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stickhandling with your head up

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Old
02-07-2010, 04:20 PM
  #1
Johan Santana
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stickhandling with your head up

I can stickhandle very fast/well while watching the puck or having the puck in the bottom corner of my eye while sort of looking up but as soon as the puck is out of my eyesight i immediately lose it. Any ideas how I can improve?

I am currently practicing on my floor with a golf ball (I heard golf balls make a good practice ball, is that true?)

Thanks

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02-07-2010, 05:28 PM
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hoonking
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I just started hockey recently and I've been using a golf ball as well for my stickhandling. When I first started I could do it well while looking but once I lifted my head up I couldn't keep control of it. Just slowly practice lifting your head up a little bit until you're comfortable with it.

In my opinion its just knowing how you dribble and where the ball is on the stick, so for me I try to feel where the ball is (heel, toe). Practice, practice, and more practice will help perfect dribbling with your head up.

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02-07-2010, 10:37 PM
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Hockeyfan68
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I use outdoor ice time for practicing stuff like that. I practice things like power skating backwards in circles or stickhandling with my head up.

I carry the puck looking for passing lanes with my head up and make whatever passes necessary for the play. It is good practice outdoors because more often than not the playing surface is much smaller than on the indoor rink.

I would recommend doing it at your own pace and not trying to skate as fast as possible like you would in a game. Do it slooooooooooow and gradually build up speed as you get better at it.

I play guitar very well and one thing you learn is to learn your new technique at a slow pace and slowly work on it until you can play it fast on the guitar.

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02-07-2010, 11:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johan Santana View Post
I can stickhandle very fast/well while watching the puck or having the puck in the bottom corner of my eye while sort of looking up but as soon as the puck is out of my eyesight i immediately lose it. Any ideas how I can improve?

I am currently practicing on my floor with a golf ball (I heard golf balls make a good practice ball, is that true?)

Thanks
Here's a drills for you to use. Place the puck on your stick and use your Peripheral Vision to keep the puck in front. Then , I want you to do simple skating circles in one direction only. Which means, you skate facing down ice always facing that direction and skate around a tire.

So one minute you are going up around the tire and at the top you pivot and skate backwards with the puck to the bottom of the tire. Keep going in one direction. Once you have this down, go in the other direction.

After you get this down, remove the tire. Always keep the puck in front of you. Feel the puck on the end of your blade...be the puck!

Head coach

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02-08-2010, 12:59 AM
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cptjeff
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Good one if you have someone else is to just stickhandle in place while your partner holds up various numbers of fingers. Every time he changes, you call out the number. It forces you to keep your head up while you stickhandle, and you build your feel and muscle memory.

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Old
02-08-2010, 01:10 AM
  #6
HowToHockey
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You need to feel the puck, that is the key to stickhandling with your head up.

Take some time and really try to feel the puck, I mean consciously attempt to feel it. Notice things like how it feels when the puck is in the middle of the blade, toe of the blade, heel of the blade. By programming those feelings into your brain and training your muscles it will help make it second nature. The key is to feel when the puck has come off of your stick, then you can take a quick look down and get the puck back to where you need it to be.

Start slow, with simple movements, once you master dribbling, and simple moves then move on to more some more difficult moves.

Also ALWAYS practice stickhandling all around your body, you should feel comfortable controlling the puck everywhere you can reach it. This will give you a big advantage.

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02-08-2010, 01:21 AM
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prorobo
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Even the pros look down. It all depends on the situation, the move you're trying to pull, and duration. If you're dangling through 3 guys, your attention will want to be on the opposing players just as much as on the puck. Don't skate down the ice staring at the puck, but it is perfectly fine to use quick glances just to keep tabs on its location.

Obviously this is a practice shootout but if you pay attention while watching games, you'll see it's about the same.


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Old
02-08-2010, 01:44 AM
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The above poster is correct, you have to look down sometimes, especially when making moves. Focus on getting the puck out in front of you so you can see it in the bottom of your vision and then skate to it! Using a longer stick might help.

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02-08-2010, 12:37 PM
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hoonking
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But he isn't going to always have it out in front of him so why not just practice getting the feel of it more than relying on looking at it.

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02-08-2010, 01:58 PM
  #10
WhipNash27
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knock yourself out.

Anyway, I usually stickhandle in my peripherals. You can normally pay attention to what's going on if you do it like that. If you're really serious, then practice your ass off to the point where you can do it blindfolded.

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02-08-2010, 02:22 PM
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rye&ginger
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Look about 5' in front of you, not down at the puck. With peripheral vision you should be able to see the puck enough.

When at home watching TV, use a smart hockey ball or taped up golf ball on cardboard and do the same thing. Put some pucks down and stick handle around those while standing.

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02-08-2010, 11:37 PM
  #12
Hockeyfan68
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hoonking View Post
But he isn't going to always have it out in front of him so why not just practice getting the feel of it more than relying on looking at it.
Yes this is correct to the most important degree for sure. I play defense and skating backwards stickhandling with the puck you have to have your head up or else you will not do so well.

I use my peripheral vision and look to make a good pass as defensmen should do. Sometimes it will roll off your blade and you whiff making a puckless pass leaving the puck as a turnover but you see the pro defensemen do that as well. it is just something that happens because you are looking at reading the play on the ice and cannot be wasting time staring at your feet at a puck.

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02-09-2010, 03:59 PM
  #13
GuitarAwesome
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Golf ball is a great way to go. At the same time, using a weighted ball while you do it, to build up your forearm strength is a great idea. Since you're training the stickhandling, might as well make it faster while you are at it. I've always been a dangler, i never really did the peripheral thing, i just went slowly with my head up going by feel alone. Once you can do it slow, speed up. Rinse and repeat until you are a bonifide Datsyuk. Off topic: my favorite compliment I ever got was one Datsyuk gets all the time: "Wow, that guy can stickhandle in a phone booth!"

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Old
02-09-2010, 06:01 PM
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rye&ginger
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Well to train for speed, you have to train at that speed. So using a weighted ball is not the way to go. You need to use something lighter so a golf ball is good.

a weighted ball/something heavier than a puck is ok for slower training. Not a good idea to try to move it around quickly IMO, but roll your wrists and shoot at a wall.

2cents from my kinesiology degree.

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02-09-2010, 08:02 PM
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Hockeyfan68
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rye&ginger View Post
Well to train for speed, you have to train at that speed. So using a weighted ball is not the way to go. You need to use something lighter so a golf ball is good.

a weighted ball/something heavier than a puck is ok for slower training. Not a good idea to try to move it around quickly IMO, but roll your wrists and shoot at a wall.

2cents from my kinesiology degree.
I have a couple of those blue little tyke pucks that weigh only 4 ounces. A regular black puck is 6 oz. if you have ever used these for fun the slapshots are incredible with them lol.


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02-09-2010, 11:12 PM
  #16
Jiblet
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Do it while watching T.V. thats what I did and i went from not being able to stick handle for $#!% and now its the best part of my game

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Old
02-09-2010, 11:25 PM
  #17
spitfires07
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EDpIENthX8A

this video and part 1 did me wonders, the drills are very good

i like using a golf ball because it forces you to stickhandle faster and gives you better reflexes

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Old
02-12-2010, 12:14 AM
  #18
cptjeff
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hockeyfan68 View Post
I have a couple of those blue little tyke pucks that weigh only 4 ounces. A regular black puck is 6 oz. if you have ever used these for fun the slapshots are incredible with them lol.

Those are also fun to bounce when one is bored.

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Old
02-12-2010, 01:46 AM
  #19
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Something that's really helped me is to stick handle very wide of my body, stretch my reach as far as I can, forehand and backhand, and practice doing that with my head up, looking the other way. This is one of the most effective methods I've found for practicing deking through the neutral zone.

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