If you are reading this, good work. This means you are dedicated and hard working enough to want to get better on your own.
Below I have included some at home exercises to work on so that you can improve at an even faster rate. The key to these at home exercises is GET CREATIVE! If you don’t have a green biscuit to stickhandle, find a golf ball! There are a million different ways to improve your hockey abilities off the ice. Practice practice practice, I can’t stress it enough.
Please find your HOCKEY HOMEWORK drills that your coach has given you to practice. Your coach will give you the exact drills you should practice and how many times you should practice them. Track how many times you did each drill over each week, you will be asked by your coach how you did!
12 Minute Stickhandling
This drill can be done in the garage, basement, driveway, or even in the living room! I would stickhandle in the living room so not only could I watch TV, but it would keep my head up.
- 12 different stickhandling drills
- 1 minute each- set a timer for 12 minutes, and switch to the next drill every minute
- Try to keep your head up the entire time
- To make things harder if this drill gets too easy, you can try doing this same drill with eyes closed, one leg, or on both knees.
- Tight stickhandling– with the puck/ball right in front of you, stickahandle as fast as you can. Do not use big motions with your stick, roll your wrists.
- Wide Stickhandling- Move the puck/ball as wide as you can, moving from side to side.
- Forehand Stickhandling- Move the puck/ball to your forehand side and stickhandle. The ball/puck should be moving forward/backwards and your stick should be across your body horizontally.
- Backhand Stickhandling- Same as forehand stickhandling but on the other side. (This is much harder, but practice lots and it will become easy)
- Around the World– Tightly stickhandle the ball all the way around your body. Go from side to side, maintaining control of the ball at all times.
- Figure 8- Counter clockwise. Set up two objects (I use pucks) and smoothly move your puck/ball through the objects in a figure 8 pattern. Try to keep your head up, this is very difficult.
- Figure 8– Other way.
- Toe Drags- Forehand. Use the toe of your blade to pull the puck in towards your forehand side.
- Toe Drags- Backhand. Start with a forehand fake, and instead of stopping it with your backhand, use the toe of your backhand to pull the puck/ball all the way across your body.
- Eyes closed– Have fun with this one! Try to do a variation of stickhandling and different moves, but do it all with your eyes closed.
- Soccer ball kick- stickhandle a puck/ball while also kicking a soccer ball between your feet. This is an extremely hard drill and it challenges hockey players to separate their hands and feet from working together. If you can master this drill, you probably have some pretty good hands.
- Keep it up- In the last minute of this drill I like to see if I can keep the puck/ball in the air for the entire minute without touching the ground. See how long you can last!!
Leg & Stick
This is an amazing drill because it improves stickhandling AND skating. Guys practice this drill.
As you get better at this drill, you can do it for a longer amount of time.
Week 1: 5 minutes/day
Week 2: 10 minutes/day
Week 3: 15 minutes/day
Week 4: 20 minutes/day
Week 5: 25 minutes/day
Week 6: 30 minutes/day
After you’ve reached 30 minutes, you do not need to increase your time. Make sure you are focusing on your form as well during this drill because it is useless without good form.
- Keep knees bent at 90 degrees
- Take turns on each leg shifting weight, extending one leg 45 degrees to the side (simulating a hockey stride).
- Stickhandle a puck or ball while doing this
- Keep your head up
So many people ask me what the trick is to having a good shot, and the answer is so simple.
Forehand: Shoot 50 pucks/day
Backhand: Shoot 50 pucks/day
Wether its a snap, wrist or slapshot, take 100 shots a day. When shooting, always be aiming at a target. Shoot with purpose.
This drill shouldn’t take you any longer than 15 minutes and will completely change your game.
When you are training every day, the most important thing you can do is stretch and roll out your muscles.