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Unlock the Next Level of Stickhandling with this Drill

By OMHA Hockey Academy, 01/29/21, 10:15AM EST

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Four variations of the Figure 8 to get players comfortable with puck on stick


Photo Credit: Krystal Klear Photography

The Figure 8 drill is a great stickhandling drill to improve your puck control skills. It can give you the confidence needed to challenge defenders 1-on-1 or make quick moves around obstacles such as a defender’s stick.

There are four versions of this drill: horizontal forehand, horizontal backhand, vertical forehand and vertical backhand. Some keys to remember:

  • Keep your feet as motionless as possible. This is an exercise in weight transfer and being fluid in moving the puck. Shift your weight with the puck as it moves.
  • The key is in being able to use your wrists.
  • These drills help with stickhandling in tight, close situations. They ‘separate’ the upper body from the lower body.

Repeat each drill until ten figure 8s have been completed. When you can repeat this challenge consistently, you will be more comfortable with the puck on your stick. Work on the technique first before focusing on the speed.


Horizontal - Forehand

Starting with the puck on your forehand side, go over and around the cone on your forehand side. Then pull the puck across your body to catch it on your backhand. With the puck on your backhand, in one continuous motion, bring the puck around the cone on your backhand side and return to the starting position. Make sure to pull the puck across your body to your forehand. Continue this pattern for 10 repetitions.


Horizontal - Backhand

Starting with the puck on your backhand side, go over and around the cone on your backhand side. Then pull the puck across your body to catch it on your forehand. With the puck on your forehand, in one continuous motion, bring the puck around the second cone and return to the starting position. Continue this pattern for 10 repetitions.

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Vertical - Forehand

Starting with the puck on your forehand side push the puck up and around the top cone. Then, pull the puck back towards your body on your backhand. With the puck on your backhand, in one continuous motion, switch to your forehand to bring the puck around the closest cone. Continue this pattern for 10 repetitions.


Vertical - Backhand

Starting with the puck on your backhand side push the puck up and around the top cone. Then, pull the puck back towards your body on your forehand. With the puck on your forehand, in one continuous motion, switch to your backhand to bring the puck around the closest cone. Continue this pattern for 10 repetitions.

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