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06-06-2009, 08:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Jarick View Post
What flex stick are you using and how long do you have it? How long have you played?

Lots of good info is up here about shooting technique and strength, but IMO it's useless if you're using the wrong stick. Now I'm not trying to say the right stick will fix everything, but the wrong stick can certainly mess up even a really good player.

The stick needs to flex a bit when you shoot and even when you want to make a hard pass. If you aren't getting flex out of the stick, your arms and wrists will be doing all the work and the puck will weakly slide along the ice. A flexible stick allows you to store the energy created by your leg and core strength and when you follow through it releases all this energy towards the target.

Typically, your average 6' tall person with an average stick length (chin in skates) uses an 85 flex. If you're taller or like a longer stick, you can possibly use a higher flex, and if you're shorter or like a shorter stick, you should try a lower flex. Most players use a flex too stiff. I'm 5'8" and like sticks an inch below the chin, so I use 70-75 flex.

Another thing I might recommend, I just picked up the Bobby and Brett Hull DVD, and it does a PERFECT job of explaining and SHOWING the correct shooting technique. I recommend it, as you see over and over again slow motion shooting technique from all angles and explanations.

With the right technique and the right equipment, you should be able to get good power and accuracy out of your shots and passes, even without a ton of strength. Then you can build up your strength and get even better.

EDIT: I see you said you're a woman, and I hope I'm not making assumptions, but if you're on the shorter end (i.e. under 5'8") you might want to try an intermediate stick. If it's wood, make sure you can get some flex out of it before you buy it. If composite, same thing, it needs to have some bend and flex. Hell, Brett Hull was 6' 200 pounds and used a 65 flex stick!
I am 5'8" and I use an intermediate flex. It's the perfect height so I don't have to cut it at all, which is nice since I don't lose the whippiness. I just switched from a wood stick to a two-piece setup and I feel like I can flex it a lot better (even though they're the same brand and flex), so hopefully that helps.

Originally Posted by Everest View Post
I'm sure there are all kinds of fundamental tips in this thread.

I'd like to throw a few curve balls out there that maybe others aren't thinking about:

1) What kind of gloves are you using? More specifically, what is the PALM of the glove like? I try to use gloves light weight gloves with a thin (non-leather) palm. I find it helps me to grip the stick and alter my grip should I so desire. It may sound like a tedious detail...but its very important to be able to control the stick properly in your hands and you should be able to 'feel' the puck through the stick. This will provide you with gaining a more exact sense of when your release point is at its most powerful point.

2) Even when your practicing off-ice, wear the gloves.

3) Don't worry about practicing with a puck all the time. A tennis ball is a great learning prop which will hyper-accelerate your stick control.

4) Don't 'flail'. By this I mean...concentrate LESS on the SPEED of your motions and MORE on the EFFECT of each movement. When you've released the puck (or ball) you should have as much control over your stick as when you began your shot.

All too often, I see beginners finishing their shots with their stick at odd-ball angles and an out of balance body position.

5) Try different shooting angles. Shoot across your body. Shoot with just the toe of your stick, shoot away from your body...back hands...whatever you can think of...and maybe most importantly...try shooting the ball or puck while it is in motion, because standing over top of a puck that is sitting in one spot the entire time is really a complete waste of your time. Its not a realistic simulation of what you aspire to do in a real game!
Some great advice here. My gloves aren't that great and the palms are fairly thick leather - I really want new ones, but right now that just isn't in my budget (maybe I'll treat myself after the next student loan check).

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