When i was younger I was a good player, could score, was a good playmaker, good skater, etc. I grew up playing ball. I stopped playing at the age of proably 18-19. and only played here and there until i was prob 23. By the time I came back fully everyone had transitioned completely to puck. I now play with a puck and I find myself a much worse player. Im 25 years old, Sure im slower, taller and have put on a few lbs, (Im about 6'0 185 lbs.) But i find myself struggling to handle the puck, and when im handling it well, its because my head is down.
I now play defense, its like, the constant roll of the ball was crucial to me. I feel as tho if I could handle the puck, I would possess much better vision, be quicker with my decision making, and not get as tired, which would prob help dramatically. Just last night, I wound up twice for a slapshot and both times, had probly a 2 second windup b/c i felt the puck dribbling away as i went to blast. ( and looked like an idiot) maybe some its just b/c im older and such now, but I am trying to improve and im getting frustrated.
Since i started playiing a few times a week again, I have made some strides. I can actually recieve passes most of the time now, and still possess good speed like I always have. But id like to not be the worst player on the team, which is filled with all friends and all good players. So as I said, i think my number 1 problem is puck control, b/c I think alot of things becoming easier with good puck control. Anyway just looking to improve. Ideas/thoughts/techniques would be appreciated.
Some will probably recommend off ice things that will help. But, in my opinion I just think you need to hit a couple open ice times where you can practice alone at your speed. Trying to learn during a game (even pickup) is a recipe for bad habits and stressful skates.
And for receiving passes, you can practice at open ice by parking yourself 6 feet from the boards. Then just shoot at the boards and catch your rebound, rinse and repeat. Can even tee off one timers if you feel like it.
Honestly, I think you're over thinking it a bit.
PS I whiffed a slapper and fell flat on my face in front of 200 people once. Good times haha.
Thanks for the input, I could def try that. I should mention this is roller hockey, but ur right i Proably am overthinking it. I kno how to play, I guess practice really does make perfect, Ill have to just keep it up.
Pretty simply, street hockey with a puck sucks and it's difficult to ever really consistently achieve much worth getting excited about. If you're playing street hockey, you're best off with a specially designed, heavy duty ball that has a free-floating smaller ball inside, filled with water, which makes it behave, for the most part, like a puck. It rolls better on the pavement, allowing you to do things smoothly, as you would with a puck on the ice.
If you're talking about indoor roller hockey with a smooth floor, I'm not sure why you're having such a big problem. The puck moves nicely indoors and it shouldn't be too big of an adaptation. I personally only play ice hockey (played indoor roller for about 3 years when I was 11-14) but I have no problem grabbing a tennis ball, or one of the special balls I mentioned above, and stick handling with it outdoors for fun, nor stick handling with a roller puck on my basement floor. It shouldn't be difficult to go from puck to ball and back, etc. The only time a puck should be difficult is on pavement, and that's because, frankly, it's asinine to play with a puck on pavement. If you're talking about indoor, all of the mechanics are the same and the puck should keep gliding just like the ball would keep rolling. Are there some differences? Obviously, but if it's indoor I would say it's much more a matter of you simply getting more used to the touch and it shouldn't take you too long at all; just practice.
I am talking about indoor roller hockey. There are two local rinks, one which is good and one which is more of a deck. The good rinks floor is night and day compared to the deck rinks surface, but the puck moves quicker on the deck. I guess more than anything its in my head.
stick handling practice for a few mins a day prob wouldnt be a bad idea either.
A ball moves differently and is higher than a puck (obviously).
I've taught a few ball hockey players a few tricks for handling a puck, but it is hard to simply type it out.
The trick is to flatten out the way you cup the puck when it is on the backhand of your blade. Too many ball guys hold their blades straight up because the ball sits up higher. They then tend to miss the puck on the backhand motion while they are stickhandling, or they "slap" it with the flat of the blade, which kills puck control.
Get a puck and your stick, then start messing around with technique. Lay the backside of your blade at a sharp angle on the puck. Then move it around just using the backhand. You will see how easy it is to maneuver the puck around like this and pull it towards your body.
Now put you backhand straight up agt the puck and you will see it is much more difficult to manipulate the puck around.
Keep messing around with the angle of your backhand as you stick handle, until you find the one that feels just right for you. You may even want to change the lie of your stick so it sits closer to the ice... Or sport court, actually, sorry.
You will be shocked how these changes give you much better puck control.
I played indoor inline for years. Both ball and puck. The weight and feel is totally different, as your're well aware. I had to use a completely different stick for ball as well. It was the equiv of maybe a 60 flex. I'm only 5'7" and at the time only weighed 110 or so. Anywho, the main thing I had to do when I was playing both puck and ball in a season is to cut down on the stick handling and use my feet more.
As far as receiving passes goes, that just takes practice. A little trick someone showed me was if the pass is to your back hand is to receive it with only one hand on the stick. For whatever reason that's the right amount of stiffness/softness.
For a D man and shooting, just practice the quick release. Line up a bunch of pucks and just get them off as fast as possible without looking. Then work on receiving the pass and getting the shot off as fast as possible whether you need to look or not. After a while you'll be able to adjust your body and shot mechanics to how you receive the pass. The idea is to build up muscle memory and reflexes so you don't need to think about it.