Ask any hockey player to name the hardest skills to perfect, and he’s bound to name release and accuracy. These skills take time, practice, and patience to get right, but fortunately, by following a few simple tips, you can get better at them in no time at all!
Tip #1: Use Your Legs
To begin with, always keep in mind that for a good, smooth release, you’ve got to be moving; there’s got to be some momentum going on!
The best way to build controllable momentum is to use your legs. Your legs are strong and can propel you forward while still providing a stable, strong foundation for the rest of your body.
Tip #2: Transfer Your Weight
When you’re following through on a shot, a lot of things need to happen in your body very quickly in order for all to go as planned.
One of the most important things that has to happen, however, is for you to transfer your weight quickly and smoothly from your back foot to your front foot. This will increase your power and accuracy, so practice this movement over and over again until it’s fluid and natural.
Tip #3: Change it Up
Most hockey players get into a kind of routine when it comes to how they shoot and release. They tend to always shoot off the same foot, for example, when they’re releasing.
Don’t allow yourself to get into these hardcore habits because, as you know, there’s not always time to get into your “perfect position” when you’re on the ice and in the heat of a game.
Therefore, practice shooting off both feet and from a variety of positions and stances. That way, you’ll be ready for anything!
Tip #4: Move the Puck In
We just got done telling you not to get into habits, but SOME habits can be good. One habit you should develop is to always move the puck close to your body as you prepare to shoot.
The closer in it is, the more accurate your release point will be and the more powerful the shot itself will be too.
Tip #5: Try Some Target Practice
Finally, to improve accuracy, make some targets for yourself. This could be a spot on the boards or, if you’re at home, it could be spots on your garage door or anywhere where you’re not going to break something.
The point is just to aim for certain spots and to be able to hit them. This will, hands down, help you to improve accuracy and will also serve to help you learn to handle the puck and get it to go where you want in a variety of situations and from many different angles and positions.
Perfecting release and accuracy isn’t easy, but with some practice and the help of these tips, you can do it!