Stick handling skills are termed as ‘indispensable’ by hockey players and fans alike. They describe it as a craft that one must master to shoot or pass the puck efficiently to make the next play. Though it’s an easy technique, getting good at some off-ice hockey stickhandling drills still demands many hours of hard work.
Many people seek improvement tips to enhance their game. If you also want to improve your stickhandling skills to dangle around opponents and put goalies in a spin cycle, then read on further.
But first, let’s gain some basic knowledge about hockey sticks. So let’s dive right in.
The Evolution of the Hockey Stick
- Even though the issue of origin of the game is hazy and contentious, we’ve lucid information regarding the existence of the hockey sticks. During the time of its invention in the 1800s, hockey sticks were made of wood for about the first century of the sport’s existence.
- For the first time, two-piece wood sticks were created in the 1920s by combining the blade with the shaft at a glued joint. Then came the three-piece sticks which were the norm for about 50 years.
- Wayne Gretzky was among the people who first used an aluminium hockey shaft on the stick. He introduced it after signing an endorsement deal in the 1990s. Even though many players were using the aluminium shaft, Gretzky’s popularity helped the stick to come into global attention.
- After the introduction of the composite blade in the mid-90s, the scenario began to change. It became so popular that in 2004, all NHL hockey players began to use composite hockey sticks.
- In current times, carbon fiber or graphite is one of the most popular materials. Several materials are added to a stick these days such as kevlar is used for durability and strength whereas titanium as a composite.
Tips To Improve Your Stickhandling Skills
For a player, having the skill of stick handling is necessary to pass the puck and skate with the puck. To excel at the game, knowing various stickhandling drills becomes mandatory.
By following the following tips, your stickhandling skills will improve by many-fold:
- Avoid dribbling the Puck
Avoid dribbling the puck a million times for no reason, use obstacles while doing the same. For creating space, you’ll need to employ fakes to move sticks and bodies.
- Own a Quality command grip
Own a quality command grip for better stick and puck control for your winning edge. We recommend you TackiMac Grips’ Pro Ribbed Wrap as it’s highly popular among the pros. This grip has the smallest knob having a length of ¼” that ensures comfortable handling. Our pro ribbed grips have a spiral of a bead of 5 wraps to help you hand onto the grip. This grip is available in black, red and white color.
- Improve your Gripping game
Make sure that your bottom hand must be gripped less tightly and be more of a guide rather than the dominant grip on the stick. This needs to be done to slide your bottom hand up and down the shaft of the stick easily to provide yourself a great range of motion while stick handling.
- Relax your upper body
Relax your upper body to concentrate better. If you won’t allow your upper body to loosen itself, it would be very difficult for you to make plays.
- Use shoulder and Head fakes
To become more deceptive with the puck, you need to use the shoulder and head fakes. This will make the defenders bite on head and shoulder fakes. For increasing your deception on the ice, this is the best remedy.
- Have attack pads on Hand
No matter how you train, make sure to always have attack pads on hand to protect your blade and keep yourself in the game. Above all, to help you analyze your improvement in stick handling, attack pads are the best option. These pads will track your progress as you’ll work toward your stickhandling goals and help you outmaneuver other players in-game situations, adding confidence and speed to your game.
One way to give yourself a leg up is to outfit your hockey stick with attack pads, like those available here at TackiMac. Adult Attack Pad is the best attack pad that you’ll find on the internet. It comes with vertical ridges, providing you unprecedented puck control. It cushions the puck for more control and shot acceleration. The wonderful pad that stays on, stays soft and is easy to apply. Available in black, red, white, or blue.
Basic of Hockey Stick Handling
The above-mentioned tips would help you enhance your stick handling skills. There are many other drills, online videos, tutorials, and classes that can help you improve, but understanding the fundamentals of stick handling is the key.
There are few things to practice on or off the ice and we’ve mentioned such things below for your convenience.
- Watch how much grip you apply while handling the puck. In order to make the puck float smoothly while you are in full control, you need to make sure that you don’t hold the stick too tight.
- When moving the puck, you have to make sure that each movement should be received softly as this will prevent the puck from ever stopping. You need to keep the puck in movement all the time to ensure it isn’t stolen.
- Make sure to always keep your head up while stick handling as keeping your head down and focusing on the puck won’t help you in the game. This requires practice and you want to focus on learning how to keep your head up and eyes around the rink to make plays, avoid opponents, and prevent getting hit.
Buy the Best Hockey Accessories
We hope this article helped you understand the fundamentals of hockey stick handling. You can further improve your skills by using the products from TackiMac. For almost 3 decades, the TackiMac brand has been synonymous with high quality and our products have helped change our many customers' game.
For more information, kindly visit our website or contact our support service executive. We’d be happy to have a chat with you.