While the sport of Hockey is a fun sport to watch, it can also be a grueling sport to play. If you want to get good at it, like any sport you need to practice until you have the skills that are competitive enough to make a difference for your team. Therefore, national leagues only take the best players, but even those top players need to practice to stay sharp when they are playing. If you want to improve your skills the key thing is to practice, and people will tell you that a lot. But practice what exactly? Follow this guide we based on tips from touchgood.com to help you improve some of your skills so that you can be better at shooting, puck handling and skating.
Skating, Speed and Skill
Since you must be on skates, (ice or roller blades) you need to have speed, and skill to be good. Skill is achieved with doing tricks, going backwards, turning sharply, cutting corners quickly, spinning, and skills that take practice. Both speed and skill are better achieved with the help of others. While puck handling and shooting can be learned on your own, speed and skill are best learned and practiced as a group. Skills are learned by observation, and then practice on your own. So, you need someone that can make those turns, spin and cut corners to see how they do it. Speed is learned by doing drills, and measuring how fast you go. It’s more fun to race others rather than time yourself. Some of the skills you need for skating come with moving as fast as you can and still being able to turn or handle the puck. Try racing the length of the rink, or even half a rink in distance. Do this alone, then later with your stick so you have the extra weight.
This important skill can be learned on your own, but is also better learned with a group. While you can teach yourself to move the puck around with your stick quickly, passing the puck is an important skill that requires someone else to participate. By yourself you can move the puck around cones or up and down the rink. Passing and receiving however takes more practice as you must be able to catch the puck and keep moving at the same time. When passing, you need to pass right in front of the other player so they can catch it on their stick too. If you aim at them it can get lost behind them while on the move, or lost in the skates which can cause them to trip or lose the puck.
Shooting the puck is the easiest skill to practice but like any skill it takes a lot of practice. There is skill to aiming and shooting the puck, both moving and not moving. Many players must make the shot on the move which makes it harder to do, but to be good at the game you must try. The first thing you need to do though is learn how to make the shot at different angles in a prone position. If you don’t have anyone that can be goalie than get a net blocker that has spots for you to aim. (It covers the net and leaves between three and five spots open to aim at, so the puck goes in the net if you hit those spots.) Another option which helps with accuracy is like a shooting range. On a fence or board with a blocker behind it, line up cans or heavy plastic bottles filled with sand. Aim at these at a prone position until you can hit five in a row, then move to a different angle and do it again. Once you can master that, or hit them at least 3 times, try doing it while moving.