Thread: Soft hands tips
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06-03-2009, 05:01 PM
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Having good hands in hockey is all about using the right moves in the right situation. Despite what previous posters have said, ANYONE can learn to be an effective puck-handler in time, there are just many variable factors that go into reaching a high proficiency of this skill. Anyway, follow these steps - be dedicated, observant and patient - and you'll start to notice significant improvements...or your money back!

1. Choose a stick type that is right for you.
High-Curve Blade:
+: Accurate and heavy wrist shot
-: Below-average back-hand versatility

Moderate-Curve Blade:
+: Above-average wrist shot
-: Fair back-hand versatility

Flat Blade:
+: Great back-hand versatility
-: Below-average wrist shot

2. Find a place to practice. Give yourself plenty of room to skate and stick handle. Ice is ideal, but if you don't have access to a rink, smooth concrete will work.

3. Go to Search "puck handling," "stick handling," "hockey skills," "hockey drills" and anything else you can think of related to stick handling. Practice every drill you come across. Once you have basic puck control down, make an effort to spend most of your time learning drills that require you to control the puck while you are moving, rather than just standing in one area. The goal should be to be able to apply the skills to a game environment to better increase your chances of possessing the puck, allowing you more time and space to take a shot or make a pass IN A GAME. If you only learn stationary dekes, your muscles will not always know how to properly react when you try to use them at high skating speeds.

4. As if you haven't exhausted the internet archives enough, watch and analyze film of the great stick handlers in professional hockey history. Also, watch videos of the best stick handling moments in professional hockey history. This is a good collection of some advanced moved:

5. Pick one situation that you like the best, take note of the obstacles and try to recreate and practice that event. You will need a nice collection of pucks, sticks, cones and barrels to use in these drills. Set up the obstacles as close as you can get to the actual distances in the video. Take note of angle of every limb of every player involved, how far the puck travels on each move and what part of the stick is used at each time during the move. Skate through the move slowly and work your speed up as you go along. If you keep messing up at a certain spot, slow down and evaluate why you keep making this mistake. Once you feel like you can pull off the move at the speed of a professional, move onto the next move and repeat.

6. Find a good, aspiring defenseman, team up, and practice what you have learned on him. Practicing alone properly can take you from being a novice to being a skilled stick handler, but nothing is more valuable then learning against a human.

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