Enhance Your Shot: A Breakdown of Top Shooting Techniques

Apr 15, 2024

It doesn’t matter how far you can carry the puck down the ice if you can’t get it past the goalie.

Master these hockey shooting techniques and give your game the range and adaptability it needs to defeat any opponent in your way!

So read on for a full breakdown of each technique and some tips and tricks for how to make them your own.

What Are The Four Types of Hockey Shooting Techniques?


In general, your shot can be broken into four main hockey shooting techniques:

  • The wrist shot
  • The slapshot
  • The snapshot
  • The backhand shot

Once all four techniques have been mastered and feel like second nature, your feel for your stick and the puck will be better than ever.

That’s when you can start to have some fun on the ice and use your creativity to ensure the puck always gets into the net.


The Wrist Shot

Why is the Wrist Shot so Popular?

When perfected, the wrist shot is the only hockey shooting technique that is equal in both speed and accuracy. Which is why it’s also responsible for almost half of all goals scored in the pro leagues.

But you’ll need to practice with different speeds, angles, and positions to get to that point. You’ll also need to build the muscle in your wrist and maintain its flexibility.

How to Master the Wrist Shot

The most important part of the hockey wrist shot technique is the subtlety of your shot. You want the wind-up and follow-through done before it even looks like you’ve made a move at all.

Here’s how to shoot the perfect wrist shot:

  • Quickly transfer your weight to your back foot
  • Cup the puck with the blade of your stick near your back foot
  • As you drag the puck forward, your top hand should be further ahead of the puck
  • Apply pressure into the shaft of your stick to activate its flex profile
  • Pull your top hand in towards your body and push your bottom hand out
  • Flick your wrist down during your follow-through and point the blade of your stick at your target
  • Leave the blade open during your follow-through when aiming high

When practicing your hockey wrist shot technique, keep in mind:

  • The wrist shot is about accuracy more than anything so focus on aim before building the speed of your shot
  • Wrist shots should be taken fairly close to the net
  • Don’t throw in any stick handling before you’ve perfected the basics of the style


The Slapshot

Is the Slapshot a Defensive Weapon?

The power and range that slapshots provide make them essential to the defensive line. But that doesn’t mean that they are solely a defensive weapon.

Every hockey player should be able to fire off this hockey shooting technique wherever and whenever on the ice.

How to Master the Slapshot

To hit a slapshot, follow these steps:

  • Widen your stance and sit low to shift your weight down into your feet
  • Bring your bottom hand down so it rests near the beginning of your stick’s flex profile
  • Position the puck in line and slightly ahead of your front foot
  • Shift all your weight to your back foot
  • Wind your stick as far back as you can without losing your balance
  • Swing your stick in a downward arc straight across your body while shifting all your weight to your front foot
  • Aim for the spot right in front of the puck so that your stick hits the ice first
  • Lift your back foot off the ground so you can fully twist your upper body and release all your power into your shot
  • Follow through with the blade of your stick, using it to aim the puck at your target

As you practice your skills, keep in mind that the slapshot is hard to aim. You’ll need to try out different methods to find the best aiming style for your specific shot.

The SnapShot

What is the difference between a Snapshot and a Wrist Shot?

The hockey snapshot technique combines parts of a wrist shot and a slapshot to create a quick and powerful move like nothing else.

How does the snapshot compare to the wrist shot?

  • They both have a quick release that’s hard for goalies to react to
  • The wrist shot gets power from the top hand while the snapshot gets power from the bottom hand on your stick
  • The wrist shot offers more accuracy and is better when you have the time to aim for a specific target
  • The snapshot offers more power and can be shot from further out

How to Master the Snapshot

To properly fire off a snapshot, follow these easy steps:

  • Get into your hockey power stance
  • Bring your bottom hand down to rest near the middle of your stick
  • Position the puck toward your back foot
  • Shift your weight to your back foot and pull your stick in towards you with your top hand
  • Snap your bottom hand out to launch the puck
  • Quickly shift your weight to your front foot, lifting your back foot off the ice, just before the puck is about to leave your blade to release the rest of your power into the shot

The Backhand Shot

What is a Backhand Shot in Hockey?

Mastering the backhand hockey shooting technique is a surefire way to get a quick, surprise shot on goal.

A goalie is almost always waiting for one of the classic forehand hockey shooting techniques. While they’re expecting a deke, fire off your backhand shot for a near-guaranteed goal.

How to Master the Backhand Shot

Here’s a quick breakdown of the motions that go into the backhand hockey shooting technique:

  1. Get into your hockey power stance
  2. Lower your forehand so that it rests in the middle of your stick
  3. Position the puck slightly behind your body
  4. Shift your weight to your back foot
  5. Drag the puck forward, cupping it as best you can with the backside of your blade
  6. Open up your blade right before you launch the puck
  7. Shift your weight to your front foot
  8. Push the stick with your top and pull with your bottom to create the torque needed to launch the puck

There are also some things you’ll need to consider before you can perfect your shot:

  • Sticks made with a higher flex will create more powerful shots
  • Always place the puck towards the heel of your blade for maximum power and accuracy
  • Aiming for the corners increases the likelihood of a goal


Frequently Asked Questions

How do I shoot better in hockey?

Improving your shot requires both skill and fitness training. Your hockey conditioning will have a big impact on the strength of your shots, while your target practice will help to improve your aim.

Where’s the best place to aim to score more goals in hockey?

Based on statistics, pucks shot to the high glove side and low blocker side tend to go in more often than any other shot. You should also try to get shots off quicker. The less time the puck spends on your blade, the less time the goalie has to track it.

How do you practice hockey shooting techniques at home?

Having the right equipment will have a big impact on your at-home shooting practice. Snipers Edge Synthetic ice tiles, goalie tarps, and other target practice games are essential for improving aim and firing speed.

Get One Step Closer to the Pro Leagues By Mastering All These Hockey Shooting Techniques!

Whether you play defense or offense, these hockey shooting techniques are necessary for improving your game!

And if you’re looking for videos to help you figure out the moves, check out our online hockey training modules.