Basic Hockey Tips (for Novice & Intermediate Players)
Typically, players have skates that are either too loose or too tight.
Proper Skate Fit should make the feet feel very comfortable. Your foot should match the removable footbed exactly.
Typically, players overlook proper Ankle Support.
Proper Ankle Support is very important and can be improved with an adjustment of the shin pads being placed inside or outside the tongues of the skate or by utilizing different Lacing/Taping Techniques.
Typically, players are in poor Body Position which affects their entire game (Skating, Stick-Handling, Passing, & Shooting). Most likely they are too far forward at the torso and/or their knees are not bent enough.
Proper Body Position should be shoulders in straight-alignment with the players toes, with their knees slightly forward of that line.
Typically, players skate too far back when skating forward and too far forward when skating backward.
Proper Skating Position should be on the balls of your feet/toes when skating forward and on your heels when skating backward.
Typically, players use sticks that are too long.
Proper Stick Length should be measured while on skates with feet together and should typically fall between the bottom of the nose and the bottom of the chin. You should use the shortest stick possible for better puck control while stick-handiling.
Typically, players hold their hands too close together or too far apart, causing a lack of control.
Proper Hand Position should allow the players hands to be as wide as their body if they are holding their stick straight-across, just underneath their belly-button.
Gripping the Stick
Note: If there is not a natural directional tendency when holding the stick (to determine whether to use a left or right curve), the dominant hand should be placed on top, which will increase both control when stick-handling and power when shooting.
Typically, players reverse the correct Grip of the Stick. They tend to hold their bottom hands too firm and their top hands too loose.
Proper Grip of the Stick should allow you to hold your top hand firm (like a hand-shake) and your bottom hand loose. This allows for optimum movement, power, and control of the stick.
Typically, players reverse the correct Blade Position. They tend to place the toe of the stick on the ice which lifts the heel in the air and causes them to lose or miss the puck.
Proper Blade Position should utilize your top hand to keep the heel of the blade flat on the ice and allow the blade to "cup" the puck on either the forehand or backhand in the preferred "closed" position.