Ali Stead is a hockey player and social media influencer. Having only started playing hockey a few years ago, she developed her skills quickly, and is now passionate about sharing her love and knowledge for the game. Be sure to check back every Thursday for the latest drill!
Eyes-Up Stick Handling
Now is the perfect time to improve your puck-handling by feel, this simple skill can dramatically improve hockey sense in a short time!
Scanning the ice in order to gather more information leads to better decisions, the ability to efficiently scan the ice can be severely affected by stick handling habits. Try isolating this skill, without deliberate focus and repetitions it can be easily overlooked which will ultimately limit performance. When practicing this skill try to keep the eyes up as much as possible, there will always be a need to “check” the puck but work towards handling with feel & peripherals only.
- Start in a proper hockey stance with bent ankles/knees, chest up and back straight
- Hands away from the body, top hand should not touch hip
- Head should be tilted down slightly to improve peripheral range
- Start narrow and work the puck wider as comfort level increases
- For better control remember to pinch/shade the puck by rolling wrists
- Practice these various scanning habits while stick-handling:
-have someone flash que cards
-have someone flash a different number of fingers every 2-3 seconds
-identify various things in your environment to cycle between
- Progress to a combination of puck handling and shooting without looking directly at the puck
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