForward 11-14-2012 12:56 AM

Ball Hockey, Shooting with Longer Stick
 
Hey everyone, I haven't been on here in a while. I finished playing Inline a few months back as the starting goaltender, thankfully we won the championship. Now I'm going back to playing as a forward. I've had a lot of threads before about shooting and stick length, but now I'm running into some issues.

I'm 5ft 6", and I play with a stick around collar bone height in Ball Hockey. (No ice hockey right now). My stick handling is great, and my shot release is pretty fast for wrist and snap shots. The accuracy isn't bad either. However, the group I'm playing with has known me to play with a very long stick, between nose and eyebrow height, which I could dangle, poke check, and grind my way to the net with. Many of the players think I should go back to that stick height because my game has dropped big time since my last play. Most of the guys are 5ft 11" - 6ft+ so I find it hard to get around most guys or poke check. Getting passes are hit or miss depending on if the guy passes it directly to me or not, and isn't wide. Now I cannot take slap shots anymore, I tried after a long break last week and both shoulders flared up for four days!

I'm looking to find a better way to shoot with a longer stick because I usually have to drag the ball across my body with my lower hand roughly half way down the shaft to shoot due to stick length, but the power isn't really there anymore. My slap shots are very fast, but again I cannot use this shot anymore. If I do the old school wrist shot with a sweeping motion, I rarely have time to get the shot off before someone is blocking the shot, or right under my stick.

Any suggestions?

Jarick 11-14-2012 08:49 AM

I tried a 2" longer stick and couldn't do anything with it. Went 1" longer and it's manageable. Don't change too much at once.

JR97 11-14-2012 03:49 PM

Who cares what your teammies say. Use what works for you. What make/model/flex are you using? I find it easier to change my game than change equipment like that. The last time I played ball hockey I went with a lip length stick on skates. I'm about your height and played D. I wasn't going to out reach anybody so I had to really on position and fleet of footiness to make up the difference of my shorter stick. The beauty of ball hockey is the whippier the better since the ball has zero weight to it. I had shoulder issues for years wielding senior sticks in the 90+ flex range (more than that since I cut them down so much). Sticks that stiff for ball don't make sense especially given my height/weight.

I moved to intermediate flex's and the shoulder issues went away. Even playing ice and taking slappers.

BHDefensiveForward 11-14-2012 06:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JR97 (Post 55768449)
Who cares what your teammies say. Use what works for you. What make/model/flex are you using? I find it easier to change my game than change equipment like that. The last time I played ball hockey I went with a lip length stick on skates. I'm about your height and played D. I wasn't going to out reach anybody so I had to really on position and fleet of footiness to make up the difference of my shorter stick. The beauty of ball hockey is the whippier the better since the ball has zero weight to it. I had shoulder issues for years wielding senior sticks in the 90+ flex range (more than that since I cut them down so much). Sticks that stiff for ball don't make sense especially given my height/weight.

I moved to intermediate flex's and the shoulder issues went away. Even playing ice and taking slappers.

Sadly my shoulders are so bad to the point that even slap shots with jr. sticks would cause flare up, and even a plastic dom stick. I have a lot of arm strength so when I hit the "ice" or ground in this case, the energy some how comes back up and causes the shoulders to flare up is what my doctor is saying (I guess vibration). Also, the raise causes the shoulders to pinch, and slamming down very fast and hard makes that tendon get pinched while sliding between the bones.

My real issue is I love playing with a stick at eye brow height, and I have done this for a few years (spent a lot of time learning to dangle as well), but I was using the slap shot a lot and loading up on anti-inflammatory pills in league play. I almost hit the point of needing steroid shots, but never did and just went to goal tending.

My old group thinks when I get the ball, or puck I'm just going to rip a hard slapper, but this is no longer the case. So I went to playing with a stick at collar bone height to do mainly snap and wrist shots. This has pretty much taken all of my pain away, but I miss the reach and be able to steal a lot due to my speed. Then I get criticism for using such a tiny twig, and I don't get as many passes anymore.

Other than that, to be honest the shorter stick allows me to rip shots very quickly with such a fast release, but I loose a lot of my old play style and I'm no longer able to play man on man as much as before. I need to play on the lanes as opposed to challenging a player. When I do have the ball / puck I can get through traffic very well and rarely need to worry about getting my stick tied up because it's so short. With the long stick I could still get in traffic, but it was easier for another player to pop the stick up, plus shots required a lot more space for setup and time.

I guess I could stay with the short stick, but I would need tips on how to play effectively with a shorter stick as this is one of the few times I've used anything this short. Or, I go back to a longer stick which I enjoyed much more and learn to shoot with more power without getting back into slap shots, or damaging my shoulders again.

I use an Easton Stealth Int 85 Flex (Hall), but cut down as a longer stick it's maybe 95 flex, a short twig, well over 110+, this is just my ball hockey stick. For ice I would use a Easton 65 flex int, but again, longer stick the flex is alright, but collar bone height causes the flex to go way up due to cutting.

jazz4all 11-14-2012 10:24 PM

i think with shorter stick, you can gain more speed and increase puck control. passing is even better with shorter stick. but yeah, shooting can be suffered.

BHDefensiveForward 11-15-2012 12:06 AM

Well, I got a pickup game tomorrow. I will cut the stick to around nose/upper lip height, and post back. I'll try some shots and compare with my shorter stick at the same time.

Based on a few games already, I know my shorter stick is killing my play style. Unless I have the ball, I'm pretty much useless, and even then I rarely get passed to, and if I do it happens to be wide and I cannot reach.

Jarick 11-15-2012 10:35 AM

If you're having trouble doing anything other than carrying the puck and shooting, for sure go longer. You need that happy medium. I know when my stick gets too long I can't shoot or stickhandle when I get the puck.

JR97 11-15-2012 02:08 PM

I always shoot better with a longer stick. If you go lighter flex and really lean into it, you can get some serious zip. In ball hockey it's a little tougher because the ball doesn't resist like a puck does. Which requires using a little a more shoulder. :huh:

Do you know what the shoulder issue is? I had a partial separation and now my joint is filled with scar tissue. It hasn't flared up in about a year but I don't really shoot slappers anymore. When it's bad it's like you described.

BHDefensiveForward 11-15-2012 07:07 PM

I have shoulder impingement in both shoulders.

http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=a00032

I have type 3 as seen in the picture below:

http://www.t-nation.com/img/photos/2...3/acromion.jpg

This is the worst possible type you can be born with sadly.

I've cut my stick to upper lip, and will test it tonight at hockey. I know I had a thread before I left for goal tending, and my sweet spot was around this height before. I will post back my results, but just from stick handling alone, I'm still on par with my ability with the increase from collar bone to upper lip. Having a 5.5 lie helps a lot! :)

BHDefensiveForward 11-16-2012 12:23 AM

So I played the game tonight and my stick handling, passing and dangling are much better with the upper lip height stick with a lower lie, than with my shorter stick!

The reason why is I'm so use to using a longer stick for stick handling, I can tilt the stick and use the toe to move the ball around my body very closely. I can go between two players like this, and once I'm free and clear, I sweep the ball all the way out in front of me and run like mad. It's hard for them to get it because of my reach and speed. I also did a lot of take aways this game which I could rarely do with the short stick. My passes were spot on, and release was pretty quick for those passes. I found it easier to make space to set up lanes as well.

Shooting was alright, full sweeping wrist shots had a lot more power, but sadly I would shoot too high and only hit top left or right. If I didn't lift the stick on follow through, I could hit bottom right, left, and five hole. Middle level shots are very hard...

Now loading the stick for snap shots wasn't bad considering I'm using a flex of 95 after cutting the 85 down. I can flex the stick a few inches, but not much when pushing down. I'm guessing a 65 flex cut down would be around 75 flex and would be much better for me.

Now my forearms are really hurting from using the longer stick, I'm guessing the snap shots. I'm getting a tad bit of pain on my right shoulder, but this might be due to my top hand being up and elbow back which causes some stress on the shoulder. I'll know in a few days if it's really bad or not.

The issues I'm having with shooting is accuracy. When I do a snap shot, I need to do a half follow through to shoot accurately, other wise the full follow through just goes way off and too high. Any reason why this is occurring? I take the ball as I'm facing forward, and the ball is on my left side, I push down on hard while the stick's blade is semi closed to the ground, hard due to the ball size, and push forward with my arms towards my target until they're straight, then snap forward. Fully will cause height and bad aim, but a half follow through improves power and aim for some reason...

noobman 11-16-2012 10:45 AM

I find that I can use the same stick length for ice hockey and ball hockey because of the more upright stance I take while running as opposed to skating.

IHaveNoCreativity 11-17-2012 06:12 PM

Play with whatever you're comfortable with !

BHDefensiveForward 11-20-2012 07:18 PM

Just posting back, my shoulders are fine!! So it's just no slap shots, length is not an issue. I have pick up today, I'm hoping to find a better way for shooting other than wrist shot.

With the snap shot in ball hockey, must I use the old school snap shot? I find it hard to load a ball while it's on the blade and just release. I've seen most guys keep the blade on the ground roughly a foot away from the ball, and just slide it towards the ball, shooting a hard shot. Never could do this was a ball myself.

Jarick 11-21-2012 10:29 AM

I can't shoot a ball worth a crap but any kind of snap or slap shot seems to work better than any kind of wrist shot.

With pucks that wrist roll action gets it flying like a frisbee which adds spin and makes it fly flatter, therefore faster and more accurate (cuts through the air). If you just whack at it, it will wobble and be a slow crappy shot.

But with a ball, there's no direction that is more aerodynamic than any other, so if you just whack at it, the spin might change it's direction SLIGHTLY, but not anywhere near as much as the puck. I would guess with the short distances in hockey that spin is not important but initial velocity is.

This is probably why a lot of ball hockey guys might not even tape the stick, because there's no friction on the ball so why bother with the blade. Might change the feel is about it. Try shooting a hockey ball vs a tennis ball, it's a big difference. Meanwhile the puck has little bumps on the side for friction and it's weight is higher which also helps with sticking it to the blade for wrist shots.

Just an educated guess from me, but in ball hockey I would be all about snap and slap shots, never wrist shots.


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