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07-09-2010, 12:51 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2007
Country: Canada
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Skating, skating, skating, skating, and skating.

You can practice your shot all you want, but if you don't have good enough balance for proper weight transfer, you will never have a good shot. In fact, you might just develop a ton of bad habits that will take 3x longer to unlearn.

I would recommend working on your passing more than your shooting.

I used to teach myself new skating maneuvers using a three step approach:

1) Use the skill (crossovers, tight turns, etc) in isolation.
2) Use the skill in isolation with the puck
3) Use the skill in combination with the puck (three crossovers, stop, transition).

This way you will be working on both your skating and your puckhandling skills together. If by puckhandling you mean standing around and pulling the puck in figure 8s around your gloves (highly isolated skills), more than 10 minutes per session is a waste of your time.

Hockey stopping can seem like a breeze during open skates (skate in straight line, stop), but hitting the brakes with the puck then using that momentum to take three step backwards (something you would use in a game) is much more difficult. This is the difference between step 1 and step 3.

One thing I've learned is that it takes a lot of time to take what you've picked up in practice and integrate it into your game. The idea is that these skills should become second nature to you. Instead of thinking about how to keep the puck on your stick while doing a crossover in a game, you want to be thinking about what your options are (skate, pass, shoot) and who's available.

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