Technique question re: Slap Shots
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08-15-2013, 06:22 AM
Join Date: Apr 2004
Originally Posted by
My slapper is pretty bad overall, but my question is about the slapper at impact. At impact with the ice (few inches behind the puck), i'm pushing the blade of my stick into the ice using my arms. I also dip my back leg at impact to get some of my weight onto my stick to help flex it. But is there a point where it's too much and counter-productive?
This is a bad analogy, but in a golf swing (iron shot), i've been taught to hit down into the grass just before the ball. But if you try to hit down too much, you actually dig your club into the ground and all you have is turf flying in the air.
Does this somehow translate into the Slap Shot? Is there a point where you could technically be hitting down too much, thereby slowing down your shot speed and follow-through, creating a weak shot?
Yep, it definitely can be.
I am 6'3.5 and played hockey until I was 21 y/o. I always grew first before filling out when I was young, and my slapper and wrister was long time suffering. I played center and could fire the puck in a way that was hard for goalies to read, but my shot from any distance was just remarkably bad when I was around 15-16 y/o. Borderline embarassing, like things like that can be at that age...
And it was not for lack of trying. For long stretches over the year, from like I was 13 y/o, I fired 500 shots a week all year in the backyard. Maybe not 52 weeks a year, but definitely 35-40. I worked out hard in the gym. I was probably benchpressing around 175 lbs when I was 15-16, and still basically couldn't elevate the puck with a slapper. I played pro hockey from when I was 16, and when my teammates where competing in hitting the plexi from the redline I couldn't hit it with a slapper from inside the blueline. Then all of a sudden, I guess I had really worn out a wood stick, it became alot more flexible, the slap shot and the wrister/snap shot was there. And it kept getting better. What had happend was that
I had added the necessary strength to my hands and wrists
. I was a tall half skinny guy, who had added the strength to my bicips/tricps/chest in the gym, but my arms where still growing and my hands and wrists just hadn't kept up.
During the course of one season I went from having a slapper that was really sub-par to being able to hit the plexi from the redline, and like hit the plexi from the blueline without putting any kind of effort into it. I got on the point on the power play and was put into situations where I was supposed to fire away after set plays on FO's etc. I will never forget how older goalie skated up to me after a practise and said something like (Read: litterary, I remember every word
you must have lived in the gym during the summer, your shot really stings, how much do you benchpress, 200lbs?
My point is just this, up until a -- very high -- point, the slapper is
technique and strength in your hands and wrist. To shoot like Al McInnis, you need pure strength. To fire a laser into the top corner, you just need to be able to whip it. Before you have that strength in your hands and wrists (and the technique which in itself probably is 90-95%), its really really easy to focus to much into hammering the stick into the ice before the puck to make the stick flex and then work wonders. That is what many teach, but its really not what it is about.
I would say that what you need to focus on is being able to meet the motion when your stick hit the ice. The power the shooting motion has when it actually connects with the ice is more or less irrelevant. You can try to shoot like Al McInnis later on, the first thing you should learn is being able to use a swing that will hit the ice like a third a inch below the puck -- and then have such a firm grip of the stick that the sticks bends effortlessly without it affecting your swinging motion. Because that is what you get when you push to hard against the ice, your swining motion is altered and you don't hit the puck like you should. Your stick more or less bounce against the ice and you can get a bit of a zip on the shot but it will not elevate from the ice. Trying to hard will just put an even great force into your hands and wrists that you never can be able to meet and you get even more of a bouncing stick syndrome.
1. There are no short cuts, you must fire away a tremendous amount of pucks. Technique is 90-95% of it. The body isn't stupid, it will figure it out by itself. But don't try to break the ice when you shoot. Its enough if you just hit the ice a little bit before the puck. Unless your shot is perfectly useable in all awys, the fault is never that you don't hit the ice enough so to speak.
2. When it comes to strength, its 95% about your grip of the stick.
3. Use the most flexible stick you can find until you can use your shot like a pro player. Then you can add to that to get more zip on the puck.
There is one test of when your slapper really is working as it should, and that is when you need to fight to keep it down. If it is the opposite, you are still probably a bit to weak for you stick.
Originally Posted by
Huge thing that hurt my slapshot for a long time was too high of a flex. You're not going to get anything on your shots when your stick isn't flexing. Agreed also with the poster who said to not have a big wind up, that can come later. Just focus on making good contact, even at a lower speed, then ramping it up when you feel comfortable.
I use a 95 and I am 6'1" 185, although I don't have the best technique in the world.
I agere 100%.
Originally Posted by
My slap shot improved right away when I started to really grip hard with the bottom hand. It might sound stupid, but I guess most people just don't grip their stick hard enough to help the energy transfer from your weight into the shot. Also at the start I lowered my grip a bit, and this helps you put your weight into the shot more, instead just swinging with your arms, as you'll have to get deeper.
Yeah, and it might not be idiotic to put tape around the stick where you lower hand is either at a young age. Maybe its even adviseable?
Last edited by Ola: 08-15-2013 at
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