The puck has dropped in the NHL season, and non-professional ice hockey players around the world are ready for the games to begin. Your summer training is about to pay off.
But you need to keep sharpening your skills to maintain the edge from all that hard work over the summer, especially if, like many players, you took some time away from the game to relax. The best training equipment lets you play at home the way you would on the ice, sole’s check out how it works.
Become a Sniper
Lethal offensive players need a hard and accurate shot with a quick release. Players only get so many chances to score in a game and shooting an inch wide might be the difference between winning and losing.
Industry leaders like HockeyShot offer shooting pads so you can practice shooting pucks on your driveway or in the basement, and they’ll glide at home the way they do on the ice. Otherwise, the feel of a puck dragging on asphalt is not how it’ll be in a game, plus you’ll chew up the blade of your expensive faster.
Practice your snapshot, wrist shot, and snapshot without fearing you’ll put a hole in the wall or garage door—get a shooting tarp that extends beyond the post so wide shots don’t damage your property. Aim for the holes in the corners and five-hole to work on your accuracy.
Stickhandle Like a Pro
Whether you’re a slick first-line center or a blue-line stalwart, you need to be able to keep the puck glued to your stick. Everyone needs to stickhandle, from evading stick checks in close to the opposing goalie to quickly getting the puck out of your zone.
Danglers are durable, lightweight tools that let players create infinite stick handling drills. Weave the puck in and out and regularly change the danglers positioning, so you need to keep your head up, just like you would in a game. The best danglers are built of high-strength steel shafts, so they’ll stand up to years of punishment from pucks and sticks.
Pass with Precision
As the coach always says, when it comes to moving up ice quickly, passing is always faster than skating. The leading equipment companies make passers that return the puck to you, so you can improve your passing accuracy or take one-timers by yourself.
These passers let you develop the soft hands necessary to cradle incoming passes. Work on your saucer passes and dishing the puck along the ice, and your teammates will love all the apples you set them up with.
There was a time when even pro ice hockey players used to stumble into training after taking months off, but that time is over. Whether you’re an ambitious player trying to make it into the big leagues one day or a fanatic playing for the love of the game, today’s home training tools are fun, they simulate real, on-ice scenarios and they’ll make you a much better ice hockey player when you don’t have access to a rink.