Executing The One-Timer
(Originally submitted as an article by Greg Siller for Hockey Player Magazine - www.HockeyPlayer.com)
The one-timer, or one-time shot, is one of the most exciting and difficult offensive plays in hockey. It is actually a play because it combines two players executing a pass and a shot. The one-timer combines three main elements: quickness, accuracy, and, of course, timing. The quickness and accuracy come from the passer; as this player must setup the shooter with a crisp and accurate pass, moving the puck toward the shooters front skate. Generally, a pass across the slot or from deep in the offensive zone to the point-man works best because as the goaltender attempts to follow the puck, it is moved from the initial location toward the net before the goaltender has a chance to fully prepare himself or herself for the shot. As the goaltender quickly moves to get into position, the shot has already been taken.
Timing for the one-timer must be accurately gauged by the shooter, because there is only a fraction of a second opportunity for the shooters’ stick to contact the puck and put it into the net. Practice is the only way that your timing will improve. The shot of choice for the one-timer is usually the slap shot; however players should begin practicing this play using the snap shot. The snap shot will allow the shooter a little more margin for error due to the shortened backswing (as compared to the slap shot).
Practice Makes Perfect
To work on this play during practice, divide your team into two lines (X1 and X2) and place them near the boards at each end of the center red line, as shown in Figure 1. Start the drill by having the first players in each line skate toward the net, passing the puck as they go. As they get within 20 feet of the net, the puck carrier passes the puck to the shooter, who executes the one-timer. It is best if right-handed shooters skate down the left side of the rink and left-handed shooters skate down the right side so that the shooter will always have the puck in front of him as he or she prepares to shoot. The shooter prepares by drawing the stick back and times the travel of the pass so that his follow-through with the blade of the stick coincides exactly with the arrival of the puck. This drill can be varied by alternating the shooter and passer so that both X1 and X2 have a chance to perform the one-timer.
The second drill has all players except X2 (the passer) and the goaltender lined up near the center red line (Figure 2). X2 should be positioned about 5 feet from the net and behind the goal line. Start this drill by having the first player from X1 skate toward the net. As X1 enters the slot area, in between the two face-off circles, X2 passes the puck to X1 for the one-time shot. X2 needs to be aware whether X1 is a right-handed or left-handed shooter so that the pass will be toward the correct side of X1s body.
Practicing and perfecting these, and other, one-time drills will add an elite talent to your offensive arsenal and you will see the results from the surprised goaltenders that rarely have time to move across the crease to stop your quick shot (and hopefully a quick goal).
Greg Siller, founder of Pro Learning Systems (www.ProLearning.com), has put his 25 years of ice and roller hockey experience into authoring several hockey articles as well as two highly acclaimed hockey books; The Hockey Practice Playbook and Roller Hockey: Skills and Strategies for Winning On Wheels.