I would think this would have more to do with balance and skating ability then it does with age.
Once they can keep their balance through the shot without flailing or falling off their skates they are ready to learn how to do it.
There were a couple of 6 year olds in my sons 3 on 3 league who could shoot a balanced slap shot and could put it any where in the net. I don't think the average minor hockey player wouldn't be ready for this until 8 or 9 years old.
Last edited by Dump and Chase: 05-27-2010 at 04:24 PM.
Agree with the above, when they can skate forwards and backwards with good balance. There's an archive of Howie Meeker videos on CBC.ca and he says he ONLY teaches the slapshot to kids because they don't have the strength to perform a wrist shot (until they can do 20 pushups or something, around 12-13 years old). But he also says teaching any kind of shooting is not important until they're at least 10, skating, passing, and puck control are bigger because they take more time to develop and don't require strength.
growing up the coaches i had never taught me a slip shot until i fully able to be balanced or new the basics. its always good to have them learn how to skate and transfer weight to get get used to it. but i would figure around 8 or 9 if they had skated since about 5.
It's never too early, or late for that matter, to teach the slapshot. The only caveat to that depends on what level we're talking about.
It's gotta be to a point where there is going to be comprehension among the players (if you want them to take anything away from it and improve; not just swinging at it). And this not only applies to the proper technique of a slapshot, but also about situational use for a slapshot.
If we're talking about select/rep, then 7-8 years old is generally where it might be best to get them at least started with the idea and technique. It might be three or four years before they can effectively use it, but they'll never know until they try. If it's house league, the skills and comprehension are generally behind the rep kids, so we're looking at 9-11.
I had teammates in Bantam and in Junior that never really learned properly at any age. I can only imagine how much more versatile their game might have been if they had the time and practice under their belt.
Depends on the player, the developmental curve is different for everyone. If this kid is a good skater with good balance and can handle it, no reason to not get him started on it right away if he can do it. If I could give a general age, I'd say 9-10 but some will be earlier, some later.