For hockey players to score more goals - they need to be able to get shots off quickly while still maintaining a strong shot. The common trait of all elite goal scorers is their ability to generate explosive shots as if they’re pulling a trigger. By combining drive and flex with a shorter release, this will ultimately lead to developing the goal scorer’s twitch.
For most players - drive and flex are two attributes that seem at odds. Most players have the tendency to try to create big pullbacks and then take a long slow follow-through in an effort to generate as much force into their stick as possible. This isn’t necessarily wrong. More flex does equal more velocity. But it won’t lead to you scoring more goals.
The secret that goal scorers know is that they need to generate as much flex as possible, as quickly as possible. Working to improve how aggressively you can “punch through” your release - with an explosive short twitch is what’s going to let you shoot harder, get shots off faster, and ultimately – score more goals.
Through focusing on creating more power, shortening our release, and being able to shoot from any position, we now want to put this together to develop the goal scorers twitch.
This is ability to simply pull the trigger and release a rocket. With one quick snap of the wrist, an elite goal scorer releases a puck that comes off their stick like a bullet. Many players and coaches attribute it to “strong forearms” and preach the need to do wrist curls and develop their forearms - but in reality, this is an intense core flex and the ability to leverage kinetic chains to create an explosive fast-twitch of power. The goal scorers twitch is the difference between a good shooter and a great goal scorer.
We have come up with two effective drills that you can run through to practice generating maximum power in a shot with a short release time, as you would in a real-life game situation. Let’s check the drills out!
DRILL #1: SHORT AND POWERFUL
In this drill, we’re focusing on shortening our release while also generating as much power as possible.
By setting up a rush defender (or a hockey-stick defender), our goal is to finish our release underneath the stick. This is going to force you to emphasize generating as much power as possible in a short release time while also helping you practice shooting through traffic, as if you would in a real game scenario.
THIS IS A TRUE GOAL SCORERS DRILL.
- Get setup as close to the defender as possible. We still want to allow for space to do a pull back, but make sure that we’re challenging how much space we use for our release.
- Your number one focus for every shot is getting as much power off as quickly as possible.
- Every shot you should be pushing yourself to shorten the distance of your release.
DRILL #2: SEATED SHOOTING
In this drill, we are going to be shooting from a seated position.
While this goes against our focus of utilizing our legs to generate power, the goal of this drill is to eliminate the lower body and strictly emphasize how we generate explosive power through our core and upper body. It is important to focus on solely the upper body, as when combining the upper and lower body during a real scenario, you should notice a difference.
THIS IS THE DRILL THAT UNLOCKS A NEW LEVEL OF GOAL SCORING CAPACITY BY HELPING PLAYERS DEVELOP THEIR TRIGGER.
- Get set up on a chair or stool. Don’t worry about the height or style, we just want something that will allow you to take your lower body out of your shot.
- Immediately set up in a strong body position. Chest upright. Hands out and over our body.
- Before each shot, create a strong braced position. Abs should be maximum flexed to be ready to generate a “punch through” our stick.
- With each shot, focus on generating as much force down into your stick as possible.
- Maintain strong and braced positions. We want to make sure we’re in-balance while still finishing towards the net.