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Improve Your Backhand at Home

Skill Drills

Before we get to the tips I want to ask you a question, how many shots do you take in a game? 2-5 maybe, sometimes none. How many shots do you take in practice? 10-20 maybe more or less depending on the drills you are doing. We could estimate you will be taking about 25 shots a week. That is not very many, yet some kids don't understand why there shot isn't improving.

If you were to take 200 shots at home in a day (an hour in the morning and an hour at night) you would essentially be getting the same experience as TWO MONTHS of practice and games. That is why it is important to practice your shot, especially the backhand, the most neglected shot in hockey. Let's get to those tips!

Start Small

The first thing we will focus on is getting the puck off the ground. Stand with your stick in front of you, and the back-side of your blade facing the net. Line the puck up with your front foot, and place the blade of the stick behind the puck (in the ready to shoot position) with the blade open like a wedge. We are cheating here, but it helps you understand how to lift the puck on your backhand

Now simply push down with your top hand and pull up with your bottom hand, it's similar to the motion you make with a shovel while you are throwing dirt (or snow). If done correctly this should send the puck high and towards the net. (see the video for my demonstration)

The trick now is to get some power on that shot.

Adding power to the backhand

Now we need to add some power to the shot, this requires us to draw the puck back first. Start with the puck in front of you and pull it back, it should be lined up with your back foot (pull it back a bit further if you feel comfortable). Now use both hands to pull the puck towards the net, once you get the puck to your front foot you perform the motion we practised earlier, push down with your top hand and pull up with your bottom hand.

Extra tips to refine your technique

  • Cup the puck while adding power so the puck stays on the heel of the blade. You want the puck on the heel because if it rolls to the middle of the blade it will slide off to the toe, and you will not get much power
  • Stay in the hockey stance while shooting and use your legs to transfer your weight into the shot, this will help you add more power
  • While moving the puck towards the net (right before you release the puck) you will need to roll your top hand over to open the blade (shown in video)
  • At the end of the shot put all the power you have into the final snap motion (pushing down and pulling up) this extra burst of power will add a lot of power to your shot.

Thanks for reading, in the video I was using the pro sized shooting pad, the roll-up shooting pad, and the ez-goal hockey net.

HockeyShot Professional Shooting Pad

Perfect for anyone who wants to improve their on-ice game at home, the HockeyShot Shooting Pad makes an excellent indoor and outdoor trainer. It simulates the smooth, slick feeling of the rink so you can work on passing, stickhandling and shooting.

Visit the Professional Shooting Pad page

Black Standard 6 oz. Pucks

Standard 6 oz black hockey pucks, official size and weight. Manufactured by In Glas Co, an official supplier of the NHL.

Visit the Standard Hockey Puck page