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How to Lift the Puck

Skill Drills

One of the most popular skills that new hockey players want to learn is how to raise the puck in the air on their shots. Knowing how to roof the puck well opens up a lot of options as you approach the net and attempt to outmaneuver the goalie.

Fortunately, a few basic steps are all that stand in the way of understanding the concept behind lifting the puck and the strategies involved in making it happen. From there, it just depends on the amount of time you spend practicing your technique. If you put in the time, the following tips can help you a lot with your accuracy.

To start with, lifting the puck is more about a fundamental movement of your stick than the stick itself, so you don't need a big, fancy curve in your stick to get great results.

What you do need is wrist action, so if you're keeping your hand at the top of your stick firmly in place and just sweeping the puck at the net, that's the first thing that will need to change. To get a feel for what we're asking you to do, hold your stick out straight in front of you. Roll your top-hand wrist downward, then snap it upward quickly.

Get Your Top Hand Involved

To lift the puck from close proximity to the net, you need to get that top hand involved in your shot. Start by cupping the puck with the blade of your stick and your top hand rolled downward. Now prepare to shoot on goal, and at the moment you want to release the puck, flip that top hand upward with a really quick snap of the wrist.

Now For the Bottom Hand

The other half of the equation is what your bottom hand is doing. You not only want the puck to launch into the air; you also want to get it into the back of the net fast and hard. Your bottom hand will be providing the power you need to do that. In addition to snapping, your top hand should be pushing down on the back of the stick, and you're going to use your bottom hand to pull up as you shoot. Together, that push and pull creates a lever motion that packs power into your nice, little snap action. Now that you know how it works, it'll take some practice to get your timing down just right and combine all those movements into one.

Longer Shots

That basic roofing technique is great up close, but for a shot from farther back, you'll need to take one more step to lift the puck and place it in a top shelf of the net rather than the top of the bleachers. This adjustment is about both the angle of your stick's blade and the rolling of your top hand.

Like the first technique, you start by cupping the puck with your blade, but then you'll need to open up the blade as you shoot and cup it again during your follow-through to keep it low enough to get in under the crossbar. To do that, you once again start with your top hand rolled down. As you shoot, you roll your wrist up to lift the puck and then quickly back down on your follow-through to keep the puck flying low.

Stick with your practice on this and these techniques will help you shelf it every time.