Mastering Puck Control: 4 Mechanical Secrets from Elite NHLers
When it comes to hockey, one of the ultimate aspirations is to handle the puck with the finesse and precision of an elite NHL player. The way these professionals move the puck with lightning-fast speed and accuracy, as demonstrated by stars like Connor McDavid and Sidney Crosby, is a true spectacle. What many don't realize is that there are four mechanical secrets these top NHL players employ, and these techniques are not typically taught. In this article, we're going to unveil these secrets and provide you with insights on how to elevate your stickhandling game. Our focal point is "How to Control the Puck."
1. The No Stick Handle Technique
Let's begin with a technique that may seem counterintuitive – the "No Stick Handle." When we think of stickhandling, we often envision players skillfully moving the puck by repeatedly tapping their stick against it. However, the key to achieving lightning-fast hand movements, as employed by players like McDavid, involves not stickhandling all the time. Instead, these players use a deceptive technique where they gracefully wave their stick over the puck, almost like a magician's wand. It may sound peculiar, but it's remarkably effective. This maneuver enables them to create quick fakes without altering the puck's direction, conserving both energy and time.
2. Transitioning from Forehand to Backhand
While there's a conventional method for moving the puck from backhand to forehand, elite players employ a distinct technique for the reverse journey. This technique is known as the "Crosby Curl." It involves rolling the puck from the middle of the blade to the toe while imparting spin on the puck. This approach is significantly more efficient than the commonly taught method of pushing with both hands, which often results in unnecessary tension. The Crosby Curl allows for a smooth and tension-free transition.