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Soft hands tips

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Old
05-22-2009, 05:26 PM
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noobman View Post
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.
I don't know. I was at a fair a couple years ago and an artist did this rendering:


Last edited by bohlmeister: 05-23-2009 at 12:32 AM.
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05-23-2009, 12:10 AM
  #27
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Stickhandling has a lot to do with focus.

set up a bunch of obstacles in a line then weae through them a few times, and try to keep your head up. Don't worry about speed. Then, start being more spontaneous, starting doing sharper turns then reverse your direction.

You get a good feel for how the puck will react and where you will need to put your stick. it gives you muscle memory.

While you are doing this, don't think of other things. People who can't stick handle either have too much focus on the puck, or not enough. You need to get a feel for it, but also be aware of whats happening around you.

Having slick hands is only important if you can't use them. A lot of guys learn to be good, but then in a game, they don't have the right level of focus and start to seize up and get to tight OR they lose he puck a lot because they are not able to concentrate on what is happening around them.

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05-23-2009, 07:20 AM
  #28
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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
Quote:
Originally Posted by noobman View Post
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.
Quote:
Originally Posted by cptjeff View Post
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.
Is this actually true? When I think about it, I'm pretty sure my bottom hand is doing most of the moving when I stick handle. Is this maybe why my dangling is so bad after playing hockey my whole life?

How do you correct this? You guys are actually using your bottom hand like a fulcrum while your top hand moves the puck hand around? Wouldn't that require ALOT more top hand strength? I do the opposite.

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05-23-2009, 12:24 PM
  #29
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Originally Posted by gc View Post
Is this actually true? When I think about it, I'm pretty sure my bottom hand is doing most of the moving when I stick handle. Is this maybe why my dangling is so bad after playing hockey my whole life?

How do you correct this? You guys are actually using your bottom hand like a fulcrum while your top hand moves the puck hand around? Wouldn't that require ALOT more top hand strength? I do the opposite.
Yes that is true ... I still am not a fancy puck dribbler as some people just aren't even in the pros some guys are not as good as others at stick handling.

Your knob hand does almost all the work in any case while stick handling.

I am not sure what you could do other than focus on not using your bottom hand so much and just have it there as a limp guide and do almost all of the work with the knob hand.

Too bad there isn't a way to sew a loop to your bottom hand glove or something and having your stick go through the loop to guide the stick for you while NOT holding it in your palm of your bottom hand.

But since that isn't practical just concentrate on not using your bottom hand to do the work and use the knob hand instead. Your bottom hand really doesn't do much other than aim your shot by making a fulcrum. It probably gets used the most doing things like redirect passing and slapshots since the bottom hand does a lot to power a slapshot and aim redirected passes. That is one thing I do exceptionally well which is to shoot slapshots and know what I am talking about with that aspect of the whole arms in relation to shooting business.

I guess if someone had a fractured or sprained bottom hand wrist they would still be able to stick handle is my point but not shoot slapshots or do the more complex things like redirect passes, not touch passes but full redirect like in give and go passing.

There is a science to it and these guys here have explained well enough in this thread. Good luck in any case with it.

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05-23-2009, 12:35 PM
  #30
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I've never heard about this top hand business before, but I'm definitely going to experiment with that.

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05-23-2009, 01:07 PM
  #31
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In terms of overall puck control having your dominant hand on top makes it way easier. For those of you who haven't heard of this before, use one hand on your stick and just go through the motions. Do it first with the top hand, then the bottom hand. Your bottom hand doesn't do a whole lot, however I would argue that having your dominant hand on the bottom allows you to make short quick movements with the puck on your stick, while your dominant hand on top allows you to make better use of your reach and better use your body to shield the puck, especially with one hand on your stick.

All in all it's all about what feels natural to you. I'm right handed and a switch hitter in baseball, I throw with my right hand and when I picked up a hockey stick playing right handed felt more natural. In baseball I bat better lefty then righty and in golf I swing righty and putt lefty. Put it this way Ovechkin signs autographs with his right hand, which leads me to believe his dominant hand is on the bottom. And Ovechkin can certainly shoot and stickhandle.

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05-23-2009, 01:09 PM
  #32
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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.
I disagree.

I broke my wrist recently, so I have a cast on my left hand(bottom hand). I can still stick-handle pretty good with the cast on my bottom hand. My top hand is doing all the work. Stick-handling is also, by far, my best skill.

I can't shoot at all though.

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05-23-2009, 01:15 PM
  #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McNasty View Post
In terms of overall puck control having your dominant hand on top makes it way easier. For those of you who haven't heard of this before, use one hand on your stick and just go through the motions. Do it first with the top hand, then the bottom hand. Your bottom hand doesn't do a whole lot, however I would argue that having your dominant hand on the bottom allows you to make short quick movements with the puck on your stick, while your dominant hand on top allows you to make better use of your reach and better use your body to shield the puck, especially with one hand on your stick.

All in all it's all about what feels natural to you. I'm right handed and a switch hitter in baseball, I throw with my right hand and when I picked up a hockey stick playing right handed felt more natural. In baseball I bat better lefty then righty and in golf I swing righty and putt lefty. Put it this way Ovechkin signs autographs with his right hand, which leads me to believe his dominant hand is on the bottom. And Ovechkin can certainly shoot and stickhandle.
He throws left-handed

Ovechkin is just weird.

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05-23-2009, 02:02 PM
  #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gc View Post
Is this actually true? When I think about it, I'm pretty sure my bottom hand is doing most of the moving when I stick handle. Is this maybe why my dangling is so bad after playing hockey my whole life?

How do you correct this? You guys are actually using your bottom hand like a fulcrum while your top hand moves the puck hand around? Wouldn't that require ALOT more top hand strength? I do the opposite.
It takes practice, but you'll notice a drastic improvement if you're doing it right. A good drill that will teach you the correct technique is to take a toilet paper roll and put it around your stick, and use that as the grip for your bottom hand. Cradle it, if you crush the roll you're doing it wrong. Using that to stickhandle will force you to do it right.

And it does require more work with your top hand, but that's why a lot of the better stickhandlers have dominant hand on top.

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05-23-2009, 02:08 PM
  #35
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I'm known for my quick/soft hands. I don't know if it is natural, but I think I got them from playing road hockey atleast twice a week when I started playing hockey as a kid.

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05-23-2009, 02:14 PM
  #36
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My only argument is that when you grab a mini stick, which hand do you use. I use my dominant hand, which is my right. If I use my left it is like throwing with my left or writing with my left, pretty much useless. I understand that I may be an exception, but why is hockey opposite of golf and baseball? You should use your stronger hand in the inside to push through with the bat/club/stick, shouldn't you?

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05-23-2009, 02:23 PM
  #37
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Originally Posted by bohlmeister View Post
My only argument is that when you grab a mini stick, which hand do you use. I use my dominant hand, which is my right. If I use my left it is like throwing with my left or writing with my left, pretty much useless. I understand that I may be an exception, but why is hockey opposite of golf and baseball? You should use your stronger hand in the inside to push through with the bat/club/stick, shouldn't you?
Because you need control on the top hand in hockey.

There are benefits to shooting both ways, but for generations the default was to shoot dominant on top, and that's still the most popular way. About 70 percent of the NHL shoots dominant hand on top.

I shoot dominant on bottom. It's different for every person. I grew up playing baseball, so I was used to that. But kids who take up hockey first usually wind up shooting left.

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05-23-2009, 02:35 PM
  #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cptjeff View Post
Because you need control on the top hand in hockey.

There are benefits to shooting both ways, but for generations the default was to shoot dominant on top, and that's still the most popular way. About 70 percent of the NHL shoots dominant hand on top.

I shoot dominant on bottom. It's different for every person. I grew up playing baseball, so I was used to that. But kids who take up hockey first usually wind up shooting left.
I understand that it is more common, but why is it any better? The only advantage I can see is that dominant hand on top lets you defend better, when using one hand on your stick. So if you are a defenseman I can see it being an advantage. But your slap shot and wrist shot should be harder if you have your dominant hand on the bottom because you are pushing through the puck with your more powerful hand.

Also I don't have to switch my stick around to take face-offs. Having more power lower to the ice gives you a huge advantage in the face off dot.

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05-23-2009, 02:56 PM
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Originally Posted by bohlmeister View Post
I understand that it is more common, but why is it any better? The only advantage I can see is that dominant hand on top lets you defend better, when using one hand on your stick. So if you are a defenseman I can see it being an advantage. But your slap shot and wrist shot should be harder if you have your dominant hand on the bottom because you are pushing through the puck with your more powerful hand.

Also I don't have to switch my stick around to take face-offs. Having more power lower to the ice gives you a huge advantage in the face off dot.
It's been covered in depth in many threads.

Basically, it puts the dominant eye in a position to look out over the ice more, helping you keep your head up and see passes.
Also, there's the big benefit in stick control that has been addressed in this thread. You have more control over your stick, that helps in stickhandling, dekeing and such. Better vision and puck control.

Yes, shooting dominant hand on bottom does tend to help your shot. It gives you more power, ect. It also puts your dominant eye on top of the puck, giving you better aim.

You can see the trend if you look at players who shoot dominant hand on top or bottom. Gretzky- top. Mario- bottom. Bossy- bottom. Crosby- top. Ovechkin- bottom. Savard- top. Thornton- top.

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05-23-2009, 03:16 PM
  #40
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Sorry to get a bit off topic here, but how far should your hands be when stick handling? I see some guys keeping there hands right next to each other, and others, spread out there hands much more. If height matters, then I am 6'2.

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05-23-2009, 07:47 PM
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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.
You have it backwards. Dominant hand on bottom helps for harder shots, dominant hand up top helps for stick handling/poke checking. But then again, it's just a theory, perfect whatever you feel comfortable with.

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05-23-2009, 09:19 PM
  #42
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Stickhandle with your wrists and not your arms and concentrate on keeping the puck on the middle to front of your blade if you want to really dangle. If it's on the heel that's when you get the ice-chop style going on. Another tip is to use a flatter blade unless you really depend on the toe drag. Mid curves are the best for controlling on the backhand. Best drill I have is to set up four objects (pylons, hockey gloves) in either a square or diamond in relation to you and then randomly stickhandling around these objects. When doing this rotate between stickhandling very fast and very wide. Obviously when stickhandling wide move the objects further apart. Then once you get the hang of that, try moving/skating around the square (both clockwise and counter-clockwise) while stickhandling through it.

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05-23-2009, 10:25 PM
  #43
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something i used to get a feel for having the bottom hand loose is to take the cardboard from a toilet paper roll, slide it over the stick, grab it with your bottom hand, then stickhandle...also, what i did was tape up the cardboard roll so its a little bit sturdier....this will give you a better concept of how you top hand controls and how soft you grip with your bottom hand....i promise one you do it a few times you'll get the feel for it and your stickhandling will grow rapidly.....atleast it did for me

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05-23-2009, 10:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShizzoSnipe View Post
something i used to get a feel for having the bottom hand loose is to take the cardboard from a toilet paper roll, slide it over the stick, grab it with your bottom hand, then stickhandle...also, what i did was tape up the cardboard roll so its a little bit sturdier....this will give you a better concept of how you top hand controls and how soft you grip with your bottom hand....i promise one you do it a few times you'll get the feel for it and your stickhandling will grow rapidly.....atleast it did for me
So how should the top hand be, loose or squeezed?

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05-23-2009, 11:14 PM
  #45
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So how should the top hand be, loose or squeezed?
In the middle. Make it tight enough that you can control the stick, and effectively move the blade with your top hand's wrist. But, loose enough, as to not be what they call 'gripping the stick too tightly'. In other words, you need to hold it tight enough to control it but loose enough to feel it. The top hand is where the 'twist' of stick handling comes from (Rolling the wrist/blade etc).

The bottom hand, IMO, should be loose and only used to move the stick left to right out or in (Dekes, pulls, drags). More like a support for the top hand.

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05-23-2009, 11:51 PM
  #46
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Originally Posted by NYRSinceBirth View Post
In the middle. Make it tight enough that you can control the stick, and effectively move the blade with your top hand's wrist. But, loose enough, as to not be what they call 'gripping the stick too tightly'. In other words, you need to hold it tight enough to control it but loose enough to feel it. The top hand is where the 'twist' of stick handling comes from (Rolling the wrist/blade etc).

The bottom hand, IMO, should be loose and only used to move the stick left to right out or in (Dekes, pulls, drags). More like a support for the top hand.
I think you said it well. The bottom hand also helps when you're doing pull in/push outs directly in front of you, e.g. you slide it up or down to add control. It's really just to stabilize. If anyone doesn't understand, try to stick handle with just your bottom hand on the mid of the stick and then enjoy laughing at yourself.

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05-28-2009, 01:26 PM
  #47
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Originally Posted by Rang3rsfan30 View Post
Sorry to get a bit off topic here, but how far should your hands be when stick handling? I see some guys keeping there hands right next to each other, and others, spread out there hands much more. If height matters, then I am 6'2.
3-5 inches apart, maybe?

It's variable... if you're stickhandling in tight your hands need to be further apart, and if you're stickhandling far out your hands need to be closer together. IMO it's better to stickhandle far out since you have more options. Players coming up from behind you will have a harder time stripping you off of the puck, while the defender in front of you will have to worry about you pulling the puck back if he tries to pokecheck.

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05-28-2009, 01:30 PM
  #48
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Originally Posted by noobman View Post
3-5 inches apart, maybe?

It's variable... if you're stickhandling in tight your hands need to be further apart, and if you're stickhandling far out your hands need to be closer together. IMO it's better to stickhandle far out since you have more options. Players coming up from behind you will have a harder time stripping you off of the puck, while the defender in front of you will have to worry about you pulling the puck back if he tries to pokecheck.
That's good advice, I am just average at stickhandling and have been reading a lot in here and have ides to try out this week at shinny and then our game monday night.

While I have a cannon of a shot and am a GREAT passer I lack in the stickhandling department and need to practice it more because more often than not I dish the puck off after entering the zone instead of trying to beat defensemen one on one.

Thanks for the good tips.

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05-28-2009, 03:17 PM
  #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rang3rsfan30 View Post
Sorry to get a bit off topic here, but how far should your hands be when stick handling? I see some guys keeping there hands right next to each other, and others, spread out there hands much more. If height matters, then I am 6'2.
I was always used to having my hands about waist width apart in the ready position.

As per stickhandling tips, check out this link

http://www.usahockeymagazine.com/sto...ght_nav=normal

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05-29-2009, 04:07 AM
  #50
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For normal stick handling, one hand should be an elbow length apart from the other!

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