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05-14-2007, 10:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Coug555 View Post
I consider myself a pretty good defenseman but when it comes to offense I am S.O.L. I can't stick handle for the life of me and I have a hard time accepting passes. Sometimes I feel like I get flustered too easy. Do you guys have any tips for me? Any advice would be appreciated.
Just a few thoughts you might find helpful --
1. Don't over-stick handle. If there's nobody around you just push the puck up the ice and skate after it. There's a tendency to dribble (move the puck to the left and right) when you don't need to and you can overskate the puck.
2. As others have said, use a golf ball or other smooth, heavy ball and practice moving left and right in front of you -- do it quick with a short range of motion and also pull it wide to either side. Do the same dribbling forward and back on your strong side and then on your off-side. Also practice dribbling the puck close to your body as well as far in front of you -- be aware that sliding your lower hand down the stick will help you dribble in close to your body and sliding it up will help you dribble further in front of you.
3. Repeat all of the exercises in #2 while moving your feet. It's one thing to be able to dribble when standing still but you need to make the puck move with you. Take a few steps forward, a few steps back and to either side maintaining control of the puck. Don't forget your front and back crossovers -- dribble while turning left and right in a complete circle.
4. Your coordination will improve by building your arm strength, your triceps especially. Also, dribble a basketball from one hand to the other, on your left, on your right, etc. It's a similar movement, it's (probably) a better upper body exercise and it will be easier to do now that the weather's improving.

You're on your own with regards to receiving passes. I'm terrible at it.

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