FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is the Difference between LEVELS?
Each Drill is categorized by a level (1-3). Level 1 drills focus on "1" movement or pattern. Level 2 drills will combine "2" movements or patterns. Level 3 drills will combine 3+ different movements or patterns. Although Level 3 drills may be more challenging, it is important to work on these patterns separately, especially if the player is struggling. Go back to the basics. Perfecting simple movements will allow the player to navigate through more complex patterns.
How long is an average workout?
3 Drill Workouts = 8-12 minutes / 5 Drill Workouts = 15-25 minutes. Routines come with a “rep range” and number of sets. Total time will depend on which one you choose and if done to completion. The only thing missing from a traditional workout routine is “rest time” . Other than our “Dribble” exercises, we want to focus on REPS over SECONDS . When fatigue sets in, your technique will suffer. These drills will give you enough hand strength / endurance without you forcing it. Move on to your next set or drill when YOU feel ready. This is another benefit to off-ice stickhandling: no one is waiting in line behind you. Don’t have time to finish? Do it later. Struggling on a drill? Take a Break. Use the time to work on puck tricks. Clear your head. The more you enjoy doing something, the better you’ll be.
What are benefits of drills on your Backhand side?
Even the most challenging drills performed directly in front of our body or on our forehand side, still leave allowable room for error. Training on the backhand side of our body puts a greater stress on precision because it limits the allowable room for error.
What are the benefits in 'Top Hand Only' drills?
Our top hand is the control hand responsible for most of the work. Strengthening our top hand will allow our bottom hand to relax (slide) easier. These drills also put more emphasis on precision and limits the allowable room for error.
I've heard different opinions on sliding the bottom hand. What is your reasoning for it?
The main argument against sliding the bottom hand is that it takes you out of a passing/shooting position. Keeping your hand placement in a passing/shooting position can allow you to confuse a defender through deception. While I do agree with this, I also understand the need to catch passes in your feet, pull pucks in tight and away from defenders, pulling pucks across your body in a more controlled movement, and more. I think both techniques have benefits and every situation is different. Training your bottom hand to slide, like any other skill, will be there when you need it.
I've noticed your head is down while doing these drills. Isn't that a bad thing?
A favorite topic of mine. 90% of the drills included, involve some sort of obstacle whether it be a puck(s), stick(s) or both. The common debate is why not use your peripheral vision? The focus for most of these drills is understanding and developing proper hand mechanics and efficiency patterns. Not only do I want to see the obstacles, I also want to see where the puck is hitting my blade. We are training skills to perfection in a controlled setting so we are more comfortable and confident when put into a game-like situation.
How long should my stick be?
There is NO right answer. Every player is different. I do believe it is easier to LEARN on a shorter stick. Especially for a younger player, a shorter stick will be lighter, and the stick range will be smaller, which allows greater control until hand strength is developed. On the other end, I believe a longer stick will provide more benefits, but only if it is used properly.
What Curve/Lie is right for me?
Every Curve has benefits and weaknesses. My advice is to find a curve you feel comfortable shooting properly with.
Every blade has 3 parts to it. Heel, Middle, and Toe.
The length and shape of the HEEL and TOE will slightly alter blade angle and position on different movements
The length and shape of the MIDDLE will either increase or decrease your “room for error” for either,
Finding the correct blade lie for a youth hockey player can be confusing and stressful. Don’t sweat it. The HEEL is always on the ice and has the greatest control for dribbling, making passes, and catching passes.
Depending on the blade lie, this might make things more difficult which is why it is important to focus on movements during training, and yes, even if that means staring down.