Want First-Line Minutes? Practice Ice Hockey Skills All Summer Long

Nothing is better than when the coach puts your line on the final minute of a crucial game to preserve the win, get the tie, or get that comeback goal. It’s a big responsibility for the team, and playing is always more fun when there’s a lot on the line.

The best hockey training equipment lets players of all skill levels and experience practice their on-ice skills from their own home, so it’s easy to play all year long. Let’s check out the different ways to keep your game sharp.

Snipe Bar-Down

Players only get a handful of opportunities for a good shot on the net. Practicing your shot may be the difference between clanging one off the post and out or going bar-down.

Companies like HockeyShot make incredible shooting pads that let you work on your snipes without damaging your stick, the way shooting on asphalt does. Plus, pucks don’t glide on the street the way they do on ice — shooters need to practice in game-like conditions.

Get a “heavy” and accurate shot by practicing a lot, but make sure your practice simulates the feel of ice, even when you play at home during the summer. Save the garage door or your basement wall by getting a shooting tarp that’s strong enough to withstand years of high-flying pucks.

Pass the Sauce Around

Nothing makes a puck travel faster up ice than a quick and accurate pass, but the ability to gently raise a puck and have it land on a teammate’s stick is a crucial skill playmaker’s need in the offensive zone. Defensive players are very adept at clogging passing lanes with their sticks, and a “saucer” pass is hard to defend.

Practice by passing the puck over a spare stick down on the ground into a mini net built to last. There are even “Sauce Tutors” that deny wobbly passes, so players know their training is effective.

Stickhandling in Tight Quarters

Anyone can stickhandle on open ice, but retaining control of the puck when you’re surrounded by opposing players is another story altogether. You need to emerge clean through a mess of feet and swatting sticks with the puck on the other side.

“Dangler” training tools let players work on their stickhandling skills at home because keeping the puck on a string takes a lot of practice. The best players stickhandle with their head up all the time, so they can read the ice and always know where their teammates are or elude defensive players near the net.

Spot the trailer with a drop pass when you’re crossing the blue line, throw it up ice for a breakaway pass, or dangle the defense.

The only thing better than being called upon to step up in the big moment is making the big play to get the win for the team. Practice your ice hockey skills all year long with smart and durable equipment that lets you play from home.