3rd Line Hockey
Uncover the Secret to the Ice Hockey Slap Shot
With Beer League Hank
Meet Beer League Hank
Hank had been playing beer league for a few years and had made a name for himself as not being one of the worst players on the team. On this particular night, Hank was feeling particularly confident and decided to take a chance. He wound up for what he thought would be the perfect slap shot, but unfortunately, it was not and the puck went flying in a completely different direction. The entire rink erupted in laughter as Hank stumbled and fell onto the ice, embarrassed and red-faced. As the laughter died down, Jim picked himself up off the ice and skated back to the bench. His teammates were still laughing and joking about his failed attempt.
“I guess that’s why they call it beer league..”
Don’t Be Like Hank…
Every hockey player wants to know how to master the perfect slap shot for their next 3rd Line Hockey Draught Tournament!
Introduction to the Hockey Slap Shot:
An ice hockey slap shot is the granddaddy of all hockey shots. Capable of propelling a frozen rubber disk over 100 miles per hour, the slap shot is used to strike fear in beer league goalies across the world. The slap shot requires a great deal of power, accuracy, and technique to be successful. It is one of the most difficult shots in hockey to master. It is not only important to have the correct form, but also to be able to generate enough force to propel the puck at high speeds. The player must use their whole body to generate power, with their hips, legs, and arms all involved in the motion.
This is where Hank found his first problem: his less-than-optimal physical condition.
Hank should have made sure that his weight was shifted to his back foot as he wound up for the shot. And then, should have shifted his weight to the front foot when he hit the puck.
He wanted to increase his power so, he tried to focus on using his whole body to generate force. His hips, legs, and arms should have all been involved but, they were not.
Additionally, Hank should have made sure that his hands were in the correct position on the stick. His wrists were not loose, so he didn’t get the maximum amount of power from the shot, but it was enough to knock him over.
Here’s The Science..
The power of the shot is a result of a weight transfer from the wind up through the follow through. Therefore, having strong core muscles such as the low back, abdominals, hips, and thighs is paramount for maximum slap shot power. The strong er these core muscles, the harder the slap shot.
As the player brings the stick down in a powerful downswing, the ice will be met with a resounding crack. Through the force of the impact, potential energy is stored, like a slingshot, only to be released moments later with an even greater force. Although it may seem like hitting the ice would decrease the speed of the shot by wasting energy, the opposite is true – when the stick is hit three to five inches away from the puck, the puck is propelled even faster.
At this point, following through is an absolute necessity. As the player completes the motion, the stick collides with the puck and is spun off the blade in a manner akin to a wrist shot. Professionals achieve an average blade-puck contact of .38 milliseconds, exerting a force of approximately 100 pounds on the puck. In the air, the spin of the puck keeps it stable, making for a better shot and an increase of speed that can exceed 100 miles per hour. This speed is enough to knock a defensive player on his ass.
The Hockey Stick and It’s Role In Your Slap shot
The hockey stick is a vital component in crafting a powerful slap shot, featuring two components of the shaft that help your shot. First, there’s the flex number – a metric that shows the weight required to bend the stick one inch, which is printed on the stick itself. The higher the flex number, the better suited the stick is for a forceful slap shot. The second element of the shaft is the kick point: the spot where the stick will bend. For stick-handling and a wrist shot or snapshot, opt for a lower kick point. But, for slap shots, try a mid kick point for more power.
Improving Your Slap Shot Off the Ice
In order to increase power, Hank wanted to work on his off-ice training by focusing on strengthening his core muscles, if he had any. His trainer told him he can also work on improving his flexibility and range of motion. Hank practiced his slap shot technique regularly, focusing on proper form and accuracy. Hank came up with a system, every set he rewarded himself with a beer, and he was sticking to it!
Some of the exercises Hank did to improve:
Wide Grip Pronated Lat Pull-ups
Medicine Ball Rotational Scoop Tosses
Grip Strength exercises
Though Hank’s failed attempt at a slap shot was met with laughter and embarrassment, it acts as a reminder that no matter how much experience you have, everyone is capable of making mistakes. Don’t let your own slap shot dreams go to waste. Join us at the 3rd Line Hockey Draught Tournament and perfect your beer league slap shot today!
You should see Hank’s slap shot now!