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Getting more velocity on passes and shots

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Old
05-28-2009, 07:43 AM
  #1
DevilsFan38
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Getting more velocity on passes and shots

Are there any off-ice exercises you can recommend to improve this? My shots are pitiful, and even my passes and clearing attempts are slow and weak.

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05-28-2009, 08:10 AM
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ClicheGuevara
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make a forearm blaster out of an old broken stick/shaft, a skate lace, and something heavy to tie it to.

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05-28-2009, 10:06 AM
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Hockeyfan68
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DevilsFan38 View Post
Are there any off-ice exercises you can recommend to improve this? My shots are pitiful, and even my passes and clearing attempts are slow and weak.
Get a street hockey goal or make a goal cage of your own ... find on old kitchen table or big plank of smooth surfaced "something" to stand on and shoot REAL pucks over and over again.

The reason I have such a good shot is because I would wear my skates and stand on a formica topped kitchen table with the legs removed flat on the ground and endlessly shoot pucks into a goal cage. You can practice wristers from 60 feet out if you want to pending having something behind the cage to stop the pucks other than a neighbors car if you miss the net.

Your hard crisp passing will develop from your hard wristshot period.

If money is an issue flea market or yardsale a table for $20 or for a goal make a wood box out of 2x4s with a bedspread thrown over the top held onto by spring clamps or c-clamps to stop the pucks if it does not have a back.

Maybe someplace with a cement wall behind it and throw the table top into your pickup truck and bring it somewhere. I used to use a little league field and use the backstop behind homeplate and just fire pucks off a hard surface like a 3 foot by 3 foot square "thing" that is flat.

Use your 'magination. At a little league field with a backstop you can even hang metal signs on it to use as targets or old license plates. You may run into a Recreation Department guy who may get mad at you for doing it though. Pucks can dent in chain link fencing and what not but if it is already broken in from being hit with baseballs nobody would care probably.

Also if you do this a tip from me would be to use a good firniture polish like a silocon paste you can buy made for polishing counter tops to slicken up the surface. Heck I think furniture polish in a spray can would work and try to find non-marking pucks as they are slicker. I use two at home for practicing stick handling on carpeting as they are very slippery. Regular pucks seem to grab on stuff.

Not sure how to detect a non-marking puck other than seeing and feeling the difference since they are more of a plastic like vulcanized rubber than the traditional tire rubber.


Last edited by Hockeyfan68: 05-28-2009 at 10:17 AM.
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05-28-2009, 10:16 AM
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Do you have an unfinished basement, where you can move a puck around? It might not help to much for shooting but a stickhandling a heavy puck makes the actual puck feel much lighter when you get onto the ice. This past year I would stickhandle with a bocce ball to strength my wrists.

If you have a cheap stick, you can also just take a basketball (I used to use a soccer ball partially filled with sand) and take shots with it against a wall. Same effect as playing around with a heavy puck or a bocce ball. I really noticed the difference the first couple of times I did this and then went to play.

For technique, I found this year that when I wanted to take a heavy shot, I would put alot of strength into my wrist shot and really try to flex my stick. I noticed that that wasn't really helpful and it's much better to flex your stick a little and just move the blade as quickly as possible. I'm not sure if this is correct or not, it's just what I noticed.

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05-28-2009, 10:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gc View Post

For technique, I found this year that when I wanted to take a heavy shot, I would put alot of strength into my wrist shot and really try to flex my stick. I noticed that that wasn't really helpful and it's much better to flex your stick a little and just move the blade as quickly as possible. I'm not sure if this is correct or not, it's just what I noticed.
The best way to shoot any puck for any shot possible is mechanics and follow through. You cannot use just your arms it HAS to have leg drive and dropping down to have your weight behind the shot.

Followthrough is the key to shooting though and there really isn't any way around that ever. Even when a guy has strong wrists and shoot the puck a million miles an hour from the blueline on goal he has to have a strong followthrough to get velocity. If one doesn't it arcs or flutters or generally is just weak.

Leg drive and dropping down with all your weight on one leg ... it takes practice like everything else in hockey. Weight transfer with the followthrough is key trust me on that.

Don't ask me how to beat 5 guys with fancy stuff cuzz it isn't my strong suit but if you need advice on shooting I shoot with the best of them. I can hit the crossbar from the other end of the rink even at 41 years old with a slapshot. No fooling.

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05-28-2009, 10:36 AM
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I agree completely, unless he's shooting the heavy puck, it's not going to benefit his shooting.

Passing, I think it might help a bit. You still have to shift your weight a bit depending on how strong the pass is, and you might have to even give a leg kick for a stretch pass. However, for a short outlet pass or a pass from the goalline to the top of the circle, your wrists and forearm strength are going to be much more important than mechanics and technique. Getting used to having weight on your stick can only help for passing.

And btw, your slapshot sounds crazy hockeyfan68, that's awesome. Not to sidetrack, but when you take a slapshot, do you hit the puck closer to the heel or the toe of your blade, when going for high shots?

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05-28-2009, 10:45 AM
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Originally Posted by DevilsFan38 View Post
Are there any off-ice exercises you can recommend to improve this? My shots are pitiful, and even my passes and clearing attempts are slow and weak.
It's not about strength, it's about technique. My skinny ass can out-shoot much bigger guys because I shoot properly, not because I'm stronger. If you're new to hockey watch some shooting videos and practice a TON.

Also, make sure you are using a stick with an appropriate flex for your weight.

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05-28-2009, 10:48 AM
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it probably isnt a strength problem but a technique problem

you push your upper hand out in front of you, which brings your lower hand into your body a bit, and for a snapshot or pass, for the most power, you want to get your legs involved and flex the stick with your lower hand.

the puck should not be out in front of you. im not going to say where exactly it should be because it will be different everytime when you are playing, but you dont want it to far out in front of you because you use all arms and no legs

look at this picture. notice where his left hand is(im assuming you are a rightie also).

look where the puck is and look where his arms are. he pushes his top hand out infront of him which causes his lower hand, and the puck and blade, to be close to his body allowing him to get his legs involved. kovalchuk was going to push the puck up slightly and take a snap shot by flexing the stick.




i hope that kind of made sense. bottom line is you arent getting power because you arent allowing the stick to generate the power or getting your legs involved, you are probably just using all arms

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05-28-2009, 10:51 AM
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Weighted puck, fore-arm exercises.

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05-28-2009, 01:07 PM
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190Octane
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In my opinion the 3 keys to a hard shot are...

1. Technique
2. Core/leg strength
3. forearm strength

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05-28-2009, 01:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gc View Post
I agree completely, unless he's shooting the heavy puck, it's not going to benefit his shooting.

Passing, I think it might help a bit. You still have to shift your weight a bit depending on how strong the pass is, and you might have to even give a leg kick for a stretch pass. However, for a short outlet pass or a pass from the goalline to the top of the circle, your wrists and forearm strength are going to be much more important than mechanics and technique. Getting used to having weight on your stick can only help for passing.

And btw, your slapshot sounds crazy hockeyfan68, that's awesome. Not to sidetrack, but when you take a slapshot, do you hit the puck closer to the heel or the toe of your blade, when going for high shots?
Firstly forgive me as I get winded sometimes ...

I shoot the puck from the same place on the blade every time whether I am shooting high or low. Your top hand on the knob controls where the puck goes as does your "scooch" leg drive and not where you shoot it from on the blade. Shooting a slapper too far up on the toe of the blade will do one of two things you don't want ... flutter the shot so it looks wobbly and knuckleballish or it will break your blade.

Also as a side note your bottom hand is important to where you make the fulcrum on the shaft. generally to get a higher shot in close to the net you would want your bottom hand low on the shaft and for low shots you would move your bottom hand up closer to your top hand.

And the catching too much ice before the puck thing can hurt you if you are using a stick too long for you. Obviously the correct lie for your stick length and height are essential too but that is a whole nuther post and I am a windbag enough already.

I hardly ever ever EVER break blades because my mechanics are sound. I have never had a broken blade problem with wood, composites or otherwise. Think of it as hitting the puick on the sweetspot. I would have a dented in part on the blade the height and width of the puck with wood blades just between the middle part and heel but closer to the middle. Now I just see worn tape as composite blades don't dent in like that but my tape wear is the same every time all the time.

Compare it to when a guy breaks a bat playing baseball trying to hit the ball on his hands or at the end of the bat. The bat will shatter usually or really sting your hands badly if it doesn't and a wimpy flyball or grounder is the result. If you get the puck in your wheelhouse and use good mechanics you will have a great shot using that leverage leg drive and followthrough. The only blade I broke this year so far was on a one timer that I missed and caught too much toe of the blade. Virtually all the blades or sticks I have gotten rid of (wood) were the result of that puck indentation on the blade or the shaft losing its flex from too many slapshots. That was what sucked about wood sticks, they were good for about 40 to 50 slapshots and there were days I did not take many to save $$$ on sticks. I then switched to aluminum shafts which solved the floppy weakened shaft issues but the blades still dented in the height of the puck. Nowadays with composites they last so much longer than wood and stay new and fresh for so long I am in heaven with them.

To shoot high you leverage your leg drive and followthrough to hit high and you do the same for things low like a hard shot right on the ice looking for a tip in. I rarely look at the puck when shooting either.

This is the ONLY video I have of me shooting a slapshot sorry but it does show enough to see it is a good one but it is at night and on a rain ruined rink I hastily repaired just enough area to shoot pucks in my backyard that year (2007). I was also fat in this video sorta at about 270lbs and now am 235

The slapshot is at 11 seconds or so. I wish it wasn't at night but hey whatever.



Hey the short passes you are talking about like you said can be just wrist stuff absolutely but lets say one sends a guy on a breakaway by making a two line crisp pass, it has to have zip and leverage on it. The original poster I think was asking how to get good zip on his shots so they are not weak and wobbly or whatever for clearing attemps. He probably passes okay already for short passes as just about everyone does.


Last edited by Hockeyfan68: 05-28-2009 at 02:16 PM.
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05-28-2009, 02:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Devil Dancer View Post
It's not about strength, it's about technique. My skinny ass can out-shoot much bigger guys because I shoot properly, not because I'm stronger. If you're new to hockey watch some shooting videos and practice a TON.

Also, make sure you are using a stick with an appropriate flex for your weight.
Yep that's the truth I see that often too. I rarely see people who can shoot good in the men's league I play in. Also I see alot of guys who can dangle and can't shoot to save their lives.

I can shoot great but can't dangle to save my life so there

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05-28-2009, 03:32 PM
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You have the same problem as a lot of people. You are weak stopping on your left foot. Need to work on that.

Your shot could definitely be better as well, from what I see. A more fluid movement and coming over the puck would benefit you well.

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05-28-2009, 04:18 PM
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Here are some more tips for homemade practicing:

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

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05-28-2009, 05:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HURAKAN View Post
You have the same problem as a lot of people. You are weak stopping on your left foot. Need to work on that.

Your shot could definitely be better as well, from what I see. A more fluid movement and coming over the puck would benefit you well.
Well thanks for the opinion about that stuff.

I'm not sure what you mean by a more fluid movement and coming over the puck. The first snap shot thing I did? That wasn't anything really, I was more worried about the small space I had than anything else. Just off the ice on the right are trees and bushes etc. I wasn't setting out to make a highlight video. I was testing the camera in the cold as I had battery issues with it in the cold. It failed ... it was the only shot I got and therechargeable battery died killing any hopes of getting a good video as the cold kills them.

It's a video shot from a chair on a backyard rink. There wasn't any room to skate where I was and it isn't a "best take". It is the ONLY video I have of me really doing anything at all. It was shot on avi with a handheld digital camera that shoots 30 seconds at a time. It was like place it on a chair and go do something and then see later what it looked like after having it on the computer.

I just stopped and shot the puck which to me looks fine. I'm really not sure what you saw with my shot there, there isn't anything wrong with my shot. I'm constantly complimented and by guys who play in college or were/are semi-pro players who wish they could shoot like I can. I break plexiglas with my slapshot etc.

You'll have to take my word for it ... I'm not insulted because I know better. Just trust me on it how's that. Maybe I'll get some game footgae from one of our games if anyone has any. I don't own a video camera, I have an old VHS shoulder cam that is analog and have no way to transfer it to a PC.

I'm weak stopping on my left foot because I almost lost a leg when I was 11 years old from a serious infection and there isn't much of my knee left. Thankfully I've NEVER hurt it playing hockey, I was scheduled for surgery to have it amputated and their treatment started to work thankfully. This was in the 1970s which by today's standards were not as good medically. I can't run very well either. I am also weak doing legovers to the right which you cannot see in the video since I didn't do any in it.

You live with what you have, if I were a pro I wouldn't be here discussing this with you guys that's for sure lolz. I can take criticism about my game EXCEPT my shooting because I know it is great. It is probably the only thing about my game that is top notch.

My friends have wondered if I shoot slapshots around the 100+ mark and they think I must.


Last edited by Hockeyfan68: 05-28-2009 at 05:53 PM.
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05-28-2009, 06:57 PM
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Thanks for the responses, guys. I live in a tiny apartment in Newark, so I have no space in my apartment to practice shooting and there's nowhere outside that I could do that either. I'll try stickhandling with a heavy puck or ball and see if that improves things at all.

Also, I'm a she, not a he, so I'm sure that doesn't help my weakness.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ClicheGuevara View Post
make a forearm blaster out of an old broken stick/shaft, a skate lace, and something heavy to tie it to.
What exactly do you mean by a forearm blaster?

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05-28-2009, 07:12 PM
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ClicheGuevara
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Something like this:
http://www.amazon.com/GoFit-GF-WFB-W.../dp/B0007W2FJA

It's really easy to make your own with a broken stick. Tie it to a paint can or gallon of water. Roll up and down a few times a day. It helped me for sure.

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05-28-2009, 07:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DevilsFan38 View Post
Thanks for the responses, guys. I live in a tiny apartment in Newark, so I have no space in my apartment to practice shooting and there's nowhere outside that I could do that either. I'll try stickhandling with a heavy puck or ball and see if that improves things at all.

Also, I'm a she, not a he, so I'm sure that doesn't help my weakness.


What exactly do you mean by a forearm blaster?
not to sound like an ass but you can strengthen your forearms all you want but you wont notice much, if any, difference in your shooting or passing unless you have the right technique. you get most of your power from your legs anyway

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05-28-2009, 10:17 PM
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Originally Posted by DevilsFan38 View Post
...Also, I'm a she, not a he, so I'm sure that doesn't help my weakness...
Haha, no way. After I posted the second time I wondered if someone would get offended because I assumed you were guy. oops.

Anyways, how long have you been playing for? To me, if you've just started, everyone in here shouting "technique" is right, as your passing and shooting technique is probably off.

Howver, if you've been playing for a long time (especially if you started as a child), I would argue that your technique is probably very good.

For example, in another thread recently someone was talking about how you're supposed to cup the puck using your top hand, and your bottom hand should do very little while stickhandling. I thought I did the opposite so I headed to the basement to correct my technique. Turns out, my technique is fine and follows exactly what these other posters were saying.

So, if you've been playing for a long time, maybe strength will help a bit more, as well as making sure you focus on your technique while you play/practice. I find when trying to learn a skill, when practicing I tend to lose focus and revert to how the incorrect way I'm used to, rather than the correct way I'm trying to learn/do better.

If not, then it would probably be more beneficial to practice your technique more. Since you said you don't have space, maybe something like this? I wouldn't buy it since it's basically just a bungee cord that you attach to something heavy. Buy a bungee cord and attach it to the leg of a bed or something. It wouldn't be perfect for practicing technique, but it would be something. Maybe it would do more harm than good for all I know, but I'm sure someone else here will chime in.

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06-01-2009, 02:57 PM
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During the summer I use a ball that simulates a puck it is the same weight and so on. I picked mine up at Canadian tire and it actually helps imo.

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06-01-2009, 03:54 PM
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My shot is by far the weakest component of my game so I won't offer too much advice.

All I'd recommend is that you study and master the technique and then practice until your shoulders dislocate.

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06-02-2009, 12:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hockeyfan68 View Post
The best way to shoot any puck for any shot possible is mechanics and follow through. You cannot use just your arms it HAS to have leg drive and dropping down to have your weight behind the shot.

Followthrough is the key to shooting though and there really isn't any way around that ever. Even when a guy has strong wrists and shoot the puck a million miles an hour from the blueline on goal he has to have a strong followthrough to get velocity. If one doesn't it arcs or flutters or generally is just weak.

Leg drive and dropping down with all your weight on one leg ... it takes practice like everything else in hockey. Weight transfer with the followthrough is key trust me on that.

Don't ask me how to beat 5 guys with fancy stuff cuzz it isn't my strong suit but if you need advice on shooting I shoot with the best of them. I can hit the crossbar from the other end of the rink even at 41 years old with a slapshot. No fooling.
EXCELLENT.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 190Octane View Post
In my opinion the 3 keys to a hard shot are...

1. Technique
2. Core/leg strength
3. forearm strength
Well said. Practicing technique helps to develop the muscle necessary for any such activity. Shooting a lot helps develop the shooting muscles better than anything else. If I had to recommend one thing to improve someone's shooting, it would be leg workouts.

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06-05-2009, 10:16 AM
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What flex stick are you using and how long do you have it? How long have you played?

Lots of good info is up here about shooting technique and strength, but IMO it's useless if you're using the wrong stick. Now I'm not trying to say the right stick will fix everything, but the wrong stick can certainly mess up even a really good player.

The stick needs to flex a bit when you shoot and even when you want to make a hard pass. If you aren't getting flex out of the stick, your arms and wrists will be doing all the work and the puck will weakly slide along the ice. A flexible stick allows you to store the energy created by your leg and core strength and when you follow through it releases all this energy towards the target.

Typically, your average 6' tall person with an average stick length (chin in skates) uses an 85 flex. If you're taller or like a longer stick, you can possibly use a higher flex, and if you're shorter or like a shorter stick, you should try a lower flex. Most players use a flex too stiff. I'm 5'8" and like sticks an inch below the chin, so I use 70-75 flex.

Another thing I might recommend, I just picked up the Bobby and Brett Hull DVD, and it does a PERFECT job of explaining and SHOWING the correct shooting technique. I recommend it, as you see over and over again slow motion shooting technique from all angles and explanations.

With the right technique and the right equipment, you should be able to get good power and accuracy out of your shots and passes, even without a ton of strength. Then you can build up your strength and get even better.

EDIT: I see you said you're a woman, and I hope I'm not making assumptions, but if you're on the shorter end (i.e. under 5'8") you might want to try an intermediate stick. If it's wood, make sure you can get some flex out of it before you buy it. If composite, same thing, it needs to have some bend and flex. Hell, Brett Hull was 6' 200 pounds and used a 65 flex stick!


Last edited by Jarick: 06-05-2009 at 10:22 AM.
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06-05-2009, 04:54 PM
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Getting a real whippy stick might help velocity on wrist shots and passing but it could ruin your snap/slap/one-timer and affect your accuracy. Generally, practicing a lot of wristers will help a ton. It will build your forearms and make your wrists bigger too! By the way, one very good secret from Brett Hull is to keep your hands away from your body, so you can put a basketball through your arms when shooting!


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06-05-2009, 10:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DevilsFan38 View Post
Are there any off-ice exercises you can recommend to improve this? My shots are pitiful, and even my passes and clearing attempts are slow and weak.

I'm sure there are all kinds of fundamental tips in this thread.

I'd like to throw a few curve balls out there that maybe others aren't thinking about:

1) What kind of gloves are you using? More specifically, what is the PALM of the glove like? I try to use gloves light weight gloves with a thin (non-leather) palm. I find it helps me to grip the stick and alter my grip should I so desire. It may sound like a tedious detail...but its very important to be able to control the stick properly in your hands and you should be able to 'feel' the puck through the stick. This will provide you with gaining a more exact sense of when your release point is at its most powerful point.

2) Even when your practicing off-ice, wear the gloves.

3) Don't worry about practicing with a puck all the time. A tennis ball is a great learning prop which will hyper-accelerate your stick control.

4) Don't 'flail'. By this I mean...concentrate LESS on the SPEED of your motions and MORE on the EFFECT of each movement. When you've released the puck (or ball) you should have as much control over your stick as when you began your shot.

All too often, I see beginners finishing their shots with their stick at odd-ball angles and an out of balance body position.

5) Try different shooting angles. Shoot across your body. Shoot with just the toe of your stick, shoot away from your body...back hands...whatever you can think of...and maybe most importantly...try shooting the ball or puck while it is in motion, because standing over top of a puck that is sitting in one spot the entire time is really a complete waste of your time. Its not a realistic simulation of what you aspire to do in a real game!

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