I just bought some Practice Ice. That's the plexiglass stuff that you put on the ground and shoot pucks off of. It's supposed to simulate shooting a puck off ice. Has anyone used this before? How durable is it?
Yeah I've been using it on rollerblades. What did your friend do to increase his shot power?
Well, we all know how to do this one and just about every kid in the world wants to do the big slap shot.
Well, lets talk a little about it . I hope I don't bore you. So here goes!
In the last coaching tip "Why more Canadians players shoot Left," we talked about what each hand does in relationship to the stick and shooting or passing.
In a "Slap Shoot" a lot of factor come into play.
1. Hand Position.
2. Puck Placement.
3. Weight distribution.
4. Angle of approach on the shot.
First, lets look at where your hands go on the stick. Place the first hand that goes at the end of the stick which is located on the butt end of the shaft. Then place your other hand on the shaft. Move that hand down the shaft to where your elbow rest on the top of your glove at the end of the shaft.
Notice the hash marks above the top glove. This is the area where you place your hand for "Slap Shots." The area below, is where you place your hands for normal stick handling.
Now, when I coach house league players, I have them place a piece of tape on the "Slap Shot" spot. This way, they don't have to look, they can just move their hand down to the tape.
Second. Have you ever seen a compound bow? It's the bow with a couple of pulley's and extra string going everywhere.
This bow is designed in such a way, that an arrow could almost pass through a tree.
When you pull back on the string, it take a lot of force to pull it back. However, once you get the string pulled back....say, three quarters of the way back, it becomes really easy to pull. You could almost pull it with one finger at this point.
Well, once you let the arrow go, the arrow travels at the normal speed. When it hits the point where all those pulley's come into play, the force, increases the speed of the arrow and it goes faster then a normal arrow will fly.
The concept hold true for a hockey stick. Well, without the pulley's. Most coaches teach their player's to make contact with the ice 1" to 1.5" inches behind the puck.
This will cause the stick to bend at the shaft. When the player follows through with the shot, that bending of the shaft, which will help speed the puck up...get it! Good. There's more...
Now, lets go beyond the normal ice contact behind the puck and lets talk about stick placement.
When a player does a normal "Slap Shot" and they start to address the puck, they pull back their stick with the blade facing up.
I see this every time a player shoots. This is known as an "Open" stick. Next time, check out how many of your players do this.
I teach my players to keep the stick blade "Closed." To do this, make sure that the blade of the stick is parallel to the ice.
Once the player start to make contact with the ice, the blade of stick will be slightly forward and to the side of the puck. This is where you want to make contact with the ice.
Make sure that you maintain pressure on the shaft during contact with the ice and follow through. The will cause the shaft to bend and the blade will add an extra whip to the shot.
I promise you that your shot will be faster and harder...try it!
Now, make sure that when you make contact with the puck, that you are almost looking on top of the puck. This will help when you make contact with the ice, thus allowing your the stick to bend.
Angle of approach on the shot
If you shoot left, approach the attacking zone on your "Off" wing and turn towards the high slot. This will give you the chance to place the goalie at 2:00 or 45 degree on the appoach. Then let the shot go!
If you enter on you "On" wing, move to the top of the face off circle and let it go. The goalie will be at 2:00 or 45 degrees on the approach.
The "Off" wing is better because it places you in the slot! Which means more open spaces in net. The "On" wing, the goalie has the angle on you and a lower scoring percentage.
Remember this...where ever you point the tip of your blade on the follow through, is where the puck will go! If you follow through high...the puck goes high. If you follow through low, the puck goes low and on the ice.