Lifting The Puck
By Greg Siller - Pro Learning Systems
Hi Greg. I have a 7 year old hockey
player who has trouble lifting the puck. I have an older boy that I taught to lift it but
for some reason I cannot find out what my younger boy is doing wrong. He shoots the puck
very hard but never off the ice. Any suggestions to help him?--Thanks Jeff.
Jeff, lifting the puck can be a difficult task for players up through 8, and even older. Proper technique and arm/wrist strength are important factors in being able to perform this skill. If your 7 year old player can shoot the puck with speed, then I believe that strength is not the issue; it's proper technique. Let's cover the technique for a wrist shot follow-through.
Two factors that affect puck height are (1) the relationship of the blade of the stick with respect the shaft during the shooting process, and (2) the height of the stick blade during the follow-through.
To gain the height you need, the blade of your stick needs to be in front of the shaft of your stick during the release of the puck. If the blade is too far behind the shaft during puck release, then the puck has a tendency to stay low; and if the blade is in front of the shaft during the release, then the puck will generally rise. Balance the position of the blade with that of the shaft and you can better control puck height.
As the puck is released, you need to move the blade of the stick toward the target and position it at the height that you want the puck to go. For a top corner shot, the stick blade needs to move to a point about 3 feet above the playing surface at the end of the follow-through.
Hope these tips help. Continue working with your 7 year old, and with plenty of practice, you (and your player) should see improvement.
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