Thread: slapshot help
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08-23-2007, 11:35 AM
Kevin Wey
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Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Des Moines
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The Hockey Shot website is a good resource.

It's hard to diagnose your problem without seeing you. You may have the puck too far forward when you shoot, you may not be following through, you may be firing your muscles in the incorrect sequence... In shooting, muscle sequence should go from large muscle groups to small ones: legs -> pelvis -> core -> pecs -> shoulders -> arms -> forearms -> wrists/hands.

Some players may skip steps and use almost their upper body entirely for their shot. Often with slap shots, people aren't following through as they do with their wrist shot. Others might start moving parts of their upper body before they move their core (when shooting), the list goes on.

I'd ask a good coach in your area that's real good at teaching skills (that may not be the coach of your team, I don't know) that could watch you and knows these things. People sometimes think asking a good player to help them is the answer, and it might help, but players don't always know exactly why they're so good at what they do. A good coach that has also played at a high level of hockey will probably be the most help, because he'll (or maybe even she'll) be able to break down the shot for you, watch you carefully and diagnose your problem, and help you do some Whole Part Whole training/drills to rectify your problem, and demonstrate these things to you.

Lastly, with younger players especially, I often see people using too stiff of a stick for their strength. Some people think that a stiff stick automatically generates power: wrong. That stick bend is important in creating velocity, because that stick bend is important because it increases the time in which the force is applied. This principal of classical mechanics is very easy to demonstrate with wrist shots with the distance of the sweeping motion. Obviously, a stick that is too whippy for a player will be bad, too, but I don't see as many players making this mistake.

Blade patterns do make a difference, but a good player can take a blade that is a "closed" blade and lift it. I use a Montreal composite stick with a "closed" blade and it consistently reminds me if I'm not following through on my slap shot, as I won't be able to raise the puck as I desire. That said, most slaps shots should be low anyway. How often do we see players snipe a slap shot top shelf in the NHL? Very rarely. How often do we see it stay low, get lost in traffic and feet and the goalie can't track it, or it gets deflected. Aside from Bill Guerin and Christian Ehrhoff trying a one-time with Guerin's face, most redirections happen one foot or less of the ice.

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