Types of Shots


As you play hockey, there is a different type of shot that can be used depending on your location on the floor (rink), location of your teammates, your skill level and goalie's skill level and the speed you want on your shot.

Placement of your hands on the stick is very important depending on the type of shot you want to make.

The most well known is the Slap Shot.  A player winds up (back swing) with his stick (anywhere from waist to shoulder) and then brings his stick forward hitting the ground anywhere from 1 to 2 inches before the ball and following through to strike the ball.  This should be used when you are a bit further from the net, usually at the point or in your own zone to clear the ball.  The reason it is not used much closer to the net is that it takes the longest to shoot and is more likely to be blocked by the opposing team. 

The wrist shot though is the most used hockey shot.  It can be used anywhere on the floor and used not only as a shot but also as a means to pass.  On this type of shot, the player transfers his weight from his back leg to his front leg while at the same time with the ball cupped on the stick flicks or twists his hands and follows through raising the blade to lift the ball. 
A snap shot is the player does not wind up or bring his stick backwards.  Instead, a player flicks or twists his lower hand on the stick in a counter-clockwise fashion at the same time that he flicks or twists his upper hand on the stick in the same fashion while hitting the ball.

A backhand is performed as follows:  A player has his hands on his stick in the normal fashion but places his stick on the opposite side of the ball, cups the ball and reverses the flick of his wrist while striking the ball.  For a quality backhand, a flick of the wrist and lifting of the ball is recommended.  This is effective near the goalie as a shot if one cannot get into a better shooting position and is very tricky for a goalie to stop because he cannot get a good idea of where the ball is being shot.


How do you get better?  First is to play, play, play.  The more you play, the more you learn about the game.  Practice, practice, practice.  All you need is a stick, ball and a surface to play.

 Here are some drills to try:

Figure 8 and Figure 8 and shoot:

Place a number of cones about 3 feet apart in a line.  Start at one end of the line of cones and proceed to stickhandle (advance the ball while moving your stick on each side of the ball to control it) around the cones in a figure eight fashion.  This will help you to learn to stickhandle better and control the ball on the rink.  Endless hours of performing this little practice tip will help you be a better hockey player.
            There are infinite variations of this drill.  One variation is to have a goalie net at the end of the drill so that the player immediately shoots on the goalie after finishing the figure 8 drill.   Another variation is to have the cones staggered and have the player stickhandle through the cones once again.

Side to Side:

            The simplest stickhandling drill is to merely place the ball on ones stick and continually move the ball from left to right and right to left over and over again.


Once again have a set of cones only this time place them parallel to each other in effect leaving a lane between them.  Practice passing a ball through this lane without hitting a cone.  You can pass the ball through the lane from different angles to replicate cross ice passes.  Vary this drill by extending the length of the cones for longer passes and accuracy.


Target--  To practice your hockey shots, having a goalie is the best way to learn.  That is not always possible so a hockey net and shooting target with cut-outs in the corners and the low middle is the next best thing.  Practice shooting to the corners of the net with all of the different types of shots to become a better player.  If you can master the art of shooting to the four corners of the net (high and low), you will beat most goaltenders with your array of shots.  Mylec offers a hockey target at a reasonable price.   Link and pic.

            Arc --  Place 5 balls around the net in the shape of an arc at specific distances from the net.  Start at 5’ (for each ball), then 10’, 15’ and 20’.  Practice shots from from right to left.  Then, set the balls up again and go from left to right.  Vary this drill by using different shots i.e. backhand, wrist shot, slap shot from the longer distance.


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