Top 5 Ice Hockey Shooting Techniques
Scoring goals in ice hockey is just as important as being good at stickhandling, fast at skating or any other relevant skill. However, if you are a forward, your main strength should be the ability to see and score goals effectively. This means you require good ice hockey shooting techniques.
Over the years, players have devised new ways to make goal-scoring more efficient. Even though there are several goal-scoring techniques, here are a few that top players in the NHL use to increase their scoring chances.
We will also be looking at the advantage of each shooting technique as well as some drills to help refine the techniques as you practice them.
A snapshot is a midpoint between a slap shot and a wrist shot. Snapshots are high-intensity and quick-release shots that balance the quickness of wrist shots and the power of slapshots.
Snapshots balance out as mid-range or close-range shots. They are also used when a player does not want to move for a one-timer after a pass.
They are also effective ice hockey shooting techniques with popular users such as Alexander Ovechkin, Steven Stamkos, Joe Sakic, Phill Kessel and more.
Advantages Of Snapshot
- Snapshots are accurate and fast and have a quick delivery that makes the shot too rapid for both the goalie and the players to stop.
- Snapshots allow for effective use of the flex ability of hockey sticks to deliver shots with faster release and accuracy
- Of all ice hockey shooting techniques, what makes snapshot one of the most incredible, is that players don’t need to wind up before executing a shot. Therefore time is not wasted, and the goalie can’t prepare for the shot.
One-timers are an example of immediate-release shooting techniques. It is an instant slapshot made after a player receives a puck without any attempt to control the puck.
A one-time shot occurs when a player receives a pass and delivers a shot to the puck without controlling or handling the puck in any way. It is called a one-timer because a player has just one chance to hit the puck.
Advantages Of One-Timers
- One-timers are perfect for catching goalies off guard in a surprise attack.
- Also, one-timers are intense, fast and suitable shots when a player is close to the net.
- In addition, since the shot is immediate, there is no need to wind up before making the shot.
One-Timer Ice Hockey Drills
To perform this drill, you only need a stick, an ice hockey skate, a net and a rebounder. A rebounder is a long rectangular board that is a few centimetres in height and is used as a material to bounce the puck off.
It can be used to imitate a rebound or a pass, but in this case, we are using it to imitate receiving a pass.
Straight At You One-Timer
- To begin, place the rebounder in front of the net so that it covers the base.
- Move a few distances from the net and hit the put towards the rebounder in a straight line.
- When the puck bounces off the rebounder towards you, make a one-timer with it. To fine-tune your shot, use hockey shooting trainers on the net so you can target specific areas on the net.
- You can move closer and farther from the net to test your one-timer from different locations. You can also hit the puck harder on the rebounder to develop your one-timer with a strong and fast pass.
- Finally, your goal should be to perform one-timer as quickly as possible with accuracy.
- Diagonal one-timers are similar to the variation discussed above. The main difference between the two is that, in this case, the rebounder is kept on the same side as your upper hand. If you are left-handed, your upper hand will be your right hand, and vice versa.
- When placing the rebounder, ensure it is facing you.
- Hit the puck towards the rebounder, and as it approaches, you perform a one-timer as fast as you can. Ensure you target a specific part of the net to increase accuracy.
3. On-Motion Shooting
This is one shooting skill I recommend to every ice hockey player. Most ice hockey players slow down or stop before shooting the puck. This gives the goalie and defensemen a hint that they want to shoot or pass, allowing them time to position themselves to intercept the puck.
On-motion shooting allows players to while at their top speeds. This catches goalies and defensemen as they would not expect a shot while a player performs long strides.
Advantage Of On-Motion Shooting
- On-motion shots make it hard for goalies to predict the moment of the shot.
4. Changing Shot Angle
Changing shot directions is an effective and more complex technique popularized in hockey by Auston Matthews. It involves drawing the puck closer to yourself before releasing it.
It is basically identical to performing a toe drag before slapping the puck into the net.
This move puts the goalie off, as he has no idea of the angle the puck could go. This trick to the shot also gives the puck an angle change of up to a foot or more.
Advantage Of Changing Shot Angle
- It is unpredictable
- The change in direction gives players extra flexibility on where to shot
- Even if it is obstructed by the goalie, there is a high chance of a rebound
Changing Shot Angle Drill
- Start by placing a hockey stick or a straight long object that can serve as an obstruction on the ground. The blade can be laid flat, sloping downward or upward relative to you.
- Next, place a puck in front of the stick so that the stick is covering the puck from the net.
- Now, with your hockey stick, pull the puck as if you want to perform a toe drag, and once it is in front of you, shoot it immediately. The entire process is carried out in one move spontaneously.
- You can try out the different positions of the stick on the ground mentioned earlier, so you will be able to pull and shoot the puck no matter where it is.
5. Slap Shots
Finally, we have the slapshot. Slap shots are high-intensity and power shooting techniques that can be taken from a long range. They are very common in ice hockey; however, they have a low score chance relative to snapshots because of the time it takes to execute (wind up).
Unlike wrist shots, slapshots are faster and send the puck with higher momentum, but since they have a longer wind-up, the direction can be predicted by defensemen and goalies.
However, if executed quickly and with the right amount of power, slapshots hold high possibilities. Especially with the fact that it can be taken from a long range.
Advantage Of Slap Shot
- It can be taken from a long range
- Slapshots are high-power and high-intensity shots
- It sends the puck moving very fast.
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With adequate practice, you should be able to score more goals with these five ice hockey shooting techniques. Even though all these are great techniques, you should think of new methods and ways to confuse a goalie.
Once you get an idea, test it out, work on it and perfect it to make it your special shooting technique. Thank you for reading.
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