Hockey always has, and always will be a team game. To ensure you become a great team player, you need your teammates to get the puck, and there’s no easier way to do that, than a crisp, hard pass.
This video from HowToHockey.com will help anyone improve their passing, no matter what skill level they're at. In this particular video, Jeremy is improving his passing without even using a teammate! That’s because he's using the Extreme Passer Pro from HockeyShot.com. This piece of equipment lets anyone practice their passing, even in the comfort of their own home. Now, on to the passing!
Step 1: Keep it on the ice!
We all know how awesome a saucer pass looks, or a big alley-oop down the ice leading to a breakaway, but the reality is, almost all passes use the surface of the ice to reach their intended target. A common problem for everyone, especially beginners, is keeping those passes on the ice. The solution is simple: Roll baby Roll!
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, and your Extreme Passer Pro will send the puck right back to you.
Keeping your blade cupped throughout the pass is another easy way to ensure the puck stays flat and on-target. If the blade is open, or wedged, the puck can easily bounce up off the ice. The cupping technique makes sure 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 get out on the ice and practice. Try adjusting the power of your passes at different distances, so you know exactly how to hit your target in stride.
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 we talked about earlier goes a long way in getting your pass to stay on the ice with speed.
If your passes need to go further, or if you’re having trouble getting the zip you want, try leaning into your pass with a wrist-shot motion, only to snap it at the very end. Remember though: Your blade needs to be cupper, your wrists need to be rolling forward, and that puck needs to stay on the ice!
Combing 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.
When you can't get out on the ice, and just want to practice at home, using the Extreme Passer Pro from HockeyShot is a great way to get all your pass techniques down!