Mastering the Slapshot: A Detailed Technique AnalysisJan 16, 2024
Create power and speed like you’ve never seen before by mastering your slapshot technique with these quick and easy steps!
No matter what position you play, being able to hammer out a powerful, precision shot from the blue line is a game-changing move you want up your sleeve.
So read on to learn everything you need to know to make your slapshot a foolproof weapon in your hockey arsenal!
What is a Slapshot?
A slapshot works by using the weight of your body to slam the stick against the ice right before it hits the puck. Forcing it to bend and fling the puck through the air in a whip-like motion.
To perfect your slapshot technique, there are two separate components that you’ll need to master:
- You need the right stance and positioning to carry your body weight through the shot
- You need to perfect your swing and follow through to turn your stick into a powerful whip while ensuring proper aim
Follow the step-by-step practices below to master both components of the slapshot technique and score your next game-winning goal!
How to Master Your Stance
Begin your slapshot technique practices by shifting in and out of your stance until it becomes second nature.
1. Orient Your Body to the Goal
To properly orient your body before taking your shot, turn so that you’re perpendicular to the goal and your dominant side is closest to the net.
In the beginning, practice your slapshot technique directly in front of the goal so that you don’t have to worry about aiming too much. Once you’re more comfortable with the process, you can make your training harder by trying out different angles.
2. Build Power From Your Legs
A lot of the power that makes the slapshot technique so amazing comes from the simple step of bending your knees before your shot.
How does bending your knees affect your slapshot?
- It stabilizes you, which creates a more controlled release of the puck
- It shifts more of your weight down into your legs, which you then transfer into your stick
- The stability also allows for a more aggressive swing and follow-through
Here’s how to properly assume your hockey power stance:
- Start with your legs shoulder-width apart
- Your front foot should be slightly ahead of your back foot in a staggered position
- Bend your knees until your muscles are engaged, but your balance is stable
- Your weight should sit in the balls of your feet without causing you to lean forward
This power stance is essential to almost every hockey skill and should be practiced until it’s deeply ingrained in your muscle memory.
3. Position the Puck
To ensure you can get in your full swing before making contact with the puck, always place it in line with your front foot.
As your weight shifts throughout your slapshot technique, you’ll slide forward. By the time you make contact, the puck will be slightly behind your front foot, which is the puck position for a slapshot.
You also want it to be ahead of you. The exact position is impossible to predict in a game, but a good range to keep in mind is between 6 and 12 inches in front of you.
4. Position Your Hands
The last part of your stance you’ll need to perfect is your hand positioning.
Before you begin your swing, slide your forehand down the shaft of your stick. It should rest near the beginning of your flex point.
That way, the full weight and power of your body goes directly into the bending of your stick before being released into the puck. Lowering your forehand also helps you keep your balance.
How to Master Your Swing
Now it’s time to add the swing to your slapshot technique training!
1. Shift Your Weight
A big part of your slapshot technique will be your ability to transfer your weight throughout the movement. This is the first step in that motion that you’ll need to master.
Once in your stance, shift all of your weight onto your back foot. Your front foot should only be used to keep you stable.
This shift of weight is an important part of your slapshot for three reasons:
- It increases the energy that you can transfer into your stick
- It allows your wind-up to reach even further back
- It forces you to engage your core as you pull your stick back to keep balanced
The more weight you put into your back foot, the more power can be released once you transfer it to your front foot.
2. Perfect Your Wind-Up
Simply pulling your stick back is not enough to perfect the wind-up component of your slapshot technique.
Finding the exact angle and range of your swing is personal and will take some practice to figure out. But there are some tips and tricks that can get you started:
- Begin practices with a slow-motion movement of your swing
- Experiment with open and closed angles of your stick’s blade
- For maximum power, bring your stick straight back as far as you can without sacrificing your stability and balance
- As you try out different swings, change your puck placement accordingly
Once you’ve found a swing that gives you the most power, you can work your muscle memory to ensure it feels natural. You don’t necessarily want to go with a swing that feels natural immediately if you’re looking to really improve your skills.
3. Follow-Through With Your Whole Body
The follow-through will be the hardest part of your slapshot technique to master because there are so many different things that go into it.
Starting from the top of your swing, a slapshot follow-through requires these precise movements all at once to complete:
- Bring your stick straight down in a smooth arching line across your body
- Shift all your weight from your back foot to your front foot
- Ensure your stick makes contact with the ice right before it hits the puck
- Swing with your whole body so your torso twists and ends up facing the goal head-on
- Lift your back foot as your weight shifts forward to propel your swing even further
All of these things together transfer your weight into energy and power that is sent through the shaft of your stick, forcing it to bend and fling the puck toward the goal at amazing speeds.
Be sure to keep your whole body engaged during your swing. Otherwise, you risk spinning out and ruining the transfer of your energy through the shaft.
4. Aim With Your Blade
Last but not least, in your slapshot technique training, practice your ability to aim the puck.
In general, the hockey community uses two different ways to aim a puck when taking a slapshot:
- Twist the blade of your stick at the end of your swing so that it points to where you want the puck to go
- Keep the blade open and point the middle of it at your puck’s intended destination
The best way to find what works for you is to try out both and pick whichever feels more natural. If continued practice with that one doesn’t lead to any improvement, try out the other one.
And if it still doesn’t work, try visualizing your target and letting your stick do whatever it needs to do to get the puck in the net.
Blow Away the Goalie With Your Perfect Slapshot Technique!
With this article, your slapshot technique will become second nature in no time. Ensuring no distance or opponent can stand between you and the game-winning goal!
For more hockey drills that will perfect your skills, be sure to check out our Hockey Schools.