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Technique question re: Slap Shots

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08-12-2013, 02:34 PM
  #1
uncleodb
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Technique question re: Slap Shots

My slapper is pretty bad overall, but my question is about the slapper at impact. At impact with the ice (few inches behind the puck), i'm pushing the blade of my stick into the ice using my arms. I also dip my back leg at impact to get some of my weight onto my stick to help flex it. But is there a point where it's too much and counter-productive?

This is a bad analogy, but in a golf swing (iron shot), i've been taught to hit down into the grass just before the ball. But if you try to hit down too much, you actually dig your club into the ground and all you have is turf flying in the air.

Does this somehow translate into the Slap Shot? Is there a point where you could technically be hitting down too much, thereby slowing down your shot speed and follow-through, creating a weak shot?

Thanks guys.

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08-12-2013, 04:07 PM
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opivy
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Don't hit "down" hit in front - the idea is to load your stick not to knock a hole in the ice and incidentally contact the puck.

Your follow through still has to be forward, so you're pushing "forward" its just that the impact point is grazing the ice before it hits the puck.

If it feels like you're losing power and momentum down and not transferring it forwards then listen to your body.

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08-12-2013, 05:34 PM
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theMajor
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my teammate gave me a pretty good pointer as i was having problems myself. he told me to have my blade almost parallel with the ice before i took the shot...i had my blade almost pointing straight up and would kind of turn it into the ice during my wind up which is why i couldnt get any power. helped me ton!

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08-12-2013, 09:55 PM
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I just started getting the hangs of it. I have to second just letting it rip. Choke down and swing don't think about hitting the ice just hit the puck The rest kind of figures itself out. Don't hit down into the ice scoop the puck with your swing.

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08-13-2013, 12:08 AM
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For me, focusing on NOT having a huge wind-up really helped my slappers. I really only bring my stick back so that it is parallel with the ice or maybe a TAD higher and then I focus all of my energy into the down-swing and follow-through. Making sure that you follow through hard and point at your target will increase your power as well.

Also, you don't need to take much ice. The instructor at my old adult clinic took maybe half an inch of ice before making contact with the puck.

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08-13-2013, 07:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JagrsMullet View Post
When I was first learning to shoot I tried not to overthink it. Just wind up and let it rip. Once you get the feel down you can start to tweak it and perfect your technique.
Couldn't have said it any better.

My coaches growing up always had me overthinking this one. It wasn't until I was about 22 did I really start to develop my clapper. I would just go to stick and puck with a bucket of pucks and shoot until my arms were sore. I was just trying to feel comfortable taking that shot, I "perfected" my technique later. Also, using a stick that was too long inhibited my shot for a long time. Make sure your stick is an appropriate length for you.

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08-13-2013, 09:16 AM
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sanityplease
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Quote:
Is there a point where you could technically be hitting down too much
If you're doing it right, the power (energy) should transfer into the flex of the stick (assuming it's the right amount of flex for you) & be mostly recovered during follow through.

A GOOD golf swing & GOOD hockey slapshot have a lot in common, need a stable platform (legs), there is a release point, follow through is important, control how much the blade is closed/open. Probably the most important is using your core strength properly, turning your body properly & mastering weight transfer.

Try to use your upper body to load your shot (body weight rather than just your arms). Drive your lower shoulder down & pivot your body @ your midsection, then push your lower hand forward & pull your upper back once you've contacted the puck. Practice it slowly @ first to develop the muscle memory & master the technique. I wouldn't 'dip my back leg at impact', your legs should be a stable platform keeping you in a fairly low stance, then drive your body forward off of your back leg just before contact with the puck.


Last edited by sanityplease: 08-13-2013 at 09:22 AM.
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08-13-2013, 11:25 AM
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Make sure the toe of the stick is hitting the ice first. A lot of time when people are just beginning the heel of the stick hits the ice first, which will give you a pretty bad shot, or "muffin" if you will lol. Make sure you have your blade almost pointed toward the ice when winding up and starting your swing and dont turn it! I like to put the palm of my hand on the outside of the shaft when doing a clapper.

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08-13-2013, 02:38 PM
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Thanks alot for your imput guys. I'm 5'8", 180 lbs using a 95 flex stick. I was trying to get more flex in order to get more power into my shots and I got into this bad habit of trying to kill the ice to flex the stick. I guess i should have started with a lower flex stick and worked on good form / technique.

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08-13-2013, 03:18 PM
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Yeah, as a younger player I had a horrible slapshot 'cause I just thought about too much. Now all I really worry about is weight transfer. I just try to shoot a little ahead of my rear foot and transfer my weight.

Since doing this it really hasn't mattered where my stick contacts, whether it be a couple inches or right before the puck. That's also where using a lower flex stick helps too. You let your core do a little more work than the stick.

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08-15-2013, 05:48 AM
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Huge thing that hurt my slapshot for a long time was too high of a flex. You're not going to get anything on your shots when your stick isn't flexing. Agreed also with the poster who said to not have a big wind up, that can come later. Just focus on making good contact, even at a lower speed, then ramping it up when you feel comfortable.

I use a 95 and I am 6'1" 185, although I don't have the best technique in the world.

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08-15-2013, 06:21 AM
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My slap shot improved right away when I started to really grip hard with the bottom hand. It might sound stupid, but I guess most people just don't grip their stick hard enough to help the energy transfer from your weight into the shot. Also at the start I lowered my grip a bit, and this helps you put your weight into the shot more, instead just swinging with your arms, as you'll have to get deeper.

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08-15-2013, 06:22 AM
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Ola
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uncleodb View Post
My slapper is pretty bad overall, but my question is about the slapper at impact. At impact with the ice (few inches behind the puck), i'm pushing the blade of my stick into the ice using my arms. I also dip my back leg at impact to get some of my weight onto my stick to help flex it. But is there a point where it's too much and counter-productive?

This is a bad analogy, but in a golf swing (iron shot), i've been taught to hit down into the grass just before the ball. But if you try to hit down too much, you actually dig your club into the ground and all you have is turf flying in the air.

Does this somehow translate into the Slap Shot? Is there a point where you could technically be hitting down too much, thereby slowing down your shot speed and follow-through, creating a weak shot?

Thanks guys.
Yep, it definitely can be.

I am 6'3.5 and played hockey until I was 21 y/o. I always grew first before filling out when I was young, and my slapper and wrister was long time suffering. I played center and could fire the puck in a way that was hard for goalies to read, but my shot from any distance was just remarkably bad when I was around 15-16 y/o. Borderline embarassing, like things like that can be at that age...

And it was not for lack of trying. For long stretches over the year, from like I was 13 y/o, I fired 500 shots a week all year in the backyard. Maybe not 52 weeks a year, but definitely 35-40. I worked out hard in the gym. I was probably benchpressing around 175 lbs when I was 15-16, and still basically couldn't elevate the puck with a slapper. I played pro hockey from when I was 16, and when my teammates where competing in hitting the plexi from the redline I couldn't hit it with a slapper from inside the blueline. Then all of a sudden, I guess I had really worn out a wood stick, it became alot more flexible, the slap shot and the wrister/snap shot was there. And it kept getting better. What had happend was that I had added the necessary strength to my hands and wrists. I was a tall half skinny guy, who had added the strength to my bicips/tricps/chest in the gym, but my arms where still growing and my hands and wrists just hadn't kept up.

During the course of one season I went from having a slapper that was really sub-par to being able to hit the plexi from the redline, and like hit the plexi from the blueline without putting any kind of effort into it. I got on the point on the power play and was put into situations where I was supposed to fire away after set plays on FO's etc. I will never forget how older goalie skated up to me after a practise and said something like (Read: litterary, I remember every word ) you must have lived in the gym during the summer, your shot really stings, how much do you benchpress, 200lbs?

My point is just this, up until a -- very high -- point, the slapper is all technique and strength in your hands and wrist. To shoot like Al McInnis, you need pure strength. To fire a laser into the top corner, you just need to be able to whip it. Before you have that strength in your hands and wrists (and the technique which in itself probably is 90-95%), its really really easy to focus to much into hammering the stick into the ice before the puck to make the stick flex and then work wonders. That is what many teach, but its really not what it is about.

I would say that what you need to focus on is being able to meet the motion when your stick hit the ice. The power the shooting motion has when it actually connects with the ice is more or less irrelevant. You can try to shoot like Al McInnis later on, the first thing you should learn is being able to use a swing that will hit the ice like a third a inch below the puck -- and then have such a firm grip of the stick that the sticks bends effortlessly without it affecting your swinging motion. Because that is what you get when you push to hard against the ice, your swining motion is altered and you don't hit the puck like you should. Your stick more or less bounce against the ice and you can get a bit of a zip on the shot but it will not elevate from the ice. Trying to hard will just put an even great force into your hands and wrists that you never can be able to meet and you get even more of a bouncing stick syndrome.

1. There are no short cuts, you must fire away a tremendous amount of pucks. Technique is 90-95% of it. The body isn't stupid, it will figure it out by itself. But don't try to break the ice when you shoot. Its enough if you just hit the ice a little bit before the puck. Unless your shot is perfectly useable in all awys, the fault is never that you don't hit the ice enough so to speak.

2. When it comes to strength, its 95% about your grip of the stick.

3. Use the most flexible stick you can find until you can use your shot like a pro player. Then you can add to that to get more zip on the puck.

There is one test of when your slapper really is working as it should, and that is when you need to fight to keep it down. If it is the opposite, you are still probably a bit to weak for you stick.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lph View Post
Huge thing that hurt my slapshot for a long time was too high of a flex. You're not going to get anything on your shots when your stick isn't flexing. Agreed also with the poster who said to not have a big wind up, that can come later. Just focus on making good contact, even at a lower speed, then ramping it up when you feel comfortable.

I use a 95 and I am 6'1" 185, although I don't have the best technique in the world.
I agere 100%.

Quote:
Originally Posted by izzy3 View Post
My slap shot improved right away when I started to really grip hard with the bottom hand. It might sound stupid, but I guess most people just don't grip their stick hard enough to help the energy transfer from your weight into the shot. Also at the start I lowered my grip a bit, and this helps you put your weight into the shot more, instead just swinging with your arms, as you'll have to get deeper.
Yeah, and it might not be idiotic to put tape around the stick where you lower hand is either at a young age. Maybe its even adviseable?


Last edited by Ola: 08-15-2013 at 06:40 AM.
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Old
08-16-2013, 12:59 AM
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ola View Post
Yep, it definitely can be.

I am 6'3.5 and played hockey until I was 21 y/o. I always grew first before filling out when I was young, and my slapper and wrister was long time suffering. I played center and could fire the puck in a way that was hard for goalies to read, but my shot from any distance was just remarkably bad when I was around 15-16 y/o. Borderline embarassing, like things like that can be at that age...

And it was not for lack of trying. For long stretches over the year, from like I was 13 y/o, I fired 500 shots a week all year in the backyard. Maybe not 52 weeks a year, but definitely 35-40. I worked out hard in the gym. I was probably benchpressing around 175 lbs when I was 15-16, and still basically couldn't elevate the puck with a slapper. I played pro hockey from when I was 16, and when my teammates where competing in hitting the plexi from the redline I couldn't hit it with a slapper from inside the blueline. Then all of a sudden, I guess I had really worn out a wood stick, it became alot more flexible, the slap shot and the wrister/snap shot was there. And it kept getting better. What had happend was that I had added the necessary strength to my hands and wrists. I was a tall half skinny guy, who had added the strength to my bicips/tricps/chest in the gym, but my arms where still growing and my hands and wrists just hadn't kept up.

During the course of one season I went from having a slapper that was really sub-par to being able to hit the plexi from the redline, and like hit the plexi from the blueline without putting any kind of effort into it. I got on the point on the power play and was put into situations where I was supposed to fire away after set plays on FO's etc. I will never forget how older goalie skated up to me after a practise and said something like (Read: litterary, I remember every word ) you must have lived in the gym during the summer, your shot really stings, how much do you benchpress, 200lbs?

My point is just this, up until a -- very high -- point, the slapper is all technique and strength in your hands and wrist. To shoot like Al McInnis, you need pure strength. To fire a laser into the top corner, you just need to be able to whip it. Before you have that strength in your hands and wrists (and the technique which in itself probably is 90-95%), its really really easy to focus to much into hammering the stick into the ice before the puck to make the stick flex and then work wonders. That is what many teach, but its really not what it is about.

I would say that what you need to focus on is being able to meet the motion when your stick hit the ice. The power the shooting motion has when it actually connects with the ice is more or less irrelevant. You can try to shoot like Al McInnis later on, the first thing you should learn is being able to use a swing that will hit the ice like a third a inch below the puck -- and then have such a firm grip of the stick that the sticks bends effortlessly without it affecting your swinging motion. Because that is what you get when you push to hard against the ice, your swining motion is altered and you don't hit the puck like you should. Your stick more or less bounce against the ice and you can get a bit of a zip on the shot but it will not elevate from the ice. Trying to hard will just put an even great force into your hands and wrists that you never can be able to meet and you get even more of a bouncing stick syndrome.

1. There are no short cuts, you must fire away a tremendous amount of pucks. Technique is 90-95% of it. The body isn't stupid, it will figure it out by itself. But don't try to break the ice when you shoot. Its enough if you just hit the ice a little bit before the puck. Unless your shot is perfectly useable in all awys, the fault is never that you don't hit the ice enough so to speak.

2. When it comes to strength, its 95% about your grip of the stick.

3. Use the most flexible stick you can find until you can use your shot like a pro player. Then you can add to that to get more zip on the puck.

There is one test of when your slapper really is working as it should, and that is when you need to fight to keep it down. If it is the opposite, you are still probably a bit to weak for you stick.



I agere 100%.



Yeah, and it might not be idiotic to put tape around the stick where you lower hand is either at a young age. Maybe its even adviseable?
A bit off-topic but: What pro hockey did you play at age 16 in Sweden?

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08-19-2013, 08:00 AM
  #15
Ola
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A bit off-topic but: What pro hockey did you play at age 16 in Sweden?
4th tier (div 3). And then 3rd tier when I was 17 (div 2).

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