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Inability to Slapshot or Lift on Backhand?

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Old
06-29-2010, 02:10 AM
  #1
fasterthanlight
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Inability to Slapshot or Lift on Backhand?

Hey everyone!

I am relatively new to hockey, and I've been playing ~1 year.

I've been wondering recently about my stick. While I love it for wrist shots, I seem to be unable to lift a backhand shot or lift a slapshot no matter how hard I try.

While I think there is a high probability this is just because I suck, is there any chance some of the blame can lie on my stick/blade?

I use a Louisville TPS R4 Comp Stick with a Frolov curve... It doesn't seem to be very flexible, but, again, I don't have much experience with this sort of thing. I have occasionally been able to lift a slapshot, but I can't seem to lift a backhand.

So, stick, skill or both?

Thanks

Also: Does anyone know what "R4" or "R8" or "R10" means on TPS stuff?

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06-29-2010, 02:32 AM
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MrRuin
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The "R+number" is the model name of the TPS line of products. Higher number means better and more expensive product.

To a limited degree your inability to slapshot or lift a backhand may be caused by your gear, however the big part in this equation is simply skill. I would, first and foremost, work on your technique. Do not use lie, curve or flex as a crutch. Yes some curves can help with certain things (pm9 makes backhands easy for example) but in the end proper technique will let you do it with almost any curve available after a short adjustment period.

There is no magical stick that will let you "do it all" in 5 minutes. A great slapshot video can be found here:

http://www.youtube.com/v/U6sQCEdltt4&

or simply look through this thread for suggestions and then go out and practice!
http://hfboards.com/showthread.php?t=768464

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06-29-2010, 02:37 AM
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TheHMan
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For the slapshot... it's mostly because you're new. The easiest way to get into the hang of raising a slapshot is to use a smaller windup and move your hand a little lower on the stick. Make sure your snap your wrists properly and sweep at the puck a little more than pushing on the ice. Ultimately it's not proper form, but raising a slapshot is essentially a feel thing, and when you really get a feel for how you're supposed to be contacting the puck, then you can try shooting with loading the stick. Also, being able to look at the target and not the puck is also something I find is important for raising slapshots.

Backhand shots are difficult for beginners because there's a lot of weight transfer that's essentially backwards of what you're used to. It's almost like shooting with the wrong handed stick. The curve you mentioned seems like an open faced blade so you won't be able to use the full length of the blade to really raise the puck effectively.

It is possible to get a backhand shot off with an open faced blade, but it really takes a lot of power in the shot and a really quick snap to elevate it effectively, and it takes quite a bit of practice. You basically have to use the heel to the mid part of the blade to get it on your stick and snap it. It'll take a lot of force to get it stuck to the blade, so that's why weight transfer is important. I generally practice backhanders at the end of each shooting session I do, and it just takes time.

If you're playing in a game or something like that and want to cheat, you can elevate backhanders by essentially doing a snapshot. Just try sweeping the stick along the ice in a backhand fashion and have the blade a bit open. It'll go up, have some decent power but it's not really the most accurate shot, and you can't really mix it in with stick handling as well.

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Old
06-29-2010, 07:07 AM
  #4
bp spec
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Frolov curve is looking quite weird i think. Never used it though, so I don't really know. The the sticks flex plays a big part.

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06-29-2010, 08:41 AM
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WickedWrister
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Don't blame the stick. A decent player will be able to backhand/slapshot using any curve. If I sound a little rude I apologize, I just don't want you to go out and get a new stick because you think that it's the equipments fault.

I'm not going to post a how-to guide because there are plenty of ones on the internet, and partly because I'm not good enough to tell anyone how to play . There are some things though that you can take note of.

For backhands, try to work on your forearm strength.

For slapshots, try to make contact with the ice maybe an inch or so behind the puck.

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06-29-2010, 11:48 AM
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HowToHockey
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A good stick for you when learning to take a slapshot would be one with a lot of flex, that way you can get use to the feel of loading the stick.

Here is a video with how to take a slapshot and another one with a few slapshot tips



MrRuin linked to this one, but I figured I would embed it


And I also have written a few articles on how to take a slapshot and how to improve slapshot power.

For the backhand
There are two types of backhands, one is taken more like a wrist shot but on your backhand. To get the puck up quickly though you can use this technique

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06-29-2010, 01:29 PM
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Noir
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Backhand shots are tricky in a sense that to raise them you need to find yourself in both these situations simultaneously:

1. The puck should be at the area or near the heel of your blade.
2. The puck is pulled a little bit behind so that you have space to wind & lift.


This is not a strict rule though. I can lift pucks backhand in other situations but I find these to be the most ideal sitation for a backhand shot.

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06-29-2010, 05:14 PM
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Jarick
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If you can do those things with another stick, it's probably your stick that's the problem. Otherwise you need practice

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06-29-2010, 05:39 PM
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pistolpete31
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Make sure your bending your knees when your shooting and have a good weight transfer from back leg to front leg

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06-29-2010, 05:54 PM
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Noir
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pistolpete31 View Post
Make sure your bending your knees when your shooting and have a good weight transfer from back leg to front leg
I find the key to backhands are really in the transition of your sweep. By that I mean pulling the puck back forehand and the sudden transition to your backhand + sweep.

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06-29-2010, 08:01 PM
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Gino 14
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Slapshots look great and everybody wishes they had a great one but the truth of the matter is, as you get older and play pick-up, slapshots are appreciated much by the guys you play with because you can injure anybody in front of your shot and most guys don't have much accuracy with theirs anyways (along with the fact that a lot of men's leagues don't allow them). Work on a wrister and snap and don't lose sleep over a slapshot you won't get much use out of.

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Old
06-30-2010, 02:20 AM
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You can't blame your stick on anything. Not trying to be mean but all it takes is practice; Sidney Crosby has a nasty shot with nearly a flat blade, while Ovechkin's is borderline legal, and guess who won the Richard this year?

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Old
06-30-2010, 01:36 PM
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vyktor
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one thing about the equipment that made it difficult for me for both the things you are talking about was stick length. when I started playing i used a stick that followed the chin to nose rule of thumb, and had no problem with a wrister, but like you describe no end of trouble on the backhand, slapper. after cutting them down little by little I now us a stick that comes between the collarbone and adams' apple. One of the tricks that I learned from these boards is to look at where the tape wears on your blade, if it's always worn at the heel your stick is probably too long. I'm not a great skater, but I get a lot of comments about how hard my shot is since i got the stick length right.

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06-30-2010, 01:54 PM
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blueberrydanish
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hoonking View Post
You can't blame your stick on anything. Not trying to be mean but all it takes is practice; Sidney Crosby has a nasty shot with nearly a flat blade, while Ovechkin's is borderline legal, and guess who won the Richard this year?
Crosby had a different curve last season.

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06-30-2010, 03:29 PM
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Injektilo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gino 14 View Post
Slapshots look great and everybody wishes they had a great one but the truth of the matter is, as you get older and play pick-up, slapshots are appreciated much by the guys you play with because you can injure anybody in front of your shot and most guys don't have much accuracy with theirs anyways (along with the fact that a lot of men's leagues don't allow them). Work on a wrister and snap and don't lose sleep over a slapshot you won't get much use out of.
This is true... in warmups guys are always blasting away at the boards or the goalie, and then when the game starts, they take what, one or two slapshots the whole game? Some of which are just clearing the zone type things? Meanwhile, they're making about 50-60 passes and taking a bunch more wrist shots than slappers.


Slapshots look great and all, and they're fun to practice, but unless you're a D-man playing the point on the PP a lot, you're better off practicing your passing and taking quick wristshots. Nothing annoys me more than a guy on my team who gets the puck in a great spot, then has to stop and windup for a big slapshot, not realizing that an opposition player is coming right into the lane and about to deflect it away. A simple wristshot would have been more accurate and actually gotten the puck on net.

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06-30-2010, 03:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Injektilo View Post
This is true... in warmups guys are always blasting away at the boards or the goalie, and then when the game starts, they take what, one or two slapshots the whole game? Some of which are just clearing the zone type things? Meanwhile, they're making about 50-60 passes and taking a bunch more wrist shots than slappers.


Slapshots look great and all, and they're fun to practice, but unless you're a D-man playing the point on the PP a lot, you're better off practicing your passing and taking quick wristshots. Nothing annoys me more than a guy on my team who gets the puck in a great spot, then has to stop and windup for a big slapshot, not realizing that an opposition player is coming right into the lane and about to deflect it away. A simple wristshot would have been more accurate and actually gotten the puck on net.
This was just my own personal development, but I developed my slap shot first (I play defense). Big wind up, big shot, yadda yadda yadda. After I knew I could put a lot of power into a shot, then I started working on shortening my back swing and maintaining a good amount of velocity and accuracy. I started out needing a full back swing, to regularly using a half wind up, to the point where, should I need to get that quick shot off, there basically is no backswing (closest thing I guess is a snap shot?). I suppose learning to take a slap shot properly got my body used to things like the weight transfer, proper hand/arm technique, and follow through, to the point where I could shorten the motions and still have a good shot.

Sort of like practicing things with exaggerated motions until the process becomes second nature.

Sometimes, though, an opportunity to fire a slapper is too good to pass up

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Old
06-30-2010, 05:05 PM
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BadHammy*
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One big key that most new players fail to do is look up at the target when you follow through. Not doing that will hinder even the best players.

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07-01-2010, 04:01 AM
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fasterthanlight
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Thanks for all the advice/tips/info everyone! I'll stick with it. I really do like my curve for wristshots, and I get 90% of my goals off deflections or rebounds, so it's not a huge issue as a few people brought up.

I'll keep working, though!

Thanks again all

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07-01-2010, 08:52 AM
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Originally Posted by blueberrydanish View Post
Crosby had a different curve last season.
His point is still valid, it was a very slight curve.

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Old
07-01-2010, 08:55 AM
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TBLfan
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Backhands are simple once you get the motion down. The easiest way to figure out that motion is to lower your bottom hand, this makes it easier. After you get the motion down move your hand back to the normal position and give it a try... then let us know your results.

I'm a coach and one of my players had no backhand, I mean we're talking it would slide along the ice about 20' and stop. I spent 10 minutes with them, they tried this technique and next thing you know they are backhanding the puck off the glass... no exaggeration.

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Old
07-01-2010, 01:13 PM
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CoupeStanley
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Yeah. Blame the stick....

Seriously, you should be able to lift the puck with a straight blade plastic stick if you know how to shoot the puck.

So, go on the ice and shoot buckets of puck to the net, you'll eventually get the right feel to it.

PRACTICE is key.

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07-01-2010, 02:19 PM
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Cowbell232
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Backhands are a lot feel IMO.

With other shots you want to "load" the stick, that is hit the ice before the puck. With a back hand it's kind of the opposite, you want to just touch the puck and kind of lift it. It's hard to explain but I hope that helps.

I like the idea of moving your bottom hand real low, good pointer!

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07-01-2010, 02:34 PM
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cptjeff
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His point is still valid, it was a very slight curve.
Yeah, but he has one now. That's a big change for him.

To the OP: it's technique. But to be sure, make sure you have the right length and lie.

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07-01-2010, 08:41 PM
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BadHammy*
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Jeff makes a good point. If your lie is way off, it can hamper your shooting control on all types of shots, but most noticeably slapshots.

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07-01-2010, 10:27 PM
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One big key that most new players fail to do is look up at the target when you follow through. Not doing that will hinder even the best players.
this. pick a spot and the eyes should be staring at it watching the hands bring the stick up (during the follow through) into the peripheral vision and end looking down the shaft at the said target


hockey shooting is like real shooting in this sense, you **** the gun by winding up, pick your target, combust using the flexion of your stick to create thrust and then fire a small bullet at high velocity.

now think about if you've ever shot a rifle...you can't be accurate by not looking down the barrel...well most us average joes anyway, but if you are looking down the barrel at the end aiming at your target you have a much better chance. so when you follow through on your slappers imagine that you should end up looking down the barrel (shaft of stick) of your gun that just fired and you want dead aim. it sounds more complicated than it is, this is just to visualize.

in reality once you get the "feeling" and the comfort of your swing down it's mostly just picking your head up

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