Depending on the age and experience level of the player, there are numerous reasons to find hockey fun. One of the most common at any age level though is the ability to pull off some dirty dangles.
Whether it’s watching NHL highlights or local high school stars, kids and adults alike love seeing unreal stick handling moves.
The best news stick handling is the easiest, most affordable and one of the most fun skills for kids to practice on their own. A garage floor, an old stick, a training ball or puck and a willingness to put in the time is all it takes to develop their stick skills.
Here are a few simple drills for kids to work on throughout the rest of summer and why they’re important.
If you’re looking for a way to change up your stick handling routine, working with a golf ball is a great way to do it. The design and materials of golf balls forces players to move their hands faster, roll their wrists more and have soft hands.
Around the World, Tight and Away
Many tend to think of great stick handling as only happening right in front of the player because those are the most common on highlight reels. In game situations though, the best puck handlers are able to control and handle the puck at any point around their body. Plus, this drill forces players to get used to having their hands away from their body, which is a key component of good technique.
After players learn the basics of stick handling, it’s important that a fair amount of their practice comes while moving. While there is definitely some value to certain drills that require players to be stationary, the game of hockey is far from stationary so it’s important for players to practice their stick handling skills while moving in all directions.
Want a real challenge? Try stick handling on one leg like this video.
PVC Pipe/TP Tubes
Another key to great stick handling is having the top hand control the stick while the bottom hand has a lighter grip, providing it the ability to float up and down the stick. By placing a PVC pipe or toilet paper tube where the bottom hand is, players are forced to learn this technique.
Perhaps the most fun stick handling drill there is, stick handling through an obstacle course is also one of the most beneficial for players as it does a better job of simulating game situations. The obstacles force players to keep their head up, read and react to what’s in front of them. Players can progress from standing in the obstacle course to walking through it randomly to going through it quickly to work on different situations they’ll see in games.
For more stickhandling drills and videos, visit https://www.usahockey.com/stickhandling.