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Hockey Sense: What's the best tip a coach or player has given you?

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01-19-2013, 11:27 AM
  #1
HowToHockey
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Hockey Sense: What's the best tip a coach or player has given you?

I looking for small mental changes that have helped you become a more effective player. For me there were two great tips

As a kid player - my dad told me to never stop moving my feet. It's easier to go from slow to fast than stopped to fast. I started winning a lot more foot races and getting a lot more chances

When I was a little older - A coach told me to stop trying to deke players and just skate past them. Once I started just using speed I found I got way more chances, I wasn't skating towards players and deking them, I was skating around them.

Now - I am thinking of the game in lanes, and stong side vs weak side. I try to take away passing and skating lanes when the other team has the puck and I try to get in the passing lanes when we have the puck. If the team fills one side of the ice and I get the puck I try to move the puck to the weak side by skating it there or passing it there.

Looking forward to seeing your tips. I want to put an article together and obviously everyone combined is smarter than just one of us. If you want to contribute a lot of info you can always PM me and I can give you credit.

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01-19-2013, 11:44 AM
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JoeCool16
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Well I only started fairly recently, so I only have...

Now - When you're skating in for a shot, don't peel off after taking it; stop at the front of the crease for the rebound. Beforehand, I'd whip the shot and peel away, but now I'm able to gather up a lot more rebounds.

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01-19-2013, 11:55 AM
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Steelhead16
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You spend more than half the game on the bench. Don't waste that time. Watch what is working for your teammates. Watch what you can exploit on your opponent. Watch the opponents goalie. The game lasts 60 mins. Use all of it.

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01-19-2013, 12:07 PM
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MrFunnyWobbl
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When I don't have the puck in the offensive zone, I try to stay away from it, it can come to me in an open spot.

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01-19-2013, 01:24 PM
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vapor11
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Put the pass where the player is going to be..not where he is

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01-19-2013, 04:09 PM
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redbranch
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I'm a beginner, so I'm always looking for tips.
One of the best ones I've gotten so far, is that when getting ready to defend/poke check, keep the butt of the stick behind your hip. It makes it look like the forward has more room than he does, and you can snap it out harder and faster than if you're already stretched out. Plus, if your stick is already extended, you're just telling them your range.

I'm amazed at how often this trick works, even on players a fair bit higher in skill level than me

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01-19-2013, 04:37 PM
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Renbarg
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Defensively, one v one. Look at the guy's chest not the puck.

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01-19-2013, 07:34 PM
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nullterm
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Play the man, the puck can't shoot itself into the net on it's own.

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01-20-2013, 08:59 AM
  #9
TickleMeYandle
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I've only been playing since April, so I don't have a lot of expert tips. But being a newish player, I remember more of the things that have really made a difference.

Don't panic when you get the puck, you usually have time to at least look around to see who you can pass to. Although, it's always fun to take a blind backhand pass, just for the sheer thrill of turning around and finding out if you won the jackpot - but more likely, you've passed it to the other team.

Don't pass in front of your own net, unless there is absolutely NO chance of a turnover. And if you're a new player, there is probably never going to be a situation where there is NO chance of a turnover, so just assume that the rule is don't pass in front of your own net.

Watch out for your teammates, see where they are and where they are heading. Lots of times, they won't be where they are supposed to be for the position that they are playing. Sometimes it's a good thing, but often it will be because they just weren't paying attention or don't realize that the D isn't supposed to go after the puck in the offensive zone corners. Don't wait for a breakaway to go bad and then just shrug and say "not my fault, why was D in the corner anyway?" Instead, hang back to be the guy who can at least attempt to stop the breakaway and then either stop the guy (and get accolades from your teammates for doing D's job) or don't stop him (at which point you can THEN say "not my fault, why was D in the corner anyway?").

Just because you're new and/or slow and/or hockey stupid doesn't mean that you don't have the right to get the puck. I probably spent my first 3-4 months working under the assumption that other players were better and faster than me, therefore racing them to the puck was kind of a waste of time and effort. One coach tells us every few weeks that even if you're the slowest and newest guy on the ice, you have just as much right to the puck as the best player, so go after it! Even if they beat you to the puck most times, sometimes they won't. Or they'll get there and not be able to control it. Or they'll get there and control it, but then have to get rid of it because you're pressuring them. I played one game a couple of weeks ago where TWICE I was beat to the puck by the same guy - and TWICE I was able to get it away from him, just by fighting along the boards. Both times I was able to make a centering pass and if the goalie hadn't blocked the shots, those would have been very nice assists.

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01-20-2013, 09:23 AM
  #10
Devil Dancer
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The best tip I ever received was from someone on this board: On faceoffs, watch the puck as the ref drops it, don't stare at the dot.

My faceoff percentage probably doubled as a direct result of that advice.

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01-20-2013, 09:27 AM
  #11
Devil Dancer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redbranch View Post
I'm a beginner, so I'm always looking for tips.
One of the best ones I've gotten so far, is that when getting ready to defend/poke check, keep the butt of the stick behind your hip. It makes it look like the forward has more room than he does, and you can snap it out harder and faster than if you're already stretched out. Plus, if your stick is already extended, you're just telling them your range.

I'm amazed at how often this trick works, even on players a fair bit higher in skill level than me
That's awesome, I've never heard that one before. I don't play D, but occasionally I find myself defending/poke checking.

Thanks.

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01-20-2013, 10:55 AM
  #12
Analyzer
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If you're gonna skate 200 feet to force them to make a play, why not skate 2 more feet and hit them ?

I've used it ever since and it baffles me why so many NHLers are so scared to hit.

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01-20-2013, 12:09 PM
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Malreg
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HowToHockey View Post

When I was a little older - A coach told me to stop trying to deke players and just skate past them. Once I started just using speed I found I got way more chances, I wasn't skating towards players and deking them, I was skating around them.
As a guy who has been coaching for about 6-7 years now, it's unbelievable how hard it is to get a kid to understand this concept.

The amount of times I see the puck carrier skate towards a defenseman to try and deke him instead of just using their speed to go around the player drives me crazy. I want to pull my hair out every time I see it happen. We must repeat it at least 100 times a year, and still some players just can't help themselves.

Is it because all they see on Sportscenter is players dangling through defensemen and scoring beautiful goals so that's what they want to do?

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01-20-2013, 12:40 PM
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jacklours
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malreg View Post
As a guy who has been coaching for about 6-7 years now, it's unbelievable how hard it is to get a kid to understand this concept.

The amount of times I see the puck carrier skate towards a defenseman to try and deke him instead of just using their speed to go around the player drives me crazy. I want to pull my hair out every time I see it happen. We must repeat it at least 100 times a year, and still some players just can't help themselves.

Is it because all they see on Sportscenter is players dangling through defensemen and scoring beautiful goals so that's what they want to do?
That's because they don't Watch the players feet. Because they would notice that their feet are always moving during the dekes.

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01-20-2013, 01:45 PM
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Steelhead16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malreg View Post
As a guy who has been coaching for about 6-7 years now, it's unbelievable how hard it is to get a kid to understand this concept.

The amount of times I see the puck carrier skate towards a defenseman to try and deke him instead of just using their speed to go around the player drives me crazy. I want to pull my hair out every time I see it happen. We must repeat it at least 100 times a year, and still some players just can't help themselves.

Is it because all they see on Sportscenter is players dangling through defensemen and scoring beautiful goals so that's what they want to do?
I had the same problem with high school kids. I solved it by them skating one on ones against myself and the other coaches. If they deked and got by us (which they didn't) we had to do push ups. If we stopped them they had to do push ups. If they got by us driving around us and scored they didn't have to skate at the end of practice. Made two lines in the corners, first guy on one side would break toward the center of the blue line and take a pass at the top of the face off circle from #1 on the other side and then break up the middle against us. Then they would alternate as soon as the guy with the puck hit the red line. We would pick them up about the blue line and they would try and be by us by the far blue line so the 3 coaches would cycle between the blue lines. If they tried to drive around we didn't play them really hard, we just wanted their first thought with the puck to be drive and not deke. If they deked we would sweep check, poke check, ride them to the boards (or grab and hold) to keep them from getting by. They just got used to dekeing leading to nothing and driving and skating leading to success. Every practice though a couple would still try us even if they failed every time. Kids are still kids.

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01-20-2013, 02:01 PM
  #16
Leo Trollmarov
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vapor11 View Post
Put the pass where the player is going to be..not where he is
THIS. But it is so frustrating when players won't make the effort to get there and accept it. Theres this one guy I play with that isn't moving often and you try to break him out, he sees it a couple feet ahead of him and wont start to move, just watches it go away.

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01-20-2013, 02:30 PM
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DinnerMints
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Two that helped me very much as a player, but may be more specific to my playing style:

1) Control your emotions, especially during more competitive times of a game. Take the time during a whistle or a line change, even skating to the dot for a face-off to ground yourself and visualize.

2) Skating down the wing driving do the net, use the net to peel a defensemen from your side while protecting the puck, coming around the other side of the net, don't try to force a play to the middle, if you have a lane take it, otherwise keep possession of the puck.

And a third, always know what you're going to do with the puck before you get it, if you're picking up a loose puck or calling for a pass, have your head on a swivel, know the general idea of what people are doing and where they are going on both teams.

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01-20-2013, 03:09 PM
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NateTheGr8
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The best advice ive ever gotten was from each coach coming up through minor hockey and that was... Have fun

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01-20-2013, 03:16 PM
  #19
TheWauth
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As a kid- Don't give up on the play
When I was a little older- Always be aware of who's around you, and what hand they are
Now- Don't drink from the team supplied water bottles, they're filled with rum

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01-20-2013, 03:51 PM
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ATLhockey437
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Defense - 2 on 1's: Let the Goalie take shooter, wave your stick constantly torwards the shooter (but stay in the middle), get low so you hit the ice quicker if you slide to block a pass (you also take up more of the passing lane)

1 on 1's - keep em wide to the outside by lining up the shoulders (his inside to your outside shoulder) and don't stop staring at his chest. Gap control is key (never have him farther away than stick length).

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01-20-2013, 04:04 PM
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SaintAnton
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"Shoot!" - everyone

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01-20-2013, 06:33 PM
  #22
redbranch
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Devil Dancer View Post
That's awesome, I've never heard that one before. I don't play D, but occasionally I find myself defending/poke checking.

Thanks.
I wouldn't be surprised if at a certain level of play its less effective, but its helped me a ton when I remember to do it. Busted up a few 2 on 1's last week with it

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01-20-2013, 09:22 PM
  #23
nullterm
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If you have a bad shift, forget it! If all you think about is your previous screw ups, then you'll only screw up more and you'll kill your own confidence.

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01-21-2013, 12:03 AM
  #24
nystromshairstylist
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1) Even though it was said before, KEEP MOVING YOUR FEET, always. I see so many players who are not good/beginners, etc., reaching to try and either get a loose puck near them or stop an opposing player and instead of moving their feet and crossing over/stepping towards the puck - they stop moving their feet and reach as far as they can, like they're holding a pool cleaner and are afraid to fall in and get wet.

2) Always try to keep your eyes no higher / no lower than the yellow line painted around the boards. You should not be looking at your feet (too low) unless its just for a second to get the puck out of your feet, and should not be looking to high up above the line.

3) When stickhandling as you skate forward, remember the 10:00 to 2:00 pm range - the puck should always be in that area. Too far to one side and you will probably lose the puck, so keep it within the controllable range.

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01-21-2013, 10:47 AM
  #25
AcidJazz
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Saw this on a different forum...

For Defencemen: Make a little knob on the lower part of the shaft to lift sticks/keep sticks down easier. Not sure of the legality of this, but refs probably won't think anything of it.

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