Welcome to the Skills Series!
Coach Jeremy (How to Hockey) is here with HockeyShot and True Hockey every Saturday to drop a new video on offseason drills, tips and challenges for all players! Rupke wants you, fellow snipers, to join him in some awesome off-ice drills that players can use in their own training. In this first edition, Jeremy shows us a simple yet efficient drill for all shooters to implement in their training to improve shot accuracy and add more goals to the stat sheet. Just like in a game, this drill puts the shooter in realistic locations that with practice, a shooter can improve on accuracy and strength. In the video, Jeremy explains not only the drill and why it helps, but also the science of how our brains calculate accuracy and why it is important to vary distances. Let’s watch and listen Jeremy’s hockey instructions:
As you can see, Rupke explains through scientific case studies how improved accuracy does not necessarily mean focusing on the exact distance you’re targeting to improve. Instead, research in sports science suggests shooting closer and further away from the actual target is more impactful than shooting at the direct target location over and over again. For example, if you’re target distance is 10 feet, Rupke suggests shooting from 5 and 15 feet away, to force your brain to adapt to the varying distances instead of just one “perfect” spot (i.e. the slot). In a sport as fast as hockey, you’re chances of getting constant slot opportunities will dissipate with age and level of skill. That’s why it is essential to train your brain and adapt to real game-time situations. Here Jeremy is using the above dimensions to practice his accuracy. He uses roughly 5-9 pucks in each location and fires them at various locations, not just one. A shooter should never resort to only one go-to!
In Jeremy’s case, he was solid in close but he could work on his accuracy for 15-foot shots. To improve on that, Jeremy knows his target distances should be even further (20-25 feet) so it forces his mind and muscles to adapt to the variety of possible game-time scenarios. Varying your shot type with wrist shots as well as slap shots will also add to the difficulty. If you’re looking to turn that shot into a snipe, then try this simple trick that is guaranteed to improve on your shot’s accuracy and power!
Jeremy also had an array of very helpful products from HockeyShot. HockeyShot’s Shooter Tutor is perfect for this drill as it provides the shooter with 11 realistic scoring options. It also has a tough elastic material that provides realistic rebounds! For an even more authentic feel, HockeyShot’s Dryland Flooring Tiles give the player an improved surface that adds to the challenge. And let’s face it; we all can’t be snipers overnight and as a result you’re going to be chasing after those biscuits more than shooting them. To avoid that, HockeyShot’s Goal and 2D Backstop is the perfect net to protect your home, garage, cars and even neighbours. The net is extremely easy to install and the backdrop provides 78” of height and 26” of width in protection. Last but not least, picking up all those pucks can get tiring if you’re firing on all cylinders. To solve that problem Jeremy uses the handy HockeyShot Sauce Catcher that can act as a puck bag (easily holds up to 40) when you’re not using it for saucer passes!