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I play hockey as a hobby and I enjoy playing with friends so I was wondering how to get lift on my slap-shots. They seem to be constantly staying on the ice; could you help me, please?

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3 Answers 3

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Well, first off, can you get lift on your wrist shots? The basic idea is the same; the follow-through determines how high the puck will lift off the ice. Now, you won't get crazy height, because the slap means the puck's only on the stick for a little while instead of almost literally rolling along the stick on a wrist shot.

Things to check:

  • Ensure you're hitting the ice behind the puck.
  • Ensure that the puck is launching off the stick at a high rate of speed; when you hit it right, the thing just takes off, and it's a goalie's worst nightmare cause he won't even see it go by him.
  • Once those two things are solid, work on your follow-through; it's much like lifting a wrist shot, but like I said you don't get as much height off a slapshot. You should still be able to easily lift it above the goalie's butterfly from the slot, and that's what you need that shot to do.
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Not sold on "hitting the ice behind the puck." I imagine if I hit the ice too far behind the puck, the stick will "bounce" and the puck will glide across the ice if contact is made. –  edmastermind29 Aug 21 '12 at 18:54
    
This is true; nevertheless, the power of a slapshot is produced by flexing the stick against the ice before it "whips" back into the puck, much like the shaft of a golf club flexes on the downswing and then straightens just before impact. The difference is that a hockey stick is much more rigid so you have to really work to flex it. –  KeithS Aug 21 '12 at 19:05

A few things you can try, in addition to KeithS's answer.

Keith is absolutely correct about hitting the ice behind the puck. This is where the power comes from.

Be sure you're balanced. The power of a slapshot comes from the spring action of the stick, but in order to load the stick, you need more than just arm motion. The weight of your body should be going into the stick as it hits the ice. This requires a lot of leg strength, but adds power. To do this, you must be well-balanced over the puck. Power will help elevate the puck.

To get extra lift, bring the puck in closer to your body, a little closer than feels natural. This will help ensure that the puck comes off the tip of the blade of your stick.

Follow through by trying to point your stick at the target. When your stick hits the puck initially, you're only halfway through your shot. It's on the follow through that arm strength comes into play.

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I think its important to be realistic on your skating ability, ability to easily transition your weight between feet, quickly lining the puck up correctly, etc. If you are new to hockey, I agree with @KeithS on most parts, however, as you become more advanced you will realize the stick you are using will make a huge difference in both your slap shot and wrist shot. I think it can be broken down into 3 major parts (stick length, flex, and curve) that will truly affect your shot (and other parts of the game).

  1. Flex - This is the amount your stick will "bend." Lower flex will bend more than higher flex. The lowest I have seen is 45 (children) all the way up up to 120 (pro-stock). Flex is really preference (dependent on your weight and strength also), however, because the slap shot is heavily dependent on the flex, it is important to have the correct flex. Too low of a flex will actually cause the stick to bend too much under your weight and may very well break or cause the stick to hit the puck before the "snap" has occurred. This could very well cause the puck to stay on the ground as it will hit the puck with the curve facing down towards the ice. With too much flex, getting lift on the puck is not normally a problem, but your power will certainly suffer.

  2. Stick Length - This is huge for all parts of the game. A general rule of thumb, the stick should be between your chin and nose when on skates (often defensemen use longer sticks for poke-checks, while offense will use shorter sticks for stick handling). A stick that is too short will cause you to lose power and leverage on your slap shot. If the stick is too long, is is likely you will not be able to get the puck off the ground. This is because of the hand placement required for a slap shot. Finding that perfect "sweet-spot" just takes time and experimenting.

  3. Curve/blade - Last, but certainly not least important, the curve will make a huge difference in all your shots. The more experienced you become, the more important this becomes. In general, the more bend you have in your curve, the more loft you will get on the puck. Along with the actual curve, there may be a slight angle backwards (like a golf iron (not nearly as extreme)). The more angle, the more loft. Watch this when buying a stick.

I know this is a lot and there is no real formula to figure out what's best for you, you just have to try different types and see what you like. It needs to be remembered this is for slightly more experienced hockey players. The stick will never make up for lack of correct hand position, feet placement, weight shift, body movement, and locating the sweet spot close to the heel of the blade. Let me know if you have any further questions.

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