Can you actually go from having zero hands to dangling people?
I always thought of hands as a "gift." In minor hockey, I live in a small area so we got a team of one really good guy, a couple good guys, then the rest are average and below. And the really good guy got sick hands, real smooth, but it seems like hes always had them, i never see him practicing or anything i dont understand...
Another guy got great hands too but their not half as good as the other guy, and this guy practices so much that he doesnt even do anything else. Can anyone be a "natural" dangler?
I always thought the best stickhandlers were the ones who were creative with the puck (aka Datsyuk)
Anyway, i'd like to be more confident with puck control and maybe be more confident with the puck. I dont expect to go up next praccy and dangle everyone but... you know what i mean, whats the most effective way of getting hands
Datsyuk got the way he is with tens of thousands of hours of practice.
Same goes with Gretzky. People always talk about his "sixth sense" and such, but he would be the first to tell you that he used almost every free minute of his entire life practicing, doing drills, etc.
The same applies to the really good guy. Everyone knows a guy who never seems to practice, but I guarantee you he is.
Natural skill is a part of it, but relatively speaking its a small percentage. At a young age you might be able to get by on natural athletic ability alone for a while, but that levels out pretty quickly over time.
I second the golf ball idea. You can also get practice balls that mimic the weight and feel of a puck that work well too. Throw on some gloves and dribble the ball while watching TV. Youtube some basic off-ice drills (I like the triangle obstacle.) Stickhandle through your dogs legs. Its all practice and it all helps.
it starts with the mind and the mind can always change.
if you can get a patch of ice in your backyard or open ice time then throw a bunch pucks around you and work on stick handling one puck through them. start with one or two and then go through all of them while also skating around and doing stride/crossovers/gliding etc. also try finishing it off by setting yourself up for a shot.
I have to say no. You can to a certain extent through practice but you will hit a wall eventually, people that can't dangle lack creativity. You can improve puck handling for sure but as far as pulling off flashy moves, some of it is inherent in your reflexes and mind.
I like the green biscuit. Pretty good feel to it. Surprised no one else mentioned it yet. I never played a whole lot of forward, usually a defenseman, but a puck moving dman. What helped my handles was just stick handling everyday. After school, went to the rink and just kept skating with the puck. Whenever there was a pickup game going on, I kept practicing. Slow things down to a tempo you like, try and control what's going on. Try things you normally wouldn't, have fun doing it. Otherwise, stick handling will never be your thing. I have a friend who literally just enjoys shooting the puck, he'll fire away from anywhere, because he doesn't like to challenge anyone with the puck. It's just a pickup game, have fun, and don't be afraid to try something with the puck a few times. Don't be a hog though -_-
In short: Practice. Green biscuit. Practicing with a heavier stick helps too(if you do it for a long enough period of time).
Nobody was born as an elite hockey player. Everybody started from scratch. I think your genetics play a big part in how quickly you learn and how good you can get, but everyone still has to learn and practice.
My stick handling and puck control has improved enormously over the last year. Here's how I did it:
Every time I workout/exercise I automatically add a 30 min stick handling session to the end of it - it helps that I have a home gym set-up.
I just use an old wooden stick I have and a road hockey ball on carpet - far from an ideal situation - it feels like stick-handling in sand and since I'm using a wooden stick, it's heavier than what I use in game situations. This helps develop those for-arm muscles, as I was developing wrist problems last year from playing frequently but having weak wrists.
Stickhandling and deke flash moves are separate things though. you can have elite hands and suck at dangles (iginla). That's why I think some of it is natural. On the other hand u can have someone with avg hands make creative shootout moves (malik).
if you want to dangle pick 2-3 moves that you can use, preferably not all to the same side. and practice them over and over. i have played with guys who practice all kinds of moves but can never execute them , i have 3 go to moves depending on where the d man is playing and how his is playing me. i havent perfected them by any means but i can pull them off 75% of the time. i literally practiced my toe drag 1000's of times, from kids at out door rinks to buddies in warm up to practices to the kids i coach to the dog you name it, now that toe drag is eberle-ish and works awesome.
so pick 2-3 moves and focus on them, also the moves are all about confidence. try doing it in a game, then the next time think to yourself "im going to dangle him with this" if FEELS different, like you know you can pull it off. it sounds weird but its true.
I don't have great hands but I have seen a ton of improvement in the last year from watching the youtubes and trying to get a feel for the process of a deke. Once I understand how the deke works, it's a matter or practicing until you can do it on command stationary and then half speed and full speed.
As someone else mentioned, creativity is a big one because a lot of quick stick moves and dekes happen BEFORE you have time to think about it. Getting your mind outside of the box helps with performing these moves on the fly and seeing what happens.
Then once you get the hang of a move, it's a matter of trusting your ability to do it when it counts without hesitation. Trust the defender will bite, trust the puck will be where it should be, trust that you can actually do it.
I promise you that if you wanted it bad enough, you would be able to learn. Obviously it would require a lot of work and maybe sacrificing some things to make time, but definitely doable.
I started late playing hockey as a kid, like maybe grade 7-8 , not sure how old I was then, maybe 13-14, but all I did everyday was practice everything, every aspect of the game, hands, shooting, whatever, I dominate every game at the outdoor rinks against people that have played way longer then me, all you got to do is practice practice practice!
Hands and skill can be worked on. You can always get better, but I've seen guys with amazing skill do poorly because they can do the fancy moves but they didn't exactly know when too. If you watch Datsyuk or Crosby or whoever they read the defenders body position and language and then decide what move too make.
So yeah you can practice and train yourself to have the skill, but you also need to know when to make the moves.
I recommend getting a buddy or two and playing keep away. It helps a lot. Me and a few teammates would do it after practices. You can even find videos of a lot of pros doing it as well.
Practice definitely helps, golf balls are the best way to go IMO, due to the fact that they're more difficultto control. A huge part of it though is less about hands and more about on ice awareness, which is huge. You can have unreal hands, but if you're oblivious to your surroundings you're going to lose the puck or get leveled trying to dangle by a guy you didn't even know was there.
As many others have said, practice is an important component to building up any skill set. Take time stickhandling to get used to the feel of the puck and coordinate your wrists with the movement of your stick and the puck. A major part of being able to dangle is simply having the ability to stickhandle while keeping your head up and being alert to your surroundings.
There's obviously going to be a degree of genetic predisposition to being good at something, but it's the work you put into it that really separates the best from the pack. Guys in the NHL have the best combination of the two possible.
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