How to Shoot Better in Hockey

Shooting the puck, or the ball, is the only way to score in hockey. Surprisingly, most coaches will note that it’s not about the power of hitting the puck, it’s more about the accuracy and technique.

It’s never about power, according to Coach Jeremy (see videos below). He explains that it’s about how your body recognizes how to shoot, if you’ve done proper training over and over. Coach Jeremy, recommends that you practice hitting at least 100 times a day, but when doing so, practice with your knees bent and starting from a ready hockey stance. If you practice while standing up straight, it’s not the same as if you are in a game.

Coach Lee Bodimeade, who coaches female field hockey, notes that players should look at their target before they shoot. It sounds simple enough, but it’s not done by many beginning hockey players. If players shoot with their head down it could result in missing the net, or knocking the projectile into a player.

Look up and find somewhere to shoot, then wait for an opening.

Coach Bodimeade advises to keep your arms straight, and for a squeeze shot, hit the back of the ball (or puck) and it will pop up if done at the appropriate angle.

“To be a good goal scorer you need to have a variety of shots in your skill set,” Coach Bodimeade says.

Where do you shoot to score a goal?

Imagine the goal as a box that you are facing, and you will note that most players want to shoot top right or top left. Those are dramatic shots, but there are is a good chance it will miss the net all together.

If the goalie gets a shot like that, it’s easier for him or her to catch the puck and there is no second chance to shoot again.

If approaching the goal with a low shot, there are more chances that there could be a rebound that could give another chance for a goal.

Try to align your body to face the goal to improve accuracy. 

When shooting, follow through with the swing of the stick toward your target. Also point your toe of your blade (or shoe) in the direction where you want to shoot.

For low shots, roll your wrists to keep control, and for a high shot, follow through with the swing to get more power. Once you have a fluid technique, then improve your power.  

Newer players don’t use their legs enough to put power in their shots, according to some hockey coaches. Bend your knees when making the shot and push off with your back leg to transfer the energy and momentum to the front leg.

Coaches also see that new players don’t get enough snap at the end of a shot. Free your top hand. Many players just use their bottom hand but a good fluid shot will use both hands to pull the stick and puck and end with a final snap by pulling back with the top hand.

Remember again that the best shooting is not about power, it’s about accuracy most coaches suggest. Work on the skills first, then increase your power.

Coach Lee Bodimeade shares tips to playing the game like an Olympian.