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5 Tips in Taking an Effective Slap Shot

By Ontario Minor Hockey Association, 12/07/14, 5:00AM EST

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Develop a Textbook Slap Shot in Week 7 of the 5000 Puck Challenge

The Slap Shot is the most powerful shot you can take in hockey. However it is also the least accurate shot next to the back hand that a player can take. Slap shots are very easy to learn, yet hard to master. Blasting a puck as hard as humanly possible does not qualify as a great slap shot. Slap shots are just as much about accuracy as they are about power.

Aaron Ekblad fires home Slap shot from point

When taking a Slap Shot there are 5 key points to remember:‚Äč

  1. Transferring Your Weight
    During a slap shot, weight transfer is one of the most critical factors. Moving all your weight from your back leg to your front leg in one fluent motion is the key to generate the most power possible. The idea is to shift your weight in the direction of the shot. This puts more energy, and power into your slap shot.
     
  2. Accuracy Over Power
    Being accurate is what scores goals. Having the hardest shot isn’t worth much if it is constantly wide of the target. It is better to be accurate then to shoot the puck 100mph.  The most common area for a slap shot to take place is on the blue line in the offensive zone. The perfect slap shot from the blue line is 10 to 12 inches off the ice. Taking low shots makes it easier to get through opposing players and gives the options for the forwards to tip the shot in. By keeping shots low and accurate, forwards will be more confident and stand in front of the net, tip in shots, or put away the rebounds.
     
  3. Stay Low and Load the Stick
    Most players who are learning the slap shot try to hit the puck as the first point of contact. However, this is not ideal. The ideal location is to hit the ice 3 to 5 inches behind the puck which allows the stick to load up or flex. Loading the stick is where a lot of the power in the slap shot comes from. When taking the shot you want the blade of the stick to contact the ice first which gives the stick time to flex, when the blade hits the puck it should flex even more. Also remember to stay low and trust your stick. This will allow increases in power on the shot without using big wind-ups.
     
  4. Location Matters
    During the slap shot the blade should hit the puck anywhere between the heel and the middle of the blade. Closer to the middle is ideal as this is where it will generate the most power when it is released. With a slap shot the puck spends very little time on the blade of the stick.
     
  5. Follow Through
    Like any shot, a very simple rule and tip to improve accuracy is to follow through. Follow through low and the shot will stay low, follow through high and the shot will go high. Remember to watch the follow through and always see where the puck goes. Another tip is to aim your skates where you want the puck to go, once the puck has been released turn the front skate to the area that is being aimed at. 

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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.