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02-21-2013, 02:50 AM
American in Paris
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Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 200
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Stick handling in game situations

OK, so I learned how to play as a kid outside, uncoached, mostly in pickup games and played one year of club hockey in High School. I stopped playing from 18-26 and have been back into the game now for 7 years.

My fondness for hockey developed into love, then passion and now, my wife would tell you, a full blown obsession. I play 3-4 times per week with two different clubs.

I'm a good skater - one of the best in both clubs - which makes me a disruptive player on defense and the forecheck.

My passing is good to a fault - I almost always try to pass the puck rather than develop a play individually. I've got very accurate and quickly released wrist and snapshots so I score often if my teammates are making good passes. But my stickhandling is poor/mediocre.

Here's the thing: over the last 2 years I've been working very hard at improving my stickhandling. I'm practicing the Sean Skinner drills on and off the ice. And I seem to be making progress... at least in theory. During warmups I can rapid-fire stick handle all the way around my body, through the legs, off my skates, wide/narrow, toe drags, etc. I've seen video of myself and it looks good.

I should be deking -la-Datsuk through trafic but when the game starts I lose all dexterity. After a few unsuccessful attemps at trying to stickhandle under pressure, I revert to my habit of sticking to open ice and receiving/giving passes.

So why aren't my newly developed stick handling skills working in game play? What kind of drills can I do to improve?

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