The 2021 Rocket Richard Trophy winner Auston Matthews might have the NHL’s best shot. He had the best wrister and the quickest release when he entered the league, but he expanded his arsenal last year to include a slapshot and devastating one-timer.
The ability to beat goalies one-on-one with various hard and accurate shots makes you a nearly unstoppable player, but it takes a lot of practice and repetition for elite shooting to become instinctual. Most people don’t get enough ice time to develop these skills, so let’s check out the home training gear you need to improve your shooting.
If you take weak shots while practicing at home out of fear you may shoot wide and damage a wall, you won’t instinctively shoot hard in the game. When the only shots you take are powerful, you’ll shoot powerfully every time.
Using a shooting tarp from industry leaders like HockeyShot Canada helps your shot accuracy and power. The tarp fits over a net, where holes in the top corner and five-hole are targets. It also stretches far beyond the posts, protecting your property from wayward pucks.
Shoot in the basement or the driveway as hard as you want, so you’ll be prepared when it’s game time.
Firing pucks from a gravel or asphalt surface feels different than it does on the slick ice. It’s crucial to practice in game conditions.
Shooting from a surface that replicates the feel of ice is a crucial way to simulate game conditions. A shooting pad will also prevent your stick from wearing down, so it lasts longer. You can also get passers that return the puck with equal force, so you can work on cradling the puck before firing it off.
Matthews is known for getting his shot off quickly. When you practice, you can’t give yourself time to adjust the feel and alignment until it’s perfect. Fire it off right quickly from a shooting pad and keep doing it until you go consistently bar-down. Then, practice more!
If your training is limited to picking the same top corner over and over again, you’ll become very good at picking that corner. In a game situation, you never know where the goalie’s opening will be until it’s there. Mimic this dynamic in your training with targets that light up in a random order, so you don’t have much time to prepare a shot in advance.
Quicken reaction time and get proficient at shooting accurately at different parts of the net. If you develop a favourite spot to shoot, goalies will get a read on you, you’ll become predictable, and you won’t score as often.
Auston Matthews has many different skills. Obviously, he’s a natural goal scorer, but he’s also among the league leaders in takeaways. Shooting is what sets him apart, though. If you work on your shot and the subset of related skills with smart equipment that’s built to last, you’ll have a lot of fun becoming a lethal sniper.
Published by john Miller