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-   -   Best way to learn to keep your head up? (http://hfboards.hockeysfuture.com/showthread.php?t=771698)

Ducksgo* 05-02-2010 11:20 PM

Best way to learn to keep your head up?
 
Just got back from a scrimmage today, noticed my head down is focused on stick handling and if the puck is on my heel in order to wrist shot. Any of you have advice on how to keep your head up instead of worrying about the puck?

WhipNash27 05-02-2010 11:20 PM

Practice stickhandling a lot. It's the only way.

LakeshoreWest 05-02-2010 11:32 PM

Get smoked in the neutral zone once or twice

Moses Doughty 05-02-2010 11:33 PM

Imagine Scott Stevens, Ulf Samuelsson(sp?) and Cam Neely are all on the other team, and on the ice as you take the puck up. Should do the trick by pure scariness.

BadHammy* 05-03-2010 12:32 AM

Work on skating with the puck out in front of you more, that'll help a lot.

Hockeyfan68 05-03-2010 01:17 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by donGjohnson (Post 25598733)
Work on skating with the puck out in front of you more, that'll help a lot.

Yep and use the peripheral vision for looking down at the puck while looking straight ahead. You can do both at once :)

AvDog 05-03-2010 03:01 AM

I think it's just comfort with the puck. Practice stickhandling while watching TV or focusing on something else.

Just today I was wondering if I could stickhandle while playing Wii Fit with the balance board just so I can get used to thinking about other things than the puck.

raygunpk 05-03-2010 05:16 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TheMonster (Post 25598089)
Get smoked in the neutral zone once or twice

This. I had to adapt pretty quick after my first big hit.
Get a smartball and just practice while watching TV.

noobman 05-03-2010 08:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DubiSnacks17 (Post 25597904)
Practice stickhandling a lot. It's the only way.

Quote:

Originally Posted by donGjohnson (Post 25598733)
Work on skating with the puck out in front of you more, that'll help a lot.

This, plus Hockeyfan's comment pretty much sum it up. You need to be confident enough in your stickhandling to not look down.

Just remember that heads up doesn't mean heads up *all* the time. Every now and then you'll need to glance down at the puck... even the pros do it if they bobble it, or if it gets poked away a little bit. You just have to be aware of your surroundings and know when NOT to put your head down. The last thing you want to do is join the Eric Lindros School of Skating over the Blue Line with your Head Down.

BrainOfJ 05-03-2010 08:40 AM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cOuiRgUVwQo

greech 05-03-2010 08:46 AM

Work on looking up and stickhandling in shoes, it works well in a garage with a golf ball. Then move on to bouncing the ball off the wall and catching the return while not looking down. If you do this pretty regularly you'll notice a quick improvement.

Badger36 05-03-2010 03:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DubiSnacks17 (Post 25597904)
Practice stickhandling a lot. It's the only way.

^This.

Quote:

Originally Posted by TheMonster (Post 25598089)
Get smoked in the neutral zone once or twice

^and this...:nod:

rinkrat22 05-03-2010 04:13 PM

I dont know how old you are, but when you drive a car you dont focus on one thing. Your eyes have to constantly scan... road, gages, mirror, on and on it goes.

stick handling a puck (or ball) is the same thing. practice and confidence. like the boys said find something else to focus on while practicing your puck control.

internet porn works well...:D:D:D

hoonking 05-03-2010 04:17 PM

It all comes down to practice. There is no magical method which will make you keep your head up. The reason you keep your head down is because you aren't confident in your puck-handling skills, so if you keep working on it (maybe go up and down the rink just trying to keep your head up) you will eventually feel comfortable with not looking at the puck.

BLKHKhockey 05-03-2010 07:15 PM

You can try using a wood stick/blade for a while. The extra puck feel will help.

JustinW 05-03-2010 07:26 PM

Practice using your peripheral vision. You will be a much better hockey player once you do this. You can focus on what is in front of you and the players all around you.

cleaving 05-03-2010 07:28 PM

skate with the puck and practice your stick handling.

Ducksgo* 05-04-2010 09:09 PM

Friendly bump, anyone have past experiences on how long it took to finally feel comfortable with the puck?. I am asking this to get a time frame on how long it usually takes. I know everyone is different, but to just get a general idea would great.

Thanks

BadHammy* 05-05-2010 11:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ducksgo (Post 25635206)
Friendly bump, anyone have past experiences on how long it took to finally feel comfortable with the puck?. I am asking this to get a time frame on how long it usually takes. I know everyone is different, but to just get a general idea would great.

Thanks

Depending how often and at what level you play, there are different stages. Stage one is you have to look down all the time, stage two is you look down half the time, stage three is you look down occasionally, stage four is you almost never have to look down. Most of us won't get past stage 3, 4 is kind of reserved for professionals.

nystromshairstylist 05-06-2010 03:15 PM

At an adult clinic yesterday the coach had us skating with the puck around pylons (real ones, not newbies like i was ;) ) and it was quite a challenge - but very helpful.

The next time I go to a stick-n-puck, I will steal a small chunk of the ice to set up some pylons, and practice skating in and out of them with the puck. The key i think is keeping them pretty close together to maintain the difficulty.

May not make me popular if the rink is crowded, but it'll definitely make me a better puckhandler.

Ducksgo* 05-06-2010 06:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nystromshairstylist (Post 25665892)
At an adult clinic yesterday the coach had us skating with the puck around pylons (real ones, not newbies like i was ;) ) and it was quite a challenge - but very helpful.

The next time I go to a stick-n-puck, I will steal a small chunk of the ice to set up some pylons, and practice skating in and out of them with the puck. The key i think is keeping them pretty close together to maintain the difficulty.

May not make me popular if the rink is crowded, but it'll definitely make me a better puckhandler.

Had my private lesson with my instructor yesterday, heres another idea if you can't get any pylons. Set up about six pucks in a row and about foot away from each other and stick handle between them. And when you stick handle past the last puck shoot it into the goal and move on to the next puck and do the same. This has improved my stick handling tremendously, but I still can't keep my head up to this though :help:

meanolthing 05-06-2010 09:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ducksgo (Post 25597895)
Just got back from a scrimmage today, noticed my head down is focused on stick handling and if the puck is on my heel in order to wrist shot. Any of you have advice on how to keep your head up instead of worrying about the puck?

Watch a few video's of Eric Lindros on YouTube, that'll learn ya :P.

In regard to working on peripheral vision, try walking down a street with your eyes straight ahead. As you pass objects and people, try to keep focus on them without breaking the thousand-yard stare.

noobman 05-06-2010 10:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by meanolthing (Post 25675406)
Watch a few video's of Eric Lindros on YouTube, that'll learn ya :P.

In regard to working on peripheral vision, try walking down a street with your eyes straight ahead. As you pass objects and people, try to keep focus on them without breaking the thousand-yard stare.

This is also very useful when a hot girl walks by. Learn to look without looking directly *AT* the girl.. that's how I learned to use my peripherals :laugh:

ryangib 05-07-2010 06:32 AM

when i first got back on the ice after not playing for about 8 years i had the same problem. whenever i would go to open hockey, before the scrimmage got going, i would just take some laps trying to get the hang of it better. slowly but surely it came back. also, whoever said practice in your room or garage, thats also great. if you have a hardwood floor in your house, i find using one of those foam practice pucks work great.

Seth Lake 05-07-2010 09:47 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ducksgo (Post 25669285)
Had my private lesson with my instructor yesterday, heres another idea if you can't get any pylons. Set up about six pucks in a row and about foot away from each other and stick handle between them. And when you stick handle past the last puck shoot it into the goal and move on to the next puck and do the same. This has improved my stick handling tremendously, but I still can't keep my head up to this though :help:

Joel Ward of the Predators does this every day at the end of practice starting with ten pucks and stickhandling through every last one and putting it in the net before he leaves the ice. Every day without fail. Other players, especially the rookies and call-ups that are looking for any little advantage they can get, pick up on it and start to do the same thing.

It's something that I enjoy watching because I know if Wardo still does it daily as a pro, I can do it whenever I get out on the ice myself...

Ward also will do random patterns as well with a bunch of pucks spread out in about a 10' area. He will stickhandle a random course through every one of them and go down and shoot. If he loses the puck, he picks up another and starts all over again...

IMO, Joel Ward is one of the toughest players in the league to get the puck away from in the corners...he just doesn't let it go...


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