Mastering the Slap Shot with Confidence: A Step-by-Step Guide

The slap shot is an incredibly powerful and accurate shot that with the proper technique and practice, anyone can master.

In this post, we’re going to help you master the slap shot with confidence. It’s important it is to have a powerful and accurate slap shot in your arsenal, but but it can also be tricky to perfect the technique of this shot. 

Hockey Slap shot

That’s why we’ve created this guide – to break down the key elements of a booming slap shot and give you a step-by-step guide to begin mastering your own slap shot.

We’ll cover everything from the proper stance and grip to the wind-up and backswing, the follow-through, and common mistakes to avoid. We’ll even throw in some tips on incorporating slap shot practice into your training regimen and tracking your progress. 

By the end of this guide, you’ll be able to increase your scoring potential on the ice and gain the confidence you need to succeed on the rink. So, let’s get started and turn you into a slap shot pro!

The History Of The Slap Shot

The slap shot was was first used in the 1940s by NHL players such as Bernie “Boom Boom” Geoffrion and Tim Horton. 

The shot involves a player winding up and bringing their stick down on the ice and creating massive power by using the sticks flex and recoil. The shot gets it’s name from creating a loud “slap” sound as the stick hits the ice just before the puck. 

It quickly became a fan favorite, and players started to use it more often. It was a game changer as it allowed players to shoot the puck harder and faster than ever before, making the game more dynamic and exciting. 

The slap shot quickly became a staple in hockey and is still used today by players at all levels.

Step 1: Stance and Grip

Slapshot in a game
MILAN – FEBRUARY 04: the player Kostourek (H.C. Milan ) during the game Hockey Club Milan Red Blue vs. H. C. Appiano in Italian A2 Hockey Ice Regular Season on February 04, 2011, Milan, Italy

The first step in mastering the slap shot is getting your stance and grip right. This might seem like a small detail, but it makes a huge difference.

When it comes to your stance, you want to make sure you’re standing square to the net, with your feet shoulder-width apart. This will give you a solid base to work from. You’ll also want to bend your knees slightly to help you generate power.

As for your grip, you’ll want to hold the stick with both hands, with your top hand around the top of the stick and your bottom hand around the lower third of the stick. This will give you maximum control and power.

It might take a bit of practice to get the stance and grip right, but once you do, you’ll be able to unleash some serious power on your slap shots!

Step 2: The Wind-Up

Once you have your stance and grip down, it’s time to focus on the wind-up. This is where you’ll generate the power for your shot.

Start with the face of your stick on the ice just behind the puck. Next, raise the stick back to a verticle position just behind your back shoulder rotating your hips and shoulders as you do.

Finally, release your stick back down towards the ice while rotating your hips and shoulders. You should make contact with the ice 3-5 inches behind the puck and push through the ice causing your stick to flex and generate extra power. As you make contact with the puck, the flex in your stick will release causing maximum power and your shot to rocket to it’s destination.

It’s essential to keep your eyes on the target as you wind up (just like golf and baseball); this will help you to be more accurate and hit your desired spot on the net.

Use your legs to push generate the power and use your upper body to guide the stick through the wind-up.

Practice is key to getting the timing and the power right, so take your time and don’t rush it.

Once you’ve got the wind-up down, you’re ready to move on to the next step: the follow-through.

Step 3: The Follow-Through

The follow-through is just as important as the wind-up, and it’s where you’ll add accuracy and control to your shot.

After you’ve wound up and taken your shot, you’ll want to continue to follow through with your stick, pointing it in the direction of the target. This will help to guide the puck to where you want it to go.

A bad follow through usually results in bad aim.

Make sure to keep your arms extended and your shoulders squared, giving you more control over the shot.

Also, stay low to the ice, as this will help keep your shot on target.

To practice and perfect your follow-through, try aiming for a specific spot on the net, and focus on hitting that spot every time. You can also use a shooting pad or a wall to practice, this will help you to focus on your follow-through without the pressure of an actual game.

With a good wind-up and a solid follow-through, you’ll be well on your way to mastering the slap shot and being feared on the ice!

Remember that practice is key, so take your time and keep working.

Step 4: Common Mistakes to Avoid

Just like with any skill, certain mistakes can hold you back from mastering the slap shot. Here are a few to watch out for:

  • Not keeping your eye on the target: It’s essential to keep your eye on the net or the spot where you want to shoot the puck, and this will help you to aim more accurately and increase your chances of scoring.
  • Not keeping your weight on the back foot: When winding up for your shot, keep your weight on your back foot. This will help you to generate more power and control.
  • Not keeping your stick blade flat: This will help you to keep the shot low and on target.
  • Not keeping your arms extended: Keep your arms extended and your shoulders squared; this will give you more control over the shot.

Practicing and Improving Your Slap Shot

Mastering the slap shot takes time, and consistent effort, and hockey players must be patient with their progress. The slap shot is an integral part of any player’s game and can be the difference between scoring a goal or not. It’s important to remember that improvement takes time, but with the right mindset, you can master the slap shot in no time.

Check out Youtube Videos & Advice From Others

One of the best ways to improve your slap shot is to seek out additional resources such as training videos or private lessons with a coach. They can give you the one-on-one attention you need to correct any mistakes in your technique and provide you with valuable feedback.

Practice Game Scenarios

Another critical aspect of improving your slap shot is incorporating it into game scenarios during practice. By practicing the slap shot in game-like situations, you can build muscle memory and improve your accuracy under pressure, and this will help you score more goals in the game.

Practice On Synthetic Ice

It’s impossible to always have access to ice, so synthetic ice can give you drastically more practice time. Synthetic ice is typically about 90% as slick as normal ice, so mastering your shot on synthtic ice usually leads to even better performance on real ice.

I recommend Polyglide Synthetic Ice due to price, durability, and ease of setup!

Incorporating the slap shot into your overall training regimen is also important. Try mixing it into your stickhandling drills or working on it during shooting drills. This will help you become more comfortable with the shot and improve accuracy.

Finally, set goals for yourself and track your progress over time. This will help you stay motivated and focused on improving your slap shot. Remember, practice makes perfect, so stay dedicated, and you will master the slap shot in no time.

Measuring and Tracking Your Progress

Measuring and tracking the progress of your slap shot is an important step in mastering the technique. 

One way to do this is by recording yourself, taking a slap shot, and then analyzing your form and technique. It’s amazing how you will see yourself differently in video vs real life.

You can also have a coach or experienced player give you feedback on your shot by sending them the video

By regularly tracking your progress, you can see what areas you need to work on and what changes lead to improvement. Additionally, you can measure the speed and accuracy of your shots to see if you are making progress in those areas. 

Tracking your progress will help you stay motivated and we all need some extra motivation now and again.

Wrapping Up The Slap Shot

Regularly record and analyze your shots, get feedback, and track your progress.

Remember to have patience and don’t get discouraged; it takes time and practice to master any skill. With the right mindset and dedication, you can develop the confidence to take a slap shot and score goals like a pro.

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