One of the best ways to practice the almost impossible shots is to spend time shooting pucks at a hockey tarp. Since these remarkable training aids are designed with the hockey player in mind there are strategic target points on each tarp that can help a shooter to learn how to hone in on each target and hit it every time they slap the puck towards it. If you are serious about strengthening your game, here are a few core drills that have the potential to bring your game up to the highest notch yet.
Although you can set up your tarp virtually anywhere, itis best if you have some sort of surface that is a lot like ice to shoot your pucks from. Shooting from the ground can cause problems, such as ruining the blade on your stick, and chewing up your pucks. You can simply use a shooting pad, or install synthetic ice or even dryland hockey flooring to practice. Whatever your needs and limitations are will decide which one is best for you. Just remember that you can’t use ice skates on dryland flooring, and you cant rollerblade on synthetic ice. However, both of these surfaces are great to practice shooting on. Just make sure that you have one of these to practice with for the best results.
First Drill: Shoulder Shot
In this drill, it is important to have a good-sized stockpile of hockey pucks to shoot at your disposal. In many cases, the best way to tone your shooting skills is to practice a hard shot over and over again until you hit it every time. For this exercise simply stand in your best shooting stance and pick one of the upper targets of your goalie guy on the shooting tarp. Whichever one you choose, stick with it, and fire your shots. One slap right after the other in quick succession until your pucks are all gone. Make a mental note of how many shots you make so that the next time you do the drill, you strive to make more.
Second Drill: Backhand Finesse
If you are using a shooting pad, you can still do this one, although you may have to get creative. The key is that you continue to focus and strengthen your backhand as much as you can because you never know when it will come in handy and win a game for you. The point of this exercise is to strengthen the backhand shot while operating under the condition of grace. In other words, shoot backhand shots with finesse. Start out with the puck on either side of you in the front of you with the shooting tarp in front of you as well. Slide the puck to your other side in front of you back and forth a few times to get a rhythm and a feel going. When you are ready, pass the puck from the outside of you to the back of your backshot side and slap a backhand shot into one of the targets on the tarp. This may take a few tries to get the hang of it, but you will eventually be able to hit whatever target you choose every time.
Third Drill: Macaroni and Cheese
Most people love macaroni and cheese. However, when you dial in this shot, your opposing team will hate you for sure. This exercise calls for a little help, the macaroni; also known in this exercise as the puck rebounder. The puck rebounder will help you sharpen your receiving skills and push your shooting skills to the next level. It is pretty simple. You place the puck rebounder a few feet to the right or left of you and do a few rebound practice shots until you get the hang of it. When you get the idea, pass the puck firmly to the passer and allow it to come back to you. Pick a shot on the hockey tarp that you want to aim for. The instant that the puck comes back to you, switch your stance, and mix in the cheese. Slap that puck as quickly as you can into the target that you picked. When you hit that shot, it will be macaroni and cheese all day long. The key is to pass to the rebounder, get it back, then slam it into the goal in a quick, fluid motion. The greatest deke ever.