How to hit a slapshot

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Feb 092006
 
Authors: With Jessica GerrardGough captain of the women’s hockey team

Known for its rewarding sound, speed and explosive power, the slapshot is probably the most popular shot in ice hockey.

Although difficult to master, there are a few basics that must be included when performing this shot in a game situation. First and foremost is the transfer of weight. When shooting, the puck should be a comfortable distance from the body, aligned either between the skates or just behind the front skate.

The power behind the shot is generated when the shooter shifts his or her weight from back to front and the stick literally 'slaps' the puck, striking the ice first, puck second. Where the arms and, more specifically, wrists come in is for acquiring accuracy.

After hitting the puck, the wrists roll over and point the toe of the blade at the target. This generates a flat, horizontal spin for more accuracy in an otherwise hard-to-control shot.

However, the large wind-up makes it easy for the goalie to time a block, so slapshots are most effective for scoring when there are people blocking the goalie's line of sight. These offensive skaters can act as a screen while the defenseman, also known as the point, can shoot on net with every hope of scoring on a well-timed and well-placed slapshot.

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