Day 16 – The #2 Keystone Habit for Hockey Players – Shooting Practice

This is the 16th 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.

Another habit that makes hockey players really stand out is regular shooting practice. This is particularly true for goalies as well.

Every player should find and set up some space for regular shooting practice with pucks. Ideally, you’ll need 10-20 pucks and a net or targets to shoot at.

Unlike stickhandling, shooting pucks regularly will build strong muscles particularly in the hands, wrists and forearms. When we’re building muscle, it is important to make sure that we are allowing enough time for our muscles to recover between sessions. If we do too much shooting, it is possible to develop upper body injuries. This is why you’ll see shooting drills only scheduled three times per week in our daily workouts (on alternating days with an extra rest day built in).

It is also important that when we’re working on our shooting that we develop proper technique. This will maximize the power and accuracy of our shot.

Mastering the Wrist Shot

A good wrist shot has three key positions that you’ll want to master. This video breaks down how to take a hard and accurate wrist shot.

In addition to developing proper technique, we also want to shoot with our specific target in mind. Looking at your specific target while shooting will greatly improve your accuracy.

Where Should I Aim?

We always want to shoot with a purpose. Shoot as hard as possible and shoot to score.

Aim over the pads, but inside the post.

You’re most likely to score here. Low shots will usually be saved with the pads when goalies drop into the butterfly. Higher shots are much more likely to miss the net or be caught and not give a rebound.

Shoot at the red targets for your best chance to score in most situations. We’ll often use targets in the nets in these positions to remind us to practice shooting in this location.

You may be asking why would I shoot here, rather than going for the top corners. There are a couple of reasons. First, for most goalies this is a very hard spot to cover to as they are dropping into their butterfly. Their pads cover along the ice, but as they drop their hands usually go up leaving this spot open.

We Want to Miss ON Net

The second reason is that if you aim for the top corner and miss your target by a foot, you’ll MISS the net more often than not and hear the puck rattle off the glass and around the boards. When this happens there is no rebound and it will usually lead to an easy breakout for our opponents.

When we miss ON net, the shot still has a chance to score and even if the goalie makes a save we’ll often get a second chance to score on a rebound.

DOUBLE Our Chances of Scoring

If you aim at the red circle (inside the post and above the goalie’s pad) and are accurate within two feet of your target, you’ll hit the net 6 out of 9 times (green boxes).

All of the shots that hit the green have a chance to go in the net or generate additional scoring chances on a rebound.

All of the shots that hit the red areas will miss the net and give us no chance at a rebound. Worse still, these shots often lead to easy breakouts and counterattacks by the other team.

If you aim for the top corner and are accurate within two feet of your target, you’ll only hit the net 4 out of 9 times.

A shot aimed just above the pads and inside the post has a 50% better chance of hitting the net. When you factor in the extra chances from rebounds, these shots are TWICE as likely to lead to goals.

The next time you’re at a game or practice, listen for the sound of the puck hitting the glass. You’ll be surprised at how often it happens and nearly every time it will because someone was trying to shoot top corner and missed. Set your target for most shots just above the pads and you’ll score more goals and get more assists from rebounds.

(Practice preview: You’ll learn to associate the sound of a puck hitting the glass with doing push-ups.)

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! Watch the video on in this post and take some short summary notes. Then, try to duplicate the technique in the video when you’re doing your shooting practice today. Be sure to aim the majority of your shots above the pad but inside the post.
    GOALIES: You should do this exercise as well. How would you modify it to shoot with a goalie stick?
  1. Post a THUMBS UP to the team WhatsApp group once you’ve finished.