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06-03-2005, 09:34 PM
  #11
Everest
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Country: Russian Federation
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WOrking off ice with a tennis ball is a classic...shooting the tennis ball in your driveway/against a wall or just stickhandling it will get you big improvements,and best of all you don't need ice time to do it.

For anyone who is just starting to learn the game,obvioiusly your most important focal point has to be skating. Before you even bother to work with a puck,practice your skating,with a stick in your hands,and simulate puck handling (but without a puck)this will help you to focus on altering your body positions and balance points/skating direction,without the added distraction of trying to control the puck.
Trying to develope puck handling too soon in the learning process will stunt your skating skills.
But,the basics of stickhandling are as follows: centre the puck in the middle of your stickblade. Tilt the stickblade,so that it is slightly "over the top" of the puck,by rolling your wrists over.With your head up(not looking at the puck)begin with a slow speed and a long sweep with your stick(standing in one spot)shift the puck back and forth backhand/forehand,and learn the feel of the puck. Don't worry about maintaining a continuous motion,instead...stop the puck every time you sweep it from one side of your body to the other. AS you get more comfortable with the feel and timing...you can speed up the intensity in which your sliding the puck from side to side...your body weight should transfer from foot to foot(in accordance to which side of your body the puck is on).If your having difficulty...look at how close to your body the puck is...you SHOULD be handling the puck with your arms 3/4 extended.

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