Whether you're a first-time player or a seasoned veteran, you must know how to handle the puck effectively. Hockey is a sport where your stickhandling ability is often a key component of your success. Therefore, the ability to make smart decisions with the puck and maneuver through traffic efficiently is essential to succeed in the game.
To improve your stickhandling skills, here are seven tips to help you get better at handling the puck.
1- Use Your Bottom Hand for Support Only
Young players tend to hold on to the stick too tightly with the bottom hand, limiting their range of motion. Therefore, you should use the bottom hand for support only. By keeping the bottom hand loose and allowing it to support the stick, you will have a wider range of motion. This will allow you to make better passes and fluidly maneuver through traffic.
2- Smooth Movement Is the Key
Breathe is the next thing you want to do. The key to mastering stickhandling is a relaxed, controlled, and fluid movement, and breathing helps you relax to be more fluid. You must have a relaxed body and mind because you should be able to move your stick easily. If you are tense, stiff, or anxious about what you are doing, you will be more likely to make mistakes.
3- Practice Stick Handling Around Your Whole Body, Not Just in Front
It is important to practice around your entire body when practicing stickhandling. You should be able to move from one position to another, from moving forward, backward, or side to side, when practicing around in all different positions. This will help you with passing, shooting, and receiving passes. In addition, it will be easier to do in real game situations if you practice around your entire body.
4- Practice using the Entire Body for Deceptive Fakes
Fakes are a big part of hockey. They're used to deceive the opponent and create a play for yourself. Practice using the upper and lower body independently to create deceptive fakes. For example, you can use your upper body to fake a pass and then quickly switch to your lower body to fake a shot. You can do various exercises in practice to help you develop a deceptive fake. The more you practice, the more deceptive fakes you'll be able to create in a game.
5- Get the Feel of the Puck in Your Hands
Feel the puck when it hits the toe of the blade or the blade's heel; the feel is different. How it feels on the top hand side and the bottom hand side when the puck hits the blade. Notice how it moves around as you move your wrist and forehand. This is what a hockey player does. They become one with the puck and make a conscious effort to feel it. This is the only way to get the puck to do what you want it to do.
6- Strengthen Your Forearm and Wrist
If you want to improve your stickhandling skills, it's important to ensure that your forearm and wrist are strong. Attach weights above the blade or a wooden stick to strengthen your forearm and wrist. This will increase the speed and allow you to make more precise passes and control the puck.
7- Keep Your Head up
When practicing stickhandling, your head must stay up while you are playing. This allows you to see where you are going and what is happening. This makes you plan your moves ahead of time, which is important for making smart decisions with the puck. Beginners make the mistake of keeping their heads down, which causes them not to be able to see things that are going on around them. The more you see, the better you are. Know where you are, where the goalies are, and who has the puck. You will have a better chance of finding open space if you know these things.
As a young hockey player, there are many things that you need to learn about how to handle the puck effectively. But the key is to practice consistently and enjoy the game. You'll play better and have more success when you're having fun. So don't be afraid to experiment with new things and try new things. You'll be amazed at how much better you'll pay when having fun.
If you want to take your game to the next level…Try a Potent Digital Stickhandling Trainer.
Try our digital stickhandling trainer to make training more fun and challenging. Our 1.0 version allows you to set up the stickhandling trainer in different positions as you practice. Or our 2.0 version has robotic moving arms that make puck handling unpredictable.
These digital trainers can help elevate your stickhandling skills and improve your reaction times, and puck control. You can customize it to your skill level and choose from various drills. It will provide instant feedback on your progress and keep you motivated to practice and beat your previous top score. Challenge your friends or teammates in the ultimate stickhandling battle. That is why it's the best stickhandling training tool for hockey players of all ages and skill levels!