WANT TO IMPROVE YOUR SHOT? Shoot 100 pucks per day—or at least shoot for shooting 100 pucks per day! No matter how many shots you actually take, practicing your shot is one of the easiest things you can do off-ice. Be sure to shoot off a shooting pad or use your “outdoor” stick, and be careful not to hit anything (cars, windows, passersby). If accuracy is an issue, look into a backstop, cage or shooting tarp.

“You miss 100% of the shots you never take.” —Wayne Gretzky

Accuracy…How can my son develop a more accurate shot? He seems to use the goalie as a target, and we all know it’s not going to go through his body. Practicing any sport that involves shooting—from archery to basketball to hockey—benefits from having a target. With hockey, of course, your target is anywhere the goalie is not (and can’t reach in time). Since the four corners and five hole are the most likely spots to score, those are generally the targets your son can practice on from home. All you need to do is make simple modifications to your net such as adding:

  • Pockets such as EZ Goal 4 Corner Netting Targets
  • Hanging targets such as X-Targets
  • A “goalie” tarp such as the Ultimate Goalie

Durability…My 6-year-olds have been shooting at a homemade PVC net, but they’re starting to knock it over and put pucks through the netting. What type of net will take them through grade school to high school? Shooting pucks outside offers various opportunities for peril from lost pucks to broken windows to torn netting. Options are available to help with all these issues, including:

  • EZ Goal Pro Steel Folding Goal with rip-resistant weatherized netting
  • EZ Goal Folding Backstop Puck Rebounder to protect doors, windows and cars—and keep kids from chasing pucks down the street
  • The Snipers Edge Hockey Shooting Tarp to protect your garage door or walls

Speed…How can my daughter increase her shot power? No matter how beautiful her shot is, the goalie always seems to get there first. Accuracy is one thing—speed is another. The most beautiful top-shelf goal will go right into the goalie’s glove if it’s meandering its way to the net. Your daughter has two easy options for developing a rocket of a shot. First, measure the speed of your shot so you’re inspired to keep practicing and improving. Second, add weight through the puck and/or stick. Options include:

  • SpeedTracX radar gun
  • Demon Hot Shot radar puck
  • Stick weights such as Complete Shot Stick Weight Training System
  • Weighted stick such as the PowerBlade
  • Weighted blade such as the Ultimate Hockey Training Blade
  • Weighted pucks from 10 oz to 2 pounds

Another option is a training device such as the Shot Tec, which trains the muscle group responsible for shooting.

Technique…My shooting repertoire is pretty much limited to the wrist shot I learned as a Mite. How can I improve my wrist shot and learn more about backhand shots, slap shots and more? While the wrist shot is probably the most common shot, it limits you in terms of where you can shoot from. You can perfect your wrist shot and learn many more from videos such as Brett & Bobby Hull’s Instructional Shooting & Scoring DVD. In addition, you can try a training device such as the Halo, which teaches proper mechanics in wrist shots along with crisp passing, muscle memory and wicked fast hands.