The Close Open Close Stickhandling Series is a progression of 4 exercises that help players get comfortable with separating their upper body from their lower body to protect the puck and deceive the opposition. This deceptive move is helpful when players are attacking in 1 on 1 situation and need to create more time and space.

We will walk through the 4 progressions below and show a video example of Elias Petterson who frequently uses this move in a variety of situations.

Phase #1: Line Step Over Separation

  • Start slow! Work on separating your upper body from your lower body by crossing over a line. This will take time in the beginning. 

Phase #2: Line Slalom Separation

  • Use your hips, and edges to separate your upper body from your lower body by performing a slalom move.

Phase #3: Wall Puck Protection Separation

  • Work on separating your upper body from your lower body while you keep the puck along the boards. 

Phase #4: Open and Close on Defence (or cone)

  • Start slow. You can begin this move on a cone. Eventually, add in a defender with an active stick and then perform at higher speeds in different situations.

Ideas To Keep In Mind As Players Progress:

  • Increase your speed.
  • Work on keeping your head up.
  • This move is enhanced if you can look other ways before performing the close open close in a 1 on 1 situation. 

Below is an example of Elias Petterson to using the close open close to get a defender to bite. As you can see this provides Petterson with extra time and space to make a pass.

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