I just finished watching the first round of Under-18 team tryouts this past weekend, and while the skill level was high and the competition was fierce between these elite girls hockey players, there was one glaring weakness in almost all of the girls’ games that I noticed most during the pre-game warm-ups. Watch the video below to see what the 3 slap shot sins the majority of players were committing:
***Did you notice what makes my shooting different than 98% of all the female hockey players out there? If you think you know what it is, post it in the Comment box below. The first person who gets it right will win a Total Female Hockey T-shirt.***
To develop a “boomer” that people will notice, you have to avoid the 3 biggest slap-shot sins in girls hockey:
Sin #1: The BIG Wind-Up
I never understood why players think that they need to have a huge wind-up to have an effective shot. While it’s true that generating speed through a bigger range of motion will help players to generate more power by the time they get to the puck, the big wind-up is the last thing players should be worried about. When I am working on developing the slap-shots of my players, I get them to perfect the motion from the hip down first. Once they have maximized the power and accuracy of their shot with a shortened wind-up, we work on opening it up.
Sin #2: Poor Puck Placement
Most girls hockey players could benefit from bringing the puck in tighter to their body before shooting their slap-shot. Players will have their individual preference as to whether they prefer shoot with the puck closer to their back foot, front foot or in the middle of their stance. But most have the puck to far away from them body when they go to shoot. The further away the puck is from your body, the less force you will be able to put down into the ice with your stick, and the weaker your shot will be. It takes some practice to get accustomed to having the puck in tighter, but you’ll be able to generate a lot more power that way in the long run.
Sin #3: Not Closing The Blade
The single biggest slap-shot sin I see girls making is that they don’t close the blade on their follow-through. Even those who start with the blade turned over and closed before they make contact with the puck tend to open it up right after and then keep it that way throughout the entire follow-through. To be honest, girls tend to leave the blade of the stick open on their wrist and snap-shots as well. Instead of using a higher follow-through after contact to get the puck up off the ice, they try to achieve that same height by using the stick like a golf club with an open face. To get power and accuracy, you need to keep the blade closed. Period.
Avoid these three slap-shot sins, focus on the quality of the shots you are taking instead of the quantity and you will start to develop the laser-like shot that will get noticed and help you on your way to the elite levels of women’s hockey.
Work Hard. Dream BIG. And Hit The Net!!!
~ Coach Kim
PS – There are less than 10 weeks left until the season starts. Are you doing what you need to do to take your game to the next level this summer and be the fastest, strongest and fittest player on the ice in the fall? Click here to get started with the Total Female Hockey Complete Training System today and start taking your game to the next level.
PPS – If you want to win that t-shirt, don’t forget to guess what makes my shooting different than 98% of all other female players. Write it in the Comment box below.