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Basic Stick Handling Tutorial - Around The Side

Basic Stick Handling Tutorial - Around The Side



Keeping the puck away from opponents, also known as separation, is a tactical skill in the game of hockey. Separation is achieved by a combination of quick foot movement and excellent stick handling. Although ice is necessary to practice skating, stick handling can be practiced off the ice. To do so, find a place that has fairly smooth ground and some walking room. The items listed below are necessary to get the most out of this exercise:

Fast Hands Hockey Trainer

Green Biscuit Training Puck

Reebok Pro Size Steel Street Hockey Goal (72")


The stick handling aid should be placed on the ground about ten feet from the player. The poles should stick out toward the player resembling a ‘cul-de-sac’ . When approaching the stick handling aid, the player should focus on keeping the puck away from the target by quickly moving the puck from the forehand to the backhand. Once comfortable with this maneuver, repeat the activity with the feet moving. When performed correctly the player is between the puck and the aid, which would separate the opponent from the puck in a game situation. This maneuver is the most commonly used form of puck protection and should be the easiest to perform. Discount Hockey suggests getting comfortable performing the move slowly before attempting full speed. Keep in mind that opponents will not be fooled by the same move every time. Therefore, it is important to practice equally on both sides so that the opponent does not know which way the player is going to go.

Advanced Practice: Another great asset for all stick handling situations is the head fake. Once players are confident moving the puck to the outside and driving around skaters, they can add this additional move. While performing the move above, shift the body toward the original stick handle as if you were going to that side. Then, go the other way. When done quickly, the move will have the defender leaning to the wrong side, allowing the skater to beat them.


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