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Soft hands tips

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Old
05-21-2009, 12:04 PM
  #1
PRNuck
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Soft hands tips

Anyone care to share their best soft hands tips/drills? I practice at home with a Swedish stickhandling ball but it seems like as soon as I do it with any speed, it's the same as on the ice: "thwack thwack thwack", hands of stone

Might the lie of my stick be hurting me here? I use a pretty low lie, usually around 5 or 5.5.

Thanks!

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05-21-2009, 12:19 PM
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Beerfish
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Is this for sending and receiving passes for the most part? (As in the thwack thwack is the puck/ball bouncing off your stick as you receive the pass?)

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05-21-2009, 12:30 PM
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TheGooooch
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I don't think that I have soft hands really but usually just stickhandle whenever I get a chance (i.e. in the house, garage etc...). Others might have some better tips but I have found that frequent practice is the key for me.

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05-21-2009, 12:31 PM
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PRNuck
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Originally Posted by Beerfish View Post
Is this for sending and receiving passes for the most part? (As in the thwack thwack is the puck/ball bouncing off your stick as you receive the pass?)
Ah sorry, should have been more clear. No, I mean for just general stickhandling.

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05-21-2009, 12:49 PM
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McNasty
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Make sure you are rolling your wrists when your stick handling. Also I like to try and do it while I'm watching tv or something, once I had a good handle on it obviously. But I found that stickhandling in my dorm room while I was watching TV did wonders for my puck control. Honest to god doing that got me from being an average stickhandler to a good stickhandler.

What exactly are you doing with the ball, I mean are you just trying to go left and right in front of yourself? If so try patterns. Like for me (right handed) I start with it to my right on the forehand and go backhand way wide on the forehand and then as fast as i can put it to my backhand because thats pretty much my bread and butter move when I have a lot of speed.

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05-21-2009, 12:49 PM
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noobman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PRNuck View Post
Anyone care to share their best soft hands tips/drills? I practice at home with a Swedish stickhandling ball but it seems like as soon as I do it with any speed, it's the same as on the ice: "thwack thwack thwack", hands of stone

Might the lie of my stick be hurting me here? I use a pretty low lie, usually around 5 or 5.5.

Thanks!
It's one of those things you develop by doing.


The only advice I can really give is to an absolute beginner. Don't clutch your stick too tightly. When you're doing it right the stick will actually rest in the groove of your fingers and not your palm. This will make it much easier to cradle the puck/ball and reduce the thwacking feel.

What type of surface are you stickhandling on? If you are stickhandling on carpet or the road then you are bound to thwack the ball, since your stick can't really slide along the surface. Lay a piece of plywood or plexiglass on your stickhandling surface, or do it on hardwood floor/tile (keeping in mind that your stick will scratch the surface quite a bit). You might also want to tape your stick in such a way that there is no tape on the bottom of the blade (put horizontal tape strips on the front and back of the blade instead of wrapping the blade)

Also, check out http://www.coachchic.com
He has a few video packages of easy to do stickhandling drills (you just need a golf ball and enough space to stand up) that help a LOT.


If you want to go Mighty Ducks style you can try stickhandling a raw egg. Just keep in mind that it'll be messy if you're not any good, and no matter how good you get you'll have to move a little slower than you could w/ a Swedish ball.


Last edited by noobman: 05-21-2009 at 12:57 PM.
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05-21-2009, 12:53 PM
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I can't give any advice either, since I have the same problem as you, but here's another website with some stickhandling drills that might help.

http://www.usahockey.com/Template_Us...AV=CO&id=19434

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05-21-2009, 01:16 PM
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Gunnar Stahl 30
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its about your wrists, thats how you get your soft hands

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05-21-2009, 01:54 PM
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Just cupping the wrists is the most basic element but there's something else most people won't tell you. You must have barely enough pressure in your hands to hold the stick firmly. You can't grasp onto it tightly, but your hands can't be totally limp either. It's hard to explain but once you get it, you will know.

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05-21-2009, 02:44 PM
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Hockeyfan68
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Keep in mind some people just have cement hands. I'm not a fancy player and honestly am lacking in stick handling skill. I've pratcied it and practiced it and practiced it and it just never came to me like it does for others. I hope I am not mentioning this too much but I am soon to be 41 years old and have been playing for 35 years ... I mention to point out that this stuff would have come to me naturally by now if I had that skillset.

I've accepted my role as a checker power forward type with an extremely heavy shot, I steal pucks and play well defensively. In the pros no doubt I would have been a hard hitting goon type on a checking line.

It's okay you know, there is a job for everyone in hockey as all have different strengths.

Mine is checking defesnively and setting up in the slot because I have a great quick release which are soft hands of a different kind. I'm good at passing, give and goes and shooting more than anything. I can beat 2 maybe 3 guys stickhandling as long as it isn't in a phonebooth I guess is what I am saying.

Have fun playing and accept that you will not do everything in hockey equally well. You either have something or you don't ... example. I could always shoot an incredible slapshot right from day one as a 5 year old kid. I didn't have to work at it at all except for aiming it which I learned quickly too.

Good luck .... I am going to try a couple of people's advice in here about stickhandling practice and see if anything changes. it probably won't though lmao @ me!

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05-22-2009, 08:28 AM
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PRNuck
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Thanks for the tips guys

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05-22-2009, 09:46 AM
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EmptyNetter
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Funny I found this thread today. Last night I was playing pickup hockey and noticed how bad my stickhandling skills are. For example if I push the puck to the left it's often out of my reach before I can catch it back on my stick blade. All in all I think it's because I'm right hand dominant shooting leftie, and I need to improve my dexterity, wrist and lower arm strength on my left side.

Stick handling either right-left or forward-back is like a game of catch -- one side "throws" and the other side catches. If there's a large discrepancy in muscle control between the throwing and catching muscles you're going to have trouble controlling the puck. I firmly believe that you can train your hands to work together if you know what exercises work and you practice regularly. That said, I have no idea how to approach this kind of training but I'm doing google searches for "dexterity exercises".

Anyway, I remember Sergei Samsonov said in an interview he learned some great tips from watching Alexi Yashin stickhandle around three pucks -- around the triangle, back and forth through the center, etc. IMO it's great to have "quick" hands but it's even more important to have longer, more deliberate moves where the puck seems glued to the stick blade no matter what direction it's going in.

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05-22-2009, 09:52 AM
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The truth is, anyone can get fairly good at handling the puck. I really don't think it's genetic or that anyone is born great at it. I have some really good days and bad days at it, like all stick handlers do. More practice and improvement and the bad days become more rare.

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05-22-2009, 09:52 AM
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Question for everyone - When you hold your stick, where is the knob in your hand? (No that's what she said jokes!) For me it is dead center of my palm, with very little tape on it.

I have really soft hands, it is mostly because I used tennis or floor hockey balls rather than pucks when practicing. Also my lower hand is my dominant hand, and I think that gives you a better feel for the puck and more control over your stick.

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05-22-2009, 09:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bohlmeister View Post
Question for everyone - When you hold your stick, where is the knob in your hand? (No that's what she said jokes!) For me it is dead center of my palm, with very little tape on it.

I have really soft hands, it is mostly because I used tennis or floor hockey balls rather pucks when practicing. Also my lower hand is my dominant hand, and I think that gives you a better feel for the puck and more control over your stick.
Um, no. Top of stick= center of hand to where it meets the palm, right. But having your dominant hand on the bottom is usually what CAUSES hands of stone. The top hand is what does the important work when you're handling the puck

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05-22-2009, 10:00 AM
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bohlmeister
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Originally Posted by MistaWrista View Post
Um, no. Top of stick= center of hand to where it meets the palm, right. But having your dominant hand on the bottom is usually what CAUSES hands of stone. The top hand is what does the important work when you're handling the puck
There has been a thread before on this, and I do not believe that. I think dominant hand on top helps your shot (more leverage) and dominant hand on the bottom helps stick handling. Like I said, there has been a thread on this already and opinions varied.

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05-22-2009, 10:05 AM
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Lotion.

/did not read thread

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05-22-2009, 10:13 AM
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BadHammy*
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Originally Posted by bohlmeister View Post
There has been a thread before on this, and I do not believe that. I think dominant hand on top helps your shot (more leverage) and dominant hand on the bottom helps stick handling. Like I said, there has been a thread on this already and opinions varied.
The very large majority view, and my experiences as a hockey coach for kids, is that the dominant hand on top is for stick handling. I mean, there are exceptions, many both ways. Some people say they're right handed and shoot lefty but are actually left handed in real life, but in denial

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05-22-2009, 10:48 AM
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bohlmeister
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MistaWrista View Post
The very large majority view, and my experiences as a hockey coach for kids, is that the dominant hand on top is for stick handling. I mean, there are exceptions, many both ways. Some people say they're right handed and shoot lefty but are actually left handed in real life, but in denial
You need both hands to stick handle, and you need both hands to shoot. To do toe drags, and pull the puck in different directions my bottom hand leads, that is why I think it gives me a better feel for the puck. You don't deke with your top hand, your top hand follows, at least for me.

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05-22-2009, 10:54 AM
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Lotion.

/did not read thread
interesting suggestion

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05-22-2009, 01:04 PM
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Baseball Drill

...

Really simple.

Materials: All you need is an egg and two people (maybe a dozen eggs, since you'll break a few).

Procedure: Start about 5 or 6 feet apart. Play soft toss catch. Try to make the other guy break the egg by throwing it higher/lower and surprising them. Determine a set number of catches. Say 5 catches. After every 5 catches, take two paces back... lengthening the distance between each other.

Good way to learn to feel with your hands.

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05-22-2009, 01:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PRNuck View Post
Anyone care to share their best soft hands tips/drills? I practice at home with a Swedish stickhandling ball but it seems like as soon as I do it with any speed, it's the same as on the ice: "thwack thwack thwack", hands of stone

Might the lie of my stick be hurting me here? I use a pretty low lie, usually around 5 or 5.5.

Thanks!
Stickhandling on dryland is also great because you strengthen the muscles used in handling the puck. Sometimes I hold my stick with the opposite hand and realize how weak my forearm is on that side.

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05-22-2009, 01:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bohlmeister View Post
You need both hands to stick handle, and you need both hands to shoot. To do toe drags, and pull the puck in different directions my bottom hand leads, that is why I think it gives me a better feel for the puck. You don't deke with your top hand, your top hand follows, at least for me.
Then you're stickhandling wrong. Your hands are faster if the top hand does all the turning and moving and the bottom hand just does the lifting of the stick.

If it works for you and you aren't playing seriously, it's probably fine, but know that that's not correct technique.

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05-22-2009, 01:42 PM
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SoundwaveIsCharisma
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Once you get confident in your stickhandling abilities, try dribbling a soccer ball with your feet while you stickhandle. I found this really made stickhandling easier for in game situations as you are thinking less and reacting more.

But yea, just enough pressure to hold onto the stick is probably the best hint, that and try to find someone to play against, you improve best when you are forced to use skills.

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05-22-2009, 01:56 PM
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noobman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bohlmeister View Post
You need both hands to stick handle, and you need both hands to shoot. To do toe drags, and pull the puck in different directions my bottom hand leads, that is why I think it gives me a better feel for the puck. You don't deke with your top hand, your top hand follows, at least for me.
It's true that you need both hands (hence the phrase two hands on the stick) but they do not share the load equally. When stickhandling, the top hand should be doing most of the work while the bottom hand should act as a support.

Using both hands equally is a symptom of a heavy stick and/or weak forearms.

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