Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Shooting Tips: Backhand Shot

The Backhand shot feels unnatural and awkward. The first time you try it, it almost seems impossible to get any power behind it.

All the same elements that go into a good wrist shot go into a strong backhand shot.

Backhand Shot Basics
  • Pull the puck back to (or past) your rear leg.
  • “Load Up” by leaning on your rear leg.
  • Start with the puck on the heel of your stick, and roll it down the blade as you shoot.
  • Transfer your weight to your front leg.
  • Roll your wrists over as you follow through.
  • Point the tip of your blade to where you want the puck to go.

Wrist Shot vs Backhand Shot
  • The curve of the stick is working against you on your backhand. You only have the distance between the heel, and the point where the blade starts to curve to work with. Once the puck rolls past the mid-point, you’ve lost control and you can’t possibly get anything behind it. You’ve got to release the puck before the puck rolls past the mid-point of your curve.

  • While pulling the puck back is important to generate power for both shots, you can actually shoot the puck fairly hard with a wrist shot, even if you don’t pull it back. No dice with the backhand. You MUST pull it back to get any power at all.

  • Rolling your wrists ALL THE WAY over is crucial on your backhand. This gives you the necessary power and accuracy to have any chance of scoring. This is not easy as it requires a fair bit of strength and timing. The backside of the blade of your stick should be parallel to the ice at the end of your follow through.

While the backhand shot isn’t used very often, it’s a key weapon to have at your disposal. Practice a few shots against the boards before every game, and you will become more and more confident, and score more goals!

Zach Parise Backhand Goal against Lundqvist

More Shooting Tips: Wrist Shot
4 Reasons to Work on Your Backhand