Basic Tips To Improve Your Passing

With Erik Cole of the Carolina Hurricanes and U.S. National Team

Everybody loves to skate with the puck and stickhandle through the opposition defenses on the way to the net. Still, it’s much more effective if you let the puck do the work for you. Passing is without a doubt the best way to move the puck.

Tip #1

When it comes to effectively passing the puck, accuracy is the key. You want to look at your intended target and take your time to make a good, hard, accurate pass. It’s all in the follow through. It’s important to work on passing in practice. Take your time and work on the basic fundamentals of making a good, crisp, accurate pass. That way when you get into a game it’s second nature to you.

Tip #2

Never slap at the puck. You want it to roll off the blade from the heel toward the toe in a sweeping motion as you transfer your weight from your back foot to front foot. As the puck leaves your stick, make sure to follow through and point the toe of your stick at the intended target.

Tip #3

A flip or saucer pass is the most effective pass when you have a man between you and your intended target. A good saucer pass floats eight to 10 inches off the ice and lands flat close to the blade of a teammate’s stick. Practice is the key. You don’t want to be firing the puck too high, where it can’t be controlled by your teammate. A player who can make an effective saucer or flip pass is worth his or her weight in gold.

Tip #4

When it comes to receiving a pass, you want to turn the blade slightly toward the ice to form a pocket. Keep the angle of the blade so it takes the puck squarely. Don’t hold the stick too tightly when you are receiving a hard pass or
the puck will “explode”
off your stick.

Remember This …

It’s important to keep your head up when passing the puck. Most bad passes are caused by not looking up to spot your intended target. You should also be aware of where you are on the ice. Blind cross-ice passes are the leading cause of grey hairs among hockey coaches. Playing it safe and being smart with the puck will greatly improve your odds of winning the game.

 

photo by Getty Images

 

Issue: 
2009-02

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