The slap shot is a challenging shot to get right. Coach Jeremy showcases some tips and tricks to help you get off a great slapshot. View the tips below and start practicing!
Are you on defense? Struggling with getting a decent slapshot off? There are many factors that impact the ability of a player to perfect the slapshot including:
- Strength and physical maturity
- Technique and execution
All but strength and physical maturity can be taught and practiced. Younger players just don’t have the physical skills to generate much power in this shot. In fact, in the US slapshots are not even allowed in youth hockey until Pee Wee (12 and under).
The remaining attributes listed above and then some are all addressed in this video.
Technique and Execution
The first thing addressed in this video is where you should be trying to place a slapshot on goal. You should try to keep your shot low but off the ice a bit – 6 to 10 inches above the ice. The primary reason for this as opposed to shooting higher is that there is a greater chance of a team mate redirecting or getting a rebound for a tip in if the puck is kept low. Shooting high reduces the chances for scoring and more likely will result in hitting a player.
Positioning is incredibly important. Your front foot should be slightly ahead of the puck about two inches. The blade of the stick should strike the ice just behind the puck using the flex of the stick to generate power. One common problem for most young players is holding the stick too low on the shaft during the shot. The video shows where to hold the stick to get the proper amount of flex.
Zdeno Chara of the Boston Bruins was clocked at 108.8 miles per hour (175.1 km/hr) at the 2012 NHL All Star Game SuperSkills competition. That is very impressive indeed. But power and speed are pointless without getting the shot on goal. Many young players have problems getting an accurate slapshot off.
Besides proper positioning, the keys to an accurate slapshot are the windup and follow through. This video shows keeping the stick in the proper position during the windup and following through low to ensure a low shot.
The idea behind a slapshot is to give yourself enough time to windup and shoot before your opponent or the goalie can react. Perfecting how quickly you can get yourself set and take the shot is critical. While not specifically mentioned in the video, combining all the elements and working on this set of skills over and over again will ensure being able to quickly get a hard, low and accurate shot away.