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04-27-2012, 11:54 PM
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Originally Posted by frackiewicz View Post
What is the next step? What shot should I be working on? Is it mostly a strength thing that makes it go further/harder/higher? Or a technique thing? I know a lot of it is going to just be practicing shots until I get it right - but I really don't want to practice it wrong and then have to unlearn.
The traditional way of learning hockey shooting is to first master the forehand wrist shot. I think that's still good advice. The wrist shot contains most of the shooting techniques you'll use in hockey -- weight transfer, torso rotation, flexing the stick, opening/closing blade, wrist snap, follow-through.

That previous sentence show that the wrist shot is much more about technique than strength. Can you imagine trying to think about weight transfer, flexing the stick, wrist snap, etc simultaneously while perfectly timing the sequence of events?

I'm a fan of the approach where you break a complicated technique down into smaller, more manageable parts. Here's a progression I made up, which incorporates some of my earlier discussion:

1) Get a net and a board and practice 100 partial wrist shots daily (or as much as your schedule allows) on dryland. Break the wrist shot down into the sweep/weight-transfer (part 1 of the shot) and the open-wrist/snap/follow-through (part 2 of the shot). Practice just part 2 until you get good at it. This kind of motion is very similar to a snap shot.

2) Practice just part 1. Only sweep and weight transfer, without shooting the puck.

3) Shoot 100 full wrist shots every session with both part 1 and 2. The tricky thing is tying part 1 and 2 together. You have to time it, so that you start opening the blade up at the right moment during the sweeping motion.

4) As you start getting better, focus on placing your shots (e.g. upper righthand corner). Also, try shooting from weird angles and positions. This can be a lot of fun. (Can you shoot off one leg?)

5) Transition from dryland to ice. Go through the same progression (1-4), shooting on the ice against the boards.

6) (on ice) Skate with the puck toward the net and practice shooting on goal.


[1] "part 1" and "part 2" of the shot break down into smaller components, but too much technical detail to get into here.

[2] Realistically one would probably be doing multiple items on this list at the same time (e.g. dryland shooting and going to practice/stick time at the rink), but it's most effective to really focus on mastering a particular item.

[3] If you're frustrated with the forehand wrist shot, you can take a break and work on the backhand wrist shot (same technique) for a changeup.

Sorry, I always write too much. Hope this was helpful. Shooting experts, feel free to correct any mistakes.

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