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Best way to better stick handling

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Old
08-26-2010, 10:18 PM
  #26
dpixel8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jarick View Post
Try stickhandling with the heel of the blade.

was this meant for me? and if so, why? how would that help?

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08-26-2010, 11:21 PM
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Originally Posted by dpixel8 View Post
was this meant for me? and if so, why? how would that help?
I find having the puck closer to the heel lets you feel the puck more (closer to the shaft), you can also sort of feather the puck back and forth.
Also with the puck at the heel, if you want to push the puck out, and then pull it across / in, then you will have a lot more room on the blade before the puck rolls of the blade of your stick.
Practice stickhandling around two pucks in a figure 8 motion, and try not to lift the blade of your stick over the puck. Just let it roll off, push on the back of the blade, let it roll off, then catch it and push with the front of the blade. That will help you understand using the heel and toe.

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08-26-2010, 11:40 PM
  #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beavboyz View Post
I find having the puck closer to the heel lets you feel the puck more (closer to the shaft), you can also sort of feather the puck back and forth.
Also with the puck at the heel, if you want to push the puck out, and then pull it across / in, then you will have a lot more room on the blade before the puck rolls of the blade of your stick.
Practice stickhandling around two pucks in a figure 8 motion, and try not to lift the blade of your stick over the puck. Just let it roll off, push on the back of the blade, let it roll off, then catch it and push with the front of the blade. That will help you understand using the heel and toe.

Saw you do that in your video. Going to check that out and try it tomorrow night when my wrist stops hurting so much

And you still like that roll-up larger shooting pad? Mine is way too small for doing any stickhandling practice besides basic stuff, or like tonight moving my body around and moving the puck with my top hand.

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08-27-2010, 12:42 AM
  #29
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Another thing with average stick handler I see is the lack of angles they use.

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08-27-2010, 07:21 AM
  #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ReenMachine View Post
Another thing with average stick handler I see is the lack of angles they use.
****ing Quintana. That creep can stickhandle, man.

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08-27-2010, 08:09 AM
  #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dpixel8 View Post
was this meant for me? and if so, why? how would that help?
I was told if you stickhandle with the puck farther away from you, the blade will come off the ice and you should use the heel of the blade. Seems to work for me. If you're stickhandling in close to the body, use the toe part of the blade.

I can't recall if you're the OP but one thing you could try doing is get a really cheap (or old) stick and cut it way down, like 3" below the chin in bare feet. Then stickhandle with a ball keeping both hands in front of the body. The short stick will force you to keep your hands in front and free up the hands from the hips.

Eventually, you can work up to a longer stick and you will still keep the good technique.

That's what I did anyway. I started with super long sticks and would always get picked off. I went to about chin height sticks IN SKATES for a while and my stickhandling improved, then I went back up to normal length and my stickhandling was still very good.

I recommend picking up a Smart Hockey ball, they are good off-ice tools. Use them and download these FREE video drills by USA Hockey:

USA Hockey Stickhandling Drills

Burn 'em to a DVD and practice while watching TV, or do it with the computer, or just memorize them and go to work in the garage like I did. You'll improve REALLY fast.

The final thought I'll leave you with is that a coach once told me not to dribble the puck for the sake of dribbling the puck. Meaning you don't always have to go forehand-backhand-forehand just while skating. A lot of beginners and even intermediate players will try to focus on dribbling the puck when they don't have to. Most of the time I skate I'll just carry the puck on my forehand in front of me. The times I really stickhandle is when I'm trying to throw off a defender or a goalie, rapid stickhandling helps.

Bottom line is it's about puck control and hand-eye coordination. Start out slow with those drills and work up to the speed they have in the video and you'll be the best on the ice.

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08-27-2010, 08:41 AM
  #32
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Someone earlier said use your peripheral vision and that's really important. You need to have the puck far enough out in front, or out to the side so that you can see it in your peripheral vision, that's the best tip I can give you and why I prefer a longer stick.

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08-27-2010, 10:02 AM
  #33
dpixel8
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those USA Hockey videos are great. I wasn't the OP, but they'll be helpful. Thanks!

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08-27-2010, 12:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dpixel8 View Post
Saw you do that in your video. Going to check that out and try it tomorrow night when my wrist stops hurting so much

And you still like that roll-up larger shooting pad? Mine is way too small for doing any stickhandling practice besides basic stuff, or like tonight moving my body around and moving the puck with my top hand.
Yeah the roll up pad has a permanent spot in front of my net. I gave the smaller one away to a kid down the road that is always playing street hockey (he was thrilled)

The big size is really nice, whenever I want to practice a move I know I have enough room.

If you want to buy it grab the coupon from my site and you'll save $10 (in the right sidebar)

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08-27-2010, 12:56 PM
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Originally Posted by beavboyz View Post
I gave the smaller one away to a kid down the road that is always playing street hockey (he was thrilled)
Cool move, thats really nice of you

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08-27-2010, 02:29 PM
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practice 2 things:

1 - stickhandling ahead of you while not looking at the puck. Try reading a sign in front of you.

2 - stickhandle with a puck on cement. (shooting on cement also can help you improve your shot, according to Al MacInnis.)

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08-27-2010, 03:41 PM
  #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beavboyz View Post
Yeah the roll up pad has a permanent spot in front of my net. I gave the smaller one away to a kid down the road that is always playing street hockey (he was thrilled)

The big size is really nice, whenever I want to practice a move I know I have enough room.

If you want to buy it grab the coupon from my site and you'll save $10 (in the right sidebar)

Ordered it yesterday. Can't wait for it to get here. Just hoping that it's not too much of a PITA to store if I need to roll it up. Obviously can't (and wouldn't want to) roll it up too tight. The EZGoal is AWESOME in that it takes up absolutely no space when it's taken down.

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08-27-2010, 03:41 PM
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Originally Posted by qwertysac View Post
Cool move, thats really nice of you

yeah im planning to do the same thing with mine. it's just way too small. figured I'd put it up on Craigslist or something for some lucky kit.

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08-27-2010, 05:34 PM
  #39
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Originally Posted by ReenMachine View Post
Another thing with average stick handler I see is the lack of angles they use.
That's a really good point. Part of what made Gretzky so deadly was he anticipated what would happen if the first defender did x and the second defender did y, he had to go z. While he was the greatest, this is particularly important for normal players too.

A good example for me being a lefty is coming into the o-zone on the right side in a 1 on 2. Let's say I'm coming in very nearly along the boards, if they have total containment to the outside, I pretty much have to keep going around and try to find some space behind the net. But if one of them has containment and the other is in the slot, I can still try to split them or use a stop and pop if I see a trailer.

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08-28-2010, 08:52 AM
  #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jarick View Post

The final thought I'll leave you with is that a coach once told me not to dribble the puck for the sake of dribbling the puck. Meaning you don't always have to go forehand-backhand-forehand just while skating. A lot of beginners and even intermediate players will try to focus on dribbling the puck when they don't have to. Most of the time I skate I'll just carry the puck on my forehand in front of me. The times I really stickhandle is when I'm trying to throw off a defender or a goalie, rapid stickhandling helps.
That is perfect. When I first started playing, I thought I should be stickhandling all the time, and I wondered why I lost the puck so much. As a beginner its a lot harder to even skate and stickhandle, so why do it all the time? Carry it on your forehand/backhand, do whatever but you don't have to dribble all the time.

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08-28-2010, 09:27 AM
  #41
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Yep. At it's most extreme, if you're skating ahead full speed, I was taught to lay the blade flat on the forehand and just push it ahead of yourself, like Gaborik's 5th goal (at 2:25):


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08-28-2010, 10:29 AM
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Originally Posted by ReenMachine View Post
Another thing with average stick handler I see is the lack of angles they use.
What do you mean by this? What angle are you referring to?

Like, how you move the puck around your body? Angle of the stick? Angle of dribble-to-dribble type thing?

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08-28-2010, 10:57 AM
  #43
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Some good drills mentioned...I'm a big fan of the "Figure 8" drill and have shown it to many of my players. The difficulty of any of these stationary drills can be easily adapted by changing the object being stickhandled - substitute in a golf ball, for example.

One problem that a lot of people, not just beginners, have is a lack of top-hand control. By that I mean that they rely too much on their bottom hand to help control the direction of the puck, when really the bottom hand's major purpose in stickhandling is to act as a lever for shooting. Something you can do to help reinforce top-hand control is to cut a length of PVC just wide enough to fit over your stick and hold it with your bottom hand when doing stickhandling drills. This way, your bottom hand slides around the stick, naturally reinforcing that it's the top hand that's supposed to be controlling the action.

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08-28-2010, 11:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HFNHL Commish View Post
Some good drills mentioned...I'm a big fan of the "Figure 8" drill and have shown it to many of my players. The difficulty of any of these stationary drills can be easily adapted by changing the object being stickhandled - substitute in a golf ball, for example.

One problem that a lot of people, not just beginners, have is a lack of top-hand control. By that I mean that they rely too much on their bottom hand to help control the direction of the puck, when really the bottom hand's major purpose in stickhandling is to act as a lever for shooting. Something you can do to help reinforce top-hand control is to cut a length of PVC just wide enough to fit over your stick and hold it with your bottom hand when doing stickhandling drills. This way, your bottom hand slides around the stick, naturally reinforcing that it's the top hand that's supposed to be controlling the action.
If you use a golf ball or something small and light, you're actually practicing making it easier. This is ok if you're just learning basic movements, but if you're looking to really improve you need to use something harder to stickhandle than a normal puck on ice. In this case, weighted pucks on the ice are worth trying out as well as practicing with a normal puck on cement.

If you make it harder when you're practicing, you'll be better at normal stickhandling and will find it easier. It's kind of like athletes doing windsprints with a parachute on the back. Increasing resistance helps you down the road.

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08-28-2010, 11:32 AM
  #45
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I don't think a golf ball necessarily makes it easier, you need softer hands to control it. But I still prefer the Smart Hockey ball as it's the same weight as a puck.

I never did understand the toilet paper roll on the bottom hand when stickhandling thing. I'm not going on the ice with a toilet paper roll on my bottom hand. I use both hands on the ice, so no reason not to practice with both hands.

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08-28-2010, 11:55 AM
  #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jarick View Post
I don't think a golf ball necessarily makes it easier, you need softer hands to control it. But I still prefer the Smart Hockey ball as it's the same weight as a puck.

I never did understand the toilet paper roll on the bottom hand when stickhandling thing. I'm not going on the ice with a toilet paper roll on my bottom hand. I use both hands on the ice, so no reason not to practice with both hands.
I didn't think it was about stick control I thought the toilet paper roll was to help beginner learn to slide there hand. like when reaching for th puck hand moves up closer to the top of the shaft and so on...

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08-28-2010, 12:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Blueland89 View Post
I didn't think it was about stick control I thought the toilet paper roll was to help beginner learn to slide there hand. like when reaching for th puck hand moves up closer to the top of the shaft and so on...
It's a little bit of both. Where the stick control part comes in is that, when you really think about stickhandling, the top hand is supposed to be controlling the majority of the action. If you don't learn to loosen up the grip on your bottom hand, then you limit the range of motion in your top wrist. The toilet paper roll forces this on you. It doesn't work for everyone, but it's particularly useful for people (mostly Americans) who learned to play with their dominant hand as the bottom hand.

As for the golf ball being easier, it has less rolling resistance and moves faster on hard surfaces, which does make it valuable as an implement in dryland drills. But the smart hockey balls are also great, plus there's other stuff that works, too. Anything that varies drills and keeps them challenging and interesting is positive in my book.

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08-28-2010, 12:21 PM
  #48
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I like this toilet paper roll thing. I'm going to try it out.

I have one of those wooden 'Swiss' balls. I'm assuming that's a suitable thing for any dryland drills?

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08-29-2010, 01:42 PM
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Do it like this




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08-31-2010, 01:14 PM
  #50
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Originally Posted by Jarick View Post
Yep. At it's most extreme, if you're skating ahead full speed, I was taught to lay the blade flat on the forehand and just push it ahead of yourself, like Gaborik's 5th goal (at 2:25):

Went out yesterday and didn't get hiplocked once you guys have helped a lot and I thank you.

I practice alone on this outside concrete inline rink they have at our rec center in the town I live in, pretty sure I;m the only one who uses it. When skating theentire length i did this just pushing the puck and i would stick handle a little right before i was about to shoot made a world or difference. ou guys have helped so much, being the only person I know around my area who plays I will probabley be asking a lot of questions so thanks.

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