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From Practice to Game

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Old
02-12-2006, 10:36 PM
  #1
hfboardsuser
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From Practice to Game

With the second half of the ball hockey season coming up, I'm starting to identify my strengths and weaknesses playing consistently at a fairly high level (for me).

I own a very, very good wrist shot. I can score from anywhere, at any angle, and at any distance.

But I can't do it in a game.

I seem to get lost in the offensive zone, my passing is off, and my shots are woeful.

I can't even get it going in friendly scrimmages or pickup games. Just in one-on-one situations with the goalie, or shots on an empty net.

Maybe most players can do this, but I rarely see any of them snipe like I can. In warmups and shootouts, that is. I always get 'wicked shot' or 'wow' if I'm out on the rink working on it.

I always end up wussing out after a poor performance at forward and going back to my more natural defensive position. I've tried rushing the ball and playing offensive D, but I still can't translate my shooting- and sometimes passing- into game situations.

Help!

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02-12-2006, 11:16 PM
  #2
waffledave
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Bugg
With the second half of the ball hockey season coming up, I'm starting to identify my strengths and weaknesses playing consistently at a fairly high level (for me).

I own a very, very good wrist shot. I can score from anywhere, at any angle, and at any distance.

But I can't do it in a game.

I seem to get lost in the offensive zone, my passing is off, and my shots are woeful.

I can't even get it going in friendly scrimmages or pickup games. Just in one-on-one situations with the goalie, or shots on an empty net.

Maybe most players can do this, but I rarely see any of them snipe like I can. In warmups and shootouts, that is. I always get 'wicked shot' or 'wow' if I'm out on the rink working on it.

I always end up wussing out after a poor performance at forward and going back to my more natural defensive position. I've tried rushing the ball and playing offensive D, but I still can't translate my shooting- and sometimes passing- into game situations.

Help!
Don't try for the perfect shot every time. It takes a while to get used to the speed of game situations and you don't realize it in practice but you take a bit longer to shoot those sick snipes.

Just put the puck on net. Things will happen. Eventually you'll get used to shooting in game situations and you'll be able to snipe quicker. The most important thing is to just shoot it on net. Even if the shot sucks, it takes alot of practice to be able to pass the puck and set up nice plays in game situations. You just need to get some more confidence first.

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02-13-2006, 07:46 AM
  #3
Qui Gon Dave
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waffledave
Don't try for the perfect shot every time. It takes a while to get used to the speed of game situations and you don't realize it in practice but you take a bit longer to shoot those sick snipes.

Just put the puck on net. Things will happen. Eventually you'll get used to shooting in game situations and you'll be able to snipe quicker. The most important thing is to just shoot it on net. Even if the shot sucks, it takes alot of practice to be able to pass the puck and set up nice plays in game situations. You just need to get some more confidence first.
I would agree with this for the most part, the post above covers most of what needs to be said. In training and scrimmage i have one of the better wrist shots on our team, but our team isn't as good as the teams we play. I dont get closed down quickly in training so can take my time with shots. In games, the opposition is much better than i am used to playing so i have to get the shot away quicker. As a result, the shot is hurried and not as accurate as it is in training.

One thing i will comment on though, there are different approaches to taking wrist shots, you can beat a goalie with 2 things on your wrister, speed and accuracy - or quick release. When you are in close to the goal, you wont be given time to wind up a big wrister, but a quick release wrister will do the job nicely. Similarly, if you are a distance away from the goal, a quick release wont be as effective as you can't get as much power on your shot, but you might have more time to wind up. Do you tend to find you go for the big wind up on wristers most of the time? I spent some time over the last year working on my release and it helped me a lot. Instead of dragging the puck from near my back foot and putting power into my shot around the net, i concentrated on a sudden release. Try just stickhandling back and forth on your forehand side (very simple, nothing fancy, not moving the puck too far) and as you get closer to the net when you pull the puck back in your stickhandling, instead of moving it back in front of you as you normally do stickhandling, snap a quick shot at the net. If you can make it look like you are going to stickhandle all the way to the goal but disguise the build up to a wrister then you have a better chance to catch the goalie off guard. It took me a bit of time to really make an improvement and get decent power with the quick release but i think its well worth it. Hopefully that makes some kind of sense and will be of some use to you, apologies if it isn't clear.

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02-13-2006, 08:36 AM
  #4
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Thanks very much both of you!

waffledave- I guess it really does come down to game speed adaptation. I can't do very much at high speed. I've also noticed my timing is off. I could dominate gym class games of ball hockey by accurately picking off little moves or whatever. It was a good trait of mine. Now I can't do it anymore. It'll just take time, I suppose. Any suggestions that might speed me along?

Qio Gon Dave- I've actually been practicing my quick release over the winter. I haven't played ball hockey in about a month, as our rink is (was) still iced over. I'll have to go down when it finishes melting and see if it helped any. A guy came along that was shooting pucks, and his wrist shot technique put mine to shame- wicked release, hard and accurate shots. I did notice how much slower my release was, and after a few minutes of watching him, I figured out how he was doing it and managed to get off 5 or so shots in the same release pattern (no back-to-front motion, just a flick off the tip of the blade). Your explanation does help me- I've always been confused about that bit involving 'getting a shot off before you switch back to your forehand'. That didn't make any sense to me, but now I see it meant shooting while it was behind you. Thanks!

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02-13-2006, 11:06 AM
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I cant figure out those quick flick of the wrist, wrist shots. Its like the puck explodes off the tip of the stick. anyone have any pointers? are you flexing the stick against the ice when you shoot? it doesnt appear that way but I dont see how you can generate that much power.

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02-13-2006, 11:29 AM
  #6
Qui Gon Dave
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grave77digger
I cant figure out those quick flick of the wrist, wrist shots. Its like the puck explodes off the tip of the stick. anyone have any pointers? are you flexing the stick against the ice when you shoot? it doesnt appear that way but I dont see how you can generate that much power.
When playing roller, i try to add a little flex to the stick and roll the puck from heel to toe of the blade when releasing the shot. The heel to toe helps a bit with power, but if you can give your wrists a quick flick as the puck reaches the toe, with a bit of practice, you can generate some good power on your shot (well, enough to beat the keepers on my team regularly enough)

I'm currently using an Innovative 300 flex shaft/blade combo (which i think in normal flex ratings equates to an 85 or there-abouts) and flexing the stick isn't too difficult for a wrister without making it obvious you are trying to load u a shot. I tried the same with my 260flex Inno and it was a bit more difficult (although im not big or strong). But the main problem ive had in the past with getting power from these wrist shots has been how the puck leaves the blade as opposed to flex. Rolling the puck along the blade works for me but i've seen some people with ok shots who shoot the puck from one position on the blade. Anyone else use that approach and have any success with it? Doesn't work as well for me as the other method.

The only other thing i can think of is transferring your weight a bit to help add some pace to the shot, but i think when i do that for this type of shot, its more to put the flex on the stick.

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Old
02-13-2006, 12:58 PM
  #7
waffledave
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grave77digger
I cant figure out those quick flick of the wrist, wrist shots. Its like the puck explodes off the tip of the stick. anyone have any pointers? are you flexing the stick against the ice when you shoot? it doesnt appear that way but I dont see how you can generate that much power.
What I do to increase the power on my shot (this will help with slapshots too but mostly wrist shots) is simply work out my wrists.

I do this 3 ways.

1) You know those foamy bouncy balls that are red and blue with a white stripe down the middle? Whenever I'm just sitting down watching TV or whatever, I have one in each hand and I just squeeze them over and over again. After about 200 or so you'll really start to feel the burn. It's a good way to work out your wrists.

2) When you're practicing, use an extra heavy puck. You can buy them at most hockey stores and they weigh quite a bit more than a regular puck. At first you'll have alot of trouble even lifting it but after using it for a few weeks you'll start being able to stickhandle and shoot it like a regular puck. After that, go back to normal pucks and see how much quicker you can stickhandle and shoot! It's amazing and works out all the little muscles you use when shoot and stickhandling.

3) Tie a 5 pound weight to a string, and tie the string to a rod. Then just roll the rod up and down so that the string wraps around and then comes unwrapped again, slowly. This works out your wrists and forearms a ton and helps with shooting.

The most important one is #2. That helped me so much and I can shoot it so much harder and faster now. It really helped with my stickhandling too. It's amazing. It does tend to break my sticks a bit faster though.

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Old
02-25-2006, 04:38 PM
  #8
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I can certainly vouch for the weighted puck technique. I never even knew they existed until a few months ago when I found them at Sports Authority. They're orange and a good bit heavier than regular ice hockey pucks and definitely heavier than roller hockey balls/pucks. If you practice with one of these weighted pucks the difference you'll feel when you go back to a normal puck or ball is incredible. I never had a great wrist shot and always focused more on stick handling and passing. But now that I've increased my shot power I've noticed that I have a pretty good wrist shot if I can get open.

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Old
02-25-2006, 10:08 PM
  #9
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For my flick of the wrist wrister, it helps if you get the stick just a smidge under the ball and lift upwards. It works very well in close, and if you're farther away I just pass the puck off or take my pathetic attempt at a slapshot.

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Old
02-25-2006, 10:50 PM
  #10
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Maybe you just need to chill out

SOunds like your over analyzing. Just play.

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Old
02-27-2006, 10:45 AM
  #11
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Practice like you play. For at least part of your practice, have someone play defense on you to take away the time you're depending on; practice taking quick shots, shots off balance (10 to 1 you're taking those "sick snipe" shots perfectly balanced, which never happens in a game--get used to scoring one-footed, turned halfway around, falling down, etc), shots through or around a defender.

Even without a defender, try to move outside your comfort zone. Take shots before you feel you're "ready", as if you were being pressured. Don't wait until you feel balanced, or until you get to the perfect spot; just improvise.

All of those are things that will happen in games, and being comfortable shooting from any [body] position will make you a better game shooter.

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