5 Stickhandling Mistakes to Avoid

There are five common mistakes that I regularly see when training youth hockey players. Luckily, if they are identified early they can be corrected and allow players to reach their full potential! If you need to work on your stickhandling, here are some great tips to help take your game to the next level. 

Improper Top Hand Position – Many younger and less experienced players will have the top hand thumb positioned on the top of the shaft. Players need to have the side of the thumb on the side of the shaft of the stick to ensure full range of movement.

No Top Hand Wrist Roll – By not having a strong top hand wrist roll, players will have a very rigid and choppy way of handling the puck.

Loose Grip Bottom Hand - For stickhandling, the top hand is the controlling hand. Too often, players use the bottom hand as more of the controlling hand. They need to let the top hand do that job. The only time you grip the bottom hand hard is when shooting or making and receiving passes.

Expansion of Reach - One limitation of gripping the stick tight with the bottom hand when stickhandling, is your expansion of reach. If you don't have a loose grip, when trying to bring the puck outside the body, you're giving up an additional 10-20" of reach when separating laterally.

Top Hand Hip Lock – This mistake happens with the player has their top hand outside the body, covering the hip. This type of placement of the top hand limits the player's range of motion and is very restrictive when trying to move the puck around the body. The top hand needs to be in front of the body, so there is a gap between the top hand and your midsection.

Thanks for reading and remember to work hard and dream bigger than everyone else!

-Coach Pitlick





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