Some players in the NHL score goals off the pure strength and power of their shot. However, some NHL’ers score goals on pure finesse and shot location.
Consider players like Phil Kessel or Alex Ovechkin, who just always seem to find the back of the net. There are many factors involved, however, all natural goal scorers have one thing in common, they know where to shoot and how to get it there.
One thing that may be a surprise to many, but has proven to be an effective technique on scoring, is the ability to visualize where you want the puck to go. Many goal scorers at all levels have the innate ability to visualize themselves scoring before they even take the shot. So when you are out practicing in your driveway or in your back yard, picture yourself shooting the puck short-side or going bar-down. You will be surprised that a simple mental trick of visualization will lead you to filling that net. That being said, there is still more to consider when working on your shooting accuracy. For instance, you can’t have an accurate shot if you aren’t looking at your target. If you want your shot to go top right corner, have your eyes locked onto that corner and let it rip. Not only do you want your eyes or body to move in the direction of your target, but it is essential to move your stick in that direction as well. If you want a low shot, make sure that you have a nice, fluid motion, keeping your stick and blade low as well. Like any other shot, your shot location or release point is vital. As mentioned in the shot power article, being aware of one’s “sweet spot” will be the difference between you scoring or being robbed by the goaltender.
Lastly, it’s important to be aware of your body’s movement and mechanics. This can only be done by continuously practicing your shot. There is no such thing as too many practice shots. Next time you are practicing your shot, become familiar of the movements and techniques required to get your shot at the desired location. Even the best hockey players in the world miss the net from time to time, so don’t be discouraged if you miss your shot. An accurate shooter will always read and adjust their mechanics, almost always nailing their second shot.
Practice makes perfect, so go out there and have fun and visualize yourself scoring! Here are some HockeyShot training aids that will help you snipe more goals: Extreme Shooter Tutor and Extreme Targets.