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Become a Master of the Backhand

By Hockey Labs, 08/17/22, 10:15AM EDT

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Photo Credit: Heather Pollock Photography

A good Backhand shot is a great asset to have in your shot arsenal. There is not always time to switch from backhand to forehand so a powerful backhand allows for more opportunities to score goals. Sometimes a quick forehand to backhand deke is the perfect way to beat the goalie. One more advantage of a backhand shot is that many goalies find the backhand hard to read, making it difficult for the goalie to stop the puck. 

The backhand shot is probably the most difficult to master for the shooter. Goalies rarely expect to face a backhand shot so it is up to the shooter to take advantage if the opportunity that presents itself. It can be tough for goalies to predict where the shot will end up, if it will go high or low or left or right. Because the shooter doesn’t spend time moving the puck to their forehand, goalies have less time to set up for a save.

Check out these 3 tips to having an effective back hand. 

1. Location Matters

Taking a backhand shot is very similar to taking a wrist shot. The first step is to draw the puck back in your stance. When taking a backhand the puck should be between the middle and heel of your stick, the flat spot of the blade is ideal.

2. Generate Power

The next step is to move the puck towards the net, the motion of a powerful backhand shot is again similar to that of a wrist shot. Start by pulling the puck towards the net; Do this quickly and generate as much power as possible. Remember that transferring the body weight into the shot is also key. Moving all the weight in the direction of the shot will add more power. 

3. Release the Shot

With a wrist shot you will let the puck roll off the toe of your stick, however with a back hand shot this is not the case. The ideal spot to release the puck is near the middle of the blade where it is flattest on the ice. If the puck reaches the toe it will reduce your accuracy and power. In the final stage of the shot, adding a snap of the wrists to will give the shot a little more power. It is important to follow through with the shot; follow through high for high shots, low for low shots. Point the stick to where you want the puck to go. 

The hand grip is similar to that used for stickhandling. When possible, the lower hand moves slightly down the shaft for greater power.

The puck starts at the heel of the blade and moves toward the toe as you sweep. Transfer your body weight from the back foot to front foot and the puck is released with a quick snap of the wrists while turning the blade upward. The longer the follow through, the higher the shot. Pick a target in the net or on the wall and keep shooting pucks until you can master the technique.

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