Day 11 – The #1 Keystone Habit for Hockey Players – Daily Stickhandling

This is the 11th day of our team’s virtual summer training camp. Each day for the next four weeks, there will be a short assignment for you to do to prepare for the upcoming season. These assignments are mandatory for players and coaches. Parents are also encouraged to participate.

Over the years, I’ve coached a LOT of hockey players. I’ve had well over 500 players on my teams and I’ve coached hundreds more in clinics or at camps.

Out of all those players, I can remember about a dozen that really stood out from the rest. While all of these players were very different people, it was obvious that they all truly LOVED hockey.

From a skills standpoint, the one skill that truly made them stand out from their teammates was their stickhandling. They could protect the puck easily and were always deceptive on the ice. How did they develop this skill? They practiced it for a few minutes nearly every single day. In other words, they made practicing their stickhandling one of their keystone habits.

They always seemed to have a stick in their hands with a hockey ball or green biscuit nearby. They’d come to the arena early so that they could stickhandle in the parking lot for a few minutes. Or, they’d get dressed quickly before practices and games so they had a few minutes to stickhandle.

If you were to stickhandle (or do anything else for that matter) for 10 minutes every day for a year, that means that you’d have practiced your stickhandling for over 60 hours in the year. It’s no wonder they were the best players on my teams at this skill.

The Stickhandling Guru

These days, you can learn just about anything you want on YouTube.

Chances are, if you’ve ever gone to YouTube to learn how to dangle or make a specific move, you watched videos from Pavel Barber. Here’s his story and how he became the world’s greatest stickhandling instructor.

Lots of great tips here… Enjoy!


Pavel Barber YouTube Channel

Instagram Pavel Barber (@heybarber)

Today’s Assignment:

  1. Complete today’s workout on the TeamBuildr app. Be sure to mark each exercise complete as you finish it.

IMPORTANT: If you have other sports, camps or are doing a different workout that you’d like to substitute on any given day that is okay. Please make a quick note of what you did that day under the ALTERNATE Workout in TeamBuildr. It is still important to complete the stickhandling and shooting every day that it is scheduled. But it is okay to move it to another day of the week when you aren’t quite as busy. Even when you’re on vacation, you should still be trying to find time to get in your workout.

  1. 10 For The Team! You’ve probably already noticed that every day our TeamBuildr workout includes 10 minutes of stickhandling. Now you know the reason. For the rest of the training camp (and hopefully for the rest of the season), I’d like everyone to be sure to find time to stickhandle for a few minutes EVERY day. Think about ONE way that you could incorporate this practice into your daily routine. Post your answer to the team WhatsApp group.
  1. Check out the Pavel Barber YouTube Channel. Post a link to a video you like from the channel to the team WhatsApp group.