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How to Improve Shot Accuracy on the Ice

Skill Drills

During a hockey game a good player will get about five chances to score. When you stop and think about it five chances is not very many, so it is very important to make each shot as effective as possible.

The #1 rule for accuracy

A tip that will help any hockey player score a lot more goals is to look at their target. This is the #1 rule for accuracy. You don't have to stare at where you want to shoot, but you should at least look at the net and find a place to shoot. Many players get caught shooting with their head down which typically results in missing the net or the puck hitting the goalie right in the chest.

While approaching the net look up and try to find somewhere to shoot. Looking at the net will help you choose an opening to shoot for, or decide to deke instead. If you choose to shoot you now know if you will be shooting high, low, left or right and what part of the net the goalie is not covering. Now you can set yourself up to take a powerful and accurate shot and aim for an opening.

You don't always have a lot of time to set-up and shoot, sometimes you will just take a quick peak at the net and then shoot. You need to make your shooting decision in a fraction of a second so make sure you practice a quick release along with your accuracy.

Where should you shoot?

A lot of players want to shoot top right or top left because it looks great when you pick a corner! The problem is there is a very good chance you will miss the net completely. Lets say you want to shoot top-right; if you shoot just a little bit high, or wide you will either hit the post or miss the net. If the goalie reads your shot there is a good chance he will catch the puck in his glove, which means there are no second chances.

Now lets consider if you shoot low blocker. You have a lot more room for error here, you can be high, low, or wide (to one side) and still hit the net. If your accuracy is not that great, go for the easier targets, it is better to miss your target and hit the goalie than miss the net. If you hit the goalie there is always a chance for a rebound and that could also result in a goal.

A few quick tips for better accuracy

  • Look at the net and try to find some mesh to shoot at
  • Remember that the puck see's the net differently than you do, so read your target through the eyes of the puck
  • If possible, align your body to improve your accuracy
  • When shooting, follow through towards your target
  • During the follow through point the toe of the blade at where you want the puck to go
  • For a low shot follow through low and roll your wrists to keep the blade closed.
  • For a high shot follow through high and keep the blade slightly open