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-   -   How to keep your head up? (http://hfboards.hockeysfuture.com/showthread.php?t=444934)

OttersRus 11-20-2007 06:21 PM

How to keep your head up?
 
I've been playing house(non-checking) for a few years now, and next year I'll be going into a checking league (aka high school) any tips on how to learn to keep your head up? 'Cause I'm not very good at keeping it up as much as I should; I get caught staring at the puck often.

lotus 11-20-2007 06:28 PM

really man....just stickhandle a golf ball or something at home while watching tv. Or better yet do it outside with a roller hockey ball or a tennis ball, or even a golf ball again and try to take notice of everything around you.

Do that long enough and it will kind of be natural. Practice practice =p

ShowmeHawks 11-21-2007 08:04 AM

I cannot tell you how many hockey games that I watched while stickhandling a golf ball. It definetly helped me learn to keep my head up.

frito 11-21-2007 11:38 AM

Get your clock cleaned a couple times skating through center ice with your head down. You'll learn very quickly.

In all seriousness, I really liked the idea of watching hockey games while stickhandling. There are also some good off ice stickhandling videos on the USA hockey web-site. Some of those drills may help a bit. If you have a partner with whom you can work, you can both stickhandle while staring at each other's eyes. Try not to lose eye contact.

Sportacus 11-21-2007 11:51 AM

As has been said, just practice stickhandling a ball while paying attention to something else. It's probably better not to focus too long on anything in particular, but to notice everythign you can about your surroundings.

As stupid as this may sound, if you have the personnel and space available, stickhandle a ball while you have a friend throw stuff at you, and try to dodge while maintaining control of the ball. After a while, you'll start not even thinking about the ball, and your hands will be kind of on auto-pilot.

If it is common where you are (I starting hitting @ 9 years old) that people start hitting in high school, then one of your first practices, or even several are likely to have hitting drills, some of which are all about keeping your head up.

McNasty 11-21-2007 12:34 PM

Agreed, I do things like read HF boards and watch TV while I stickhandle, anything that requires you to focus on something more then your stickhandling.

ArchieIsGod 11-21-2007 04:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sportacus (Post 11296561)
As has been said, just practice stickhandling a ball while paying attention to something else. It's probably better not to focus too long on anything in particular, but to notice everythign you can about your surroundings.

As stupid as this may sound, if you have the personnel and space available, stickhandle a ball while you have a friend throw stuff at you, and try to dodge while maintaining control of the ball. After a while, you'll start not even thinking about the ball, and your hands will be kind of on auto-pilot.

If it is common where you are (I starting hitting @ 9 years old) that people start hitting in high school, then one of your first practices, or even several are likely to have hitting drills, some of which are all about keeping your head up.

if you can dodge a wrench you can dodge a bodycheck

LePalle 11-21-2007 05:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ArchieIsGod (Post 11299556)
if you can dodge a wrench you can dodge a bodycheck

Run through traffic while stickhandling.

guapo23 11-22-2007 01:18 PM

To keep your head up is pretty important.
Not just to avoid bodychecks but to always know where the other players are on the ice so you can make smart plays.

The biggest mistake a lot of players make when they start playing contact is doing too much East-West skating. If you are going North-South it is much harder to hit you with a seriously punishing bodycheck. If you are deking and feinting east-west, you put yourself in a vulnerable position to be blindsided. If you move the puck quickly with your head up, you will create a lot of 2-1 and give an goes.

When you are skating to the boards to pick up a loose puck ALWAYS take a quick look around to see where your opponents & teamates are. This way you will know where to pass the puck to and how long you have before you will be checked.
You don't have to keep your eye on the puck 100% of the time - if it's a loose puck it will still be there if you take a quick look around.

I ususally sneak several quick looks to the left and right to make sure it is safe to go get the puck. If an opponent is arriving fast, you can either try to avoid the hit or take the hit to make the play (a pass or clearing attempt).

The third option is don't go right to the puck - don;t put yourself in a vulnerable position. Stay near the puck & engage him as he gets close, try to lift his stick, turn it onto a puck battle along the boards. If he bodychecks you & you haven't touched the puck, he gets a penalty.

But be careful not to be too far from the boards. There is a danger zone when you are too far away (like 3-6 feet away) you can go head first or neck first into the boards. If you are going to be hit, much better to be close to the boards or in totally open ice.

saskganesh 11-22-2007 01:28 PM

ever play in mass pickup scrimmages with 10-12 guys a side? even with noncontact, you learn about traffic then.


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