Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Ice Hockey Top Shelfer Techniques

In hockey, some players demonstrate a consistent ability to score more goals than their teammates. There are a number of reasons why players excel offensively, but one of the most significant is that the best goal scorers shoot the puck very well. They can reliably hit any portion of the net that the goaltender leaves open. This is difficult to do well, especially with shots to the "top shelf," or upper portion of the net.
Shooting High
In hockey, the goaltender and shooter aren't in a fixed relationship the way a pitcher and batter are in baseball. The shooter has much more latitude in approaching the net, and the goaltender has to respond to the shooter's actions. As the goaltender moves, different portions of the net open up to the shooter. Modern goaltenders usually play a variation of the butterfly style, meaning that they drop to the ice and spread their pads to block low shots. A skilled shooter can take advantage of this, snapping a high shot over the goaltender's shoulder into the upper portion of the net.
Shot Selection
Hockey players have an arsenal of different shots at their disposal. The most dramatic is the slapshot, with its big windup and high velocity. However, the slapshot is relatively inaccurate. The quick snap shot is also inherently inaccurate. It's used primarily to take quick shots that catch a goaltender by surprise. The two best shots for scoring top-shelf are the wrist shot and backhand. A skilled shooter can snap the puck over a goaltender either way, even from in close. Unfortunately, both are among the most difficult shots to do well.
Wrist Shot
The wrist shot begins with the shooter's weight on the back foot and the stick behind the back skate. The shooter drags the puck forward with the toe of the stick, applying downward pressure to its shaft. This makes the stick compress and bend, storing energy to power the puck. The shooter transfers his weight to the front foot and rotates his trunk, drawing on the leg and core muscles to power the shot. As the stick whips forward, the shooter rolls his wrist and points the blade of the stick at the target area of the net -- in this case, the top corner.
The backhand is more difficult to execute well than the forehand, because it uses a weaker set of muscles. Modern curved sticks are also better suited to forehand than backhand shots. Backhands can be thought of as a wrist shot in reverse. The shooter begins with his weight on the back foot and the puck on the heel of his stick. Like the wrist shot, the backhand draws its power from the rotation of the shooter's trunk and transition of weigh to the front leg. The lower arm directs the shot, with the blade of the stick pointing at the target on the follow-through.

Design by Free Wordpress Themes | Bloggerized by Lasantha - Premium Blogger Templates