Hockey always has and always will be a team game. To ensure you become a great team player, you need your teammates to get a hold of the puck, and there’s no easier way to do that, than a crisp, hard pass.
Combining these three steps will go a long way in improving your passing. Make sure to get out on the ice and find someone to practice with, because almost all your passes will be to someone in movement.
STEP 1: KEEP IT ON THE ICE!
By keeping your pass on the ice, not only will this help the puck to stay level and not out of control, but it will also be easier to reach your target. Use the ice to your advantage.
Rolling your wrists over in a forward motion as you pass causes the blade to stay flat on the ice, and the puck to stay level. This means your pass doesn’t end up in the stands, or worse, the other team’s stick. As long as you roll your wrists, the blade will close each time.
Another easy way to ensure the puck stays flat and on-target is to keep your blade cupped throughout the pass. If the blade is open, or wedged, the puck can easily bounce up off the ice. The cupping technique makes sure that your blade is always at the perfect angle to send the perfect pass.
STEP 2: KEEP IT ACCURATE!
First, one of the most repeated rules for any hockey player to remember, is to keep your head up! Not only will this help you avoid any hits, but it allows you to see the ice, and therefore see where you need to pass. It’s way easier to pass to a target you can see, than to just hope for the best.
Now that you can see your target, or teammate, make sure your pass is to where they’re going to be, not where they already are. The best way to get that timing down is to practice. Practice solely on lining up the puck to where a skating player will be and not where they are. By having a strong pass will accuracy, this helps with those “wow” tape to tape passes. You can also use the angle of your blade to help with your accuracy. Try experimenting with cupping and opening up your blade to send the puck in different directions. Sometimes the smallest adjustment can mean a huge improvement in accuracy.
STEP 3: KEEP IT POWERFUL!
Remember that no matter the distance, your pass should always be powerful. This gives it a way better chance of reaching its target before being picked off by the other team.
Combine your accuracy techniques with short, strong movements in the wrist to get your pass to where it needs to go in a hurry. Simply snapping your wrists forward in that rolling motion, while leaning forward goes a long way in getting your pass to stay on the ice with speed.
For extra power, shift your body weight in the same direction as where the puck is going. Similar to when shooting, have the majority of your weight on your back leg and shift it towards your front foot when releasing the pass. By putting most of the weight forward, this helps add extra power behind each pass you make.
Tip: When you can’t get out on the ice, and just want to practice at home, using the Elite 4-Way Passer from HockeyShot is a great way to get all your pass techniques down!