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I found a good way to teach the player to pivot his body while shooting. I have the player stand in front of the net off to one side awhile I toss pucks into the air in front of the player. The player must bat the puck into the net with his hockey stick at hip level. Because of his close position relative to the shot and the fact that he is hitting the puck in the air he is forced to pivot his body to bat the puck into the net. I have used this technique with players who have unusually stiff movement through their hips and stomach. Another technique is baseball batting practice. I have seen players achieve marked improvement in shooting after a season of baseball where they had intense batting practice. Both techniques are also great for developing hand eye cooridination and faster reaction time.
Shooting involves transferring the weight from backward to forward. There are four basic principles for projecting any object from a baseball, to golf to a puck.
1. Wind up - draw the stick back, for a wrist shot behind the foot and players like Brett Hull have the stick blade pointing at the ceiling on a slap shot.
2. Transfer the weight from back to forward. With both shots the bottom hand exerts a lot of weight down on the blade and the shaft of the stick bends.
3. Crucial instant - the release or puck contact. On a wrist shot roll the wrists over and on a slap shot hit 2 to 6 inches behind the puck and roll the wrists over.
4. Follow through with the forehand blade of the stick pointing to the ice and the tip of the stick at the target.
The key to an effective shot is to be able to take it while skating and stickhandling and not have to coast and set it up first. Hull has his stick back, already in the wind up before the puck comes to him and his shoulders square to the puck.
I have skated with a few good NHL scorers and fed them passes while they practiced their shots and noticed that they shoot from the middle of the blade to the toe. This helps them get the shot off quickly and under the cross bar.
Another trait of good scorers is to make a head, shoulder,or stick fake, or to draw the puck in toward the body with the toe of the stick and then release it. All of these moves are to get the goalie to commit himself.
This is a simple shooting routine that we use a lot at the start of practice to warm up the skaters and the goalies.
It is from the B5 formation with all the players inside the middle circle.
The players are in the middle circle, half the team on each side of the red line.
Players all take shots from one lane at a time. The first player goes and the next player waits until he/she is far enough away that the goalie will be ready for the next shot. (the older and faster the players, the more space between shooters).
Do a sequence of wrist shot, backhand shot, slap shot from each lane. Then drag and shoot. All shoot from lane 1, then lane 2, then lane 3.
When performing a slapshot, remember to slide your bottom hand down the stick a little farther than your normal grip. This will allow you more leverage and will increase your control. Remember to point the toe of your stick at your target at the end of your follow-through to increase accuracy.
To maximize power and control with your backhand, start the puck off your back foot and sweep it through releasing just after the puck crosses your front foot. If you start with the puck too far in front, you will not maximize the weight transition. If you release too early, you will likely miss your target
It is important to shoot while you are skating and let the puck go within your stickhandling moves.
I just got back from playing hockey and was the centre for Murray Heatley and his son Dany. They both let the shot go when skating and change the angle of the blade just before release, usually with a fake to one spot and release to another. They let the shot go without gliding and setting it up first.
So practice shooting in stride and making the goalie think you are shooting one place and then read his lean and shoot where he ain't.
Any prolific goal scorer has a magnificent snapshot (Joe Sakic, Mark Messier, Teemu Selanne). Snapshots are quick, effective and accurate shots that are vital to any scorer's arsenal. It is important to remember to follow through and point the end of your stick at your target. This forces you to use your wrist and forearms which is where the power comes from.
Make sure to not have your hand too far down the shaft and to bend your elbow, then straighten it, for a ball and a roller puck. Always point the toe of your blade at the target and then keep the ball/puck in-between both feet out in front of you however far you want it. Use your shoulders for leverage.
When you are skating you automatically have this speed added to your stick speed as compared to standing still.
The speed of the stick has a lot to do with how strong your forearms and wrists are. You must get the shaft to bend so it whips to project the puck.
As a defenseman you need to get into the habit of dragging the puck quickly inside the dot before shooting (if on the forehand) and skating it there if you are playing the off side point. All of your shooting practice from the point should include getting the puck inside the dot and letting it go.
You also need to use your whole body and not just the arms if you want a hard shot.
So I would say you must combine strengthening your arms and wrist with moving quickly into shooting position. It is hard to say exactly where the weakness is without actually seeing you shoot.
We have a rule that the defense must miss the first man with the shot. Our offensive support from the forwards is always the same. F1 must support from the boards on the strong side when the d has the puck at the blueline. If the d has a shooting lane f1 heads for a shot pass or reboung. if the d is pressured he make the safe play to f1 on the boards or puts the puck behind the net. (f2 screens and f3 gets open on the weak side for a one timer, shot pass or crashes the slot for a rebound.)
One drill is to have the d drag and shoot the puck from inside the dot following a pass from the strong side corner. Alternate corners. The key is for the man with the puck to always drive skate to open ice. In this case the d drive skates to the slot to get a shot away.
When taking a wristshot, your weight and puck should start off your back foot. As your weight slides to the front foot, the puck should be rotating from the heel of your stick to the toe. The puck should be released as it crosses your front foot and your weight should be completely transferred to your front foot.
When learning to shoot usually the sweep shot is taught first to emphasize the fourm phases of any projection.
1. Wind up
2. Produce the force forward
4. Follow through
Phase 1 and 3 are exaggerated in the sweep shot.
Next the wrist shot and then the backhand of each and then the snap shot. The slap shot is taught last because it takes more strength.
Most coaches teach all but the slap shot at an early age and at about 10-12 kid's can learn the slapper. (had a 12 year old last week slap it at 67 mph)
The most common shot in the game often goes undeveloped because it is not as hard or as fun as a slapshot. Unfortunately, defensemen often don't work on their wristshots and are overly concerned about how hard their slapshots are. However, wristshots are more accurate and have a shorter release time which is definitely helpful when a D-man gets the puck at the point and needs to release a fast and effective shot.
Hand positioning is important for a backhand. If your hands are too close together, you will have less control and less power. If they are too far apart, you will have less control and will probably end up shooting the puck over the net. Ideally, you want to keep your hands a comfortable length apart and maybe even lower your bottom hand a little to increase your control.
Many players think that their forehand is the best way to put the puck in the net. Guess again! When deeking a goaltender, you must be able to fake both ways - on your forehand, as well as your backhand. So when using the backhand, make sure you have the puck on the base of the blade.
I have informally collected a list of "Patterns" (things that work) and "Anti-Patterns" (things that don't work).
Patterns include, shooting the puck on the net(forcing the goalie to play the puck), attacking the short side rather than the far side (the short side actually has more a better shooting angle because the goalie is must have a lesser depth position compared to the far side and rebounds of the back boards tend to come back into play rather than rim), slowing down during a net drive if there is sufficient space (throws off the goalie's timing and permits shooter time for an extra move) crossing laterally when ever possible (forcing the goalie to move often opens a hole), using a defenseman as a screen (cutting behind a D prior to the shot obscures the windup and release) shooting from between the hash marks.
Anti-Patterns include lack of mid ice support for the puck carrier skating down the periphery (tends to lead to over long cross ice passes), hanging on the back door rather than constantly moving, and coming in too close to shoot (or not backing up far enough, the key here is that closing in on the goalie has much the same angles effect as the goalie getting more aggressive depth without increasing the goalie's vulnerability to lateral passes. For example attack a paddle down block by walking out to the hash marks to gain space for the high shot).
|Sheri Ann Richerson|