My goal for this post is to provide information on how to choose the right hockey stick for the first time. There are a number of factors that go into the process and it can be overwhelming. It’s my hope that I can relieve some of the stress and give you some tips on what to look for when getting a new twig for your young hockey hopeful.
Right or Left Hand – The first thing you will need to establish with your player before buying a stick is hand dominance. The dominant hand should be the top hand. You can easily determine hand dominance by having your child use a push sweeper or throw a ball. The dominant hand will be the top hand when sweeping or the hand used when throwing. If it is the right hand, you will need to buy a left-handed curve.
Curve of Stick – There are all kinds of hockey stick blade patterns to choose from. These styles can range from more of a toe curve to mid-range, toe heel curve. Using a bigger curve gives players the ability to raise the puck effortlessly on the forehand, but harder to take shots or make accurate passes on the backhand. Players new to the game should start with a mid-curve and experiment with bigger patterns as more skill is acquired.
Lighter is Better – When choosing a hockey stick for novice players, look for the lightest stick possible. Youth players just starting out haven’t developed hand and forearm strength yet, so putting a heavy stick in their hands will impede their stick skill acquisition. Get the lightest stick possible. It may be a little more expensive, but well worth the investment.
When just starting out, use the above tips and remember to keep it simple. Determining what stick blade curve is best for you becomes more important as your career progresses. If you’re strength as a player is passing and setting up other players, a smaller curve is recommended. If you develop into a prolific goal scorer, a more aggressive curve might be used. Check out Alex Ovechkin’s curve sometime. It’s insane how big it is, but somehow he makes it work.
Thanks for stopping by and remember to always Work Hard and Dream Bigger than Everyone Else!! ~ Coach Lance
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