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Shoot out the Lights With the 5000 Puck Challenge

By Ontario Minor Hockey Association, 10/24/14, 2:30PM EDT


Work on the Wrist Shot in Week 1 of the 5000 Puck Challenge

The Wrist Shot is the most commonly used shot in hockey and is the focus of Week 1. When we look at the top goal scorers that play the game, their wrist shot forms the foundation of all their scoring weapons. 

Gaudreau Super Slow-Mo Wrist Shot Goal

Check out these 7 tips to maximize the speed, power and accuracy of your Wrist Shot. Players like Stamkos and Ovechkin have perfected a quick release and are deadly accurate making them an offensive threat every time they are on the ice. 

  1. Finding The Right Stick Length
    The length of a hockey stick is mainly chosen by personal preference; however the length does affect the performance of the stick and the hockey player. It will be difficult for a hockey player to control the puck and shoot the puck if the stick is too short or too long for them. 

    It is common for defensemen to choose longer sticks allowing for a longer reach, making it easier to poke the puck away from attackers and intercept passes. Another advantage of having a longer stick is shot power; due to the increase in flex and torque the stick will generate a similar effect to a slingshot.

    On the flip side, an advantage to using a short stick is that the blade is always flat on the ice. Players more frequently stay in a crouched position which lowers their center of gravity and it allows for a quicker release. A shorter stick allows for the hand to be in front of their body instead of having the top hand by their side. This positioning improves stick handling and gives more options when receiving and passing the puck.
  2. Motion of the Shot – Releasing the Puck
    The way the puck is released from the body is where the power, speed, and accuracy is generated. If a shot is taken with the puck far away from the body there will be minimal power, speed, and accuracy generated. Starting with the puck away from the body than pulling it in closer than releasing it is what generates a fast powerful accurate shot. This transfers the body weight and strength through the bottom hand, into the stick, and into the ice. This process generates all the power for the shot. The closer the puck is to the body, the more power will be generated in the shot. 
  3. Experiment with hand placement
    The placement of the bottom hand is critical when attempting to gain power on your wrist show. A large source of wrist shot power comes from the ability to create force in the stick by bending (flexing) it. Be careful however, as there is a tradeoff, the lower the bottom hand is placed, the less rotation speed that can be generated which also contributes to the power and accuracy of a wrist shot. 
  4.  Improving Accuracy 
    One way to greatly improve the accuracy of the wrist shot is to work on the flicking of the wrists. This should be done at the end of the follow through just before the puck is released off the blade. When following through and flicking the wrists make sure to point to the target with the toe of the stick. This adds a little more power and helps accuracy as well. 
  5. Work on Push-Pull
    When shooting a puck the arms and hands need to make certain movements in order to have an effective shot. The stick must be able to rotate freely in the top hand while the bottom hand is used to control where the puck will go. As the puck is released, the bottom hand should be pushed towards the target and the top hand should be pulled backwards toward the body with the top hand. This motion will help increase shot speed and make it more accurate. The faster that this technique can be done, the quicker the release of the puck will be. 
  6. Blade Matters
    Make sure the bottom of the blade has good contact with the ice while in shooting position. If the stick is too long or the lie is too high, the toe of the blade is going to be off the ice which will make it harder to control accuracy. The same goes for if the stick is too short. The heel of the blade will be off the ice and it will be hard to control where the puck goes. 
  7. Weight Transfer
    Weight transfer gives the energy needed to make the wrist shot lethal. From the body, to the arms, then down through the stick, to the puck. The stick is used as a lever while the body acts as a fulcrum to transfer the energy produced from the weight transfer, combined with the shooting motion gives a ton of energy and strength that is going into your shot when released.

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So, how well do you think your shot would improve if you were to take 5000 shots over a 10-week period? Think it can’t be done? Think again! We have created a plan for players of all ages and abilities to follow over 10 weeks to increase shot speed, quickness and accuracy.

To develop your shooting & scoring skills at home check out the OMHA Players Club and the 5000 Puck Challenge.