Puck Protection Weight Shifting (Standing Still)

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Drill Setup:

  • Players spread out on the rink.
  • Start without a puck. Player is practicing their weight shift puck protection position. Stick should be on one side of their body as they lean (shift weight) to opposite side.
  • Player holds the position for 2 seconds then shifts weight to other side and position.
  • Player continues to shift weight side to side and holding / checking their form. After player performs the drill without a puck and feels they have it down.
  • They should be instructed to then on their own grab a puck and perform the same drill over again.

Drill Purpose:

  • The purpose of this drill is to create a pattern/base position for protecting the puck and/or taking a hit contact. A players ability to get low and be strong in this position is crucial to be able to protect the puck as well as themselves.
  • Important details are shift weight so~60% weight is on inside leg (outside edge), 40% weight is on outside leg (inside edge).
  • Inside leg knee is bent, outside leg is straight (this creates that weight shift).
  • Stick should be extended at side. Inside leg knee should be in front of the stick. This guards against an opponents swinging stick.
  • On backhand side can practice taking bottom hand off the stick and using it as a shield. It is recommend players practice both 1 hand vs 2 hand on backhand as both scenarios have application.
  • On forehand side player should extend arms and tuck elbow in to avoid opposing player being able to hit their elbow and dislodge the puck.

Common Mistakes:

  1. Biggest mistake with this drill (and why I recommend starting standing still) is many players lean into their puck versus lean away from their puck. This puck protected position is not automatic and for moves/fakes they are so used to making a fake and shifting weight to sell the move that the opposite pattern is difficult. Remember, puck is on one side of the body. Weight shift to opposite side.
  2. Players leaning on pants. Players with weak legs or poor balance will lean their elbows on their pants to make up for this lack of strength / balance.
  3. Dropping the shoulder down. Some players will drop their shoulder down instead of weight shift through legs. This puts them off balance. Want to keep shoulders between base of support. Use legs/weight to lean into pressure.
  4. Puck to far in front of body. Many players leave puck to far in front of their body nullifying their weight shift and puck protection position. Stick / puck should not be past their inside leg. This leg should be used as a barrier to protect against a swinging stick.

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