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Hockey Academy

The X's and V's of Stickhandling

By OMHA Hockey Academy, 02/05/21, 3:00PM EST

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How you can keep the puck flat while practicing

Working on your stickhandling is one of the easier skills to practice at home as no net is required. There are many drills you can practice to improve your hand-eye coordination and be comfortable with the puck on your stick.

The V and X drills are excellent exercises to help reinforce the proper mechanics of your hands when stickhandling. One way to make sure you’re using your top hand correctly is to think of opening and closing your top hand’s palm. When the puck is on the backhand side your top palm will be closed and facing down cupping the puck. On your forehand you palm will be open, cupping the puck.

Remember to maintain a light grip with your bottom hand – this will allow your top hand to move easily from the open to closed position on the forehand and backhand. If your grip is too tight your top hand movement will be restricted and you will lose control of the puck.

Wearing your gloves when practicing will help to more closely re-create game-like situations.

Keep the puck in your peripheral vision which to remain aware of your surroundings, which is important in game situations.

Along with a stick and puck, all you need is coloured chalk or tape to make the markings.


The V Drill

Start to perfect your stickhandling ability by focusing your attention on using your top hand to ‘cup the puck’ on both your forehand and backhand sides of your blade at the red tape or line. Begin slowly, to ensure you have the technique correct before increasing speed. Start from the widest part of the ‘V’ and proceed to the narrowest point of the ‘V’, then reverse to the widest part. Practice until you can complete four sets at speed, keeping the puck flat.

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The X Drill

Building off the V Drill, this drill uses all the same techniques and skills as the ‘V’ drill. Start at the bottom of the ‘X’ and stickhandle up to the top then back down to the bottom half of the ‘X’. Practice until you can complete two sets at speed, and keeping the puck flat.

Practicing a drill from the OMHA Hockey Academy? Make sure you share and tag us and your video could appear in an article just like Landen!


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