Where does slapshot power come from?
Do you have to be big, heavy, strong to take a hard slapshot?
Does a certain hockey stick make a hard slapshot for you?
Take Better Slapshots
- Many things come into play to produce slapshot power:
- speed of puck toward player taking the slapshot
- body motion of the shooter
- direction of puck before the slapshot
- speed of swing of the hockey stick
- distance from puck where blade slaps the ice
- lower arm of player taking the slapshot
- flexibility of shooter’s hockey stick
- position of puck on stick blade
- slapshot follow through.
Steps For Slapshot Power
- Slapshot Power From Bounce Effect
A stationary puck will not produce the bounce effect. In physics, it is known that when object #1 (i.e. hockey puck) is in motion and meets another object #2 (i.e. hockey stick) in motion going against it, object #1 will leave object #2 (bounce) at a higher velocity than if either or both were stationary when they collided. Furthermore, if the objects travel faster toward each other the bounce will be faster also. Moreover, object #1 will go even faster still if it's direction is completely reversed rather than just diverted. The brute force of a complete direction change where object #1's path is reversed 180 degrees from it's original path will be greater than if it's changed by 45 degrees as in a slightly sideways pass for a one-timer slapshot.
A Better Slapshot: Combo of items 1, 2, & 3 above - Your slapshot will be harder if the puck is passed hard to you while you're skating toward it, and then you one-time it straight back in the direction it came to you.
- Body Motion Transfers Slapshot Power
Expanding item #2 above, use your body motion as a whip. Throw your body into your slapshot, transferring your weight from the back leg to the front leg, which then thrusts your twisting mid-section forward, then your top hand's shoulder and arm, followed by your stiff bottom arm and its shoulder.
- 4. Improve Slapshot Power From Speed of Hockey Stick
Remember the bounce effect? Slapshot power will come from the speed of your slapshot swing; not the wind up, but the unwind speed will determine the speed of the hockey stick when it hits the puck. You don't have to be big or strong to swing fast. Try to make as much wind as you can before slapping the ice before the puck, but don't fan on it and make a lot of wind afterward!
- 5, 6 & 7. Slapping Ice + Strong Arms + Hockey Stick Flex = Slapshot Power
Slapping the ice too close to the puck or just slapping the puck directly and not the ice, will not build and store enough slapshot power in the lower third of your hockey stick. Improve your slapshot power by slapping the ice further from the puck, leaning into the ice more so you can lay your hockey stick blade down more (cupping the puck).
The push of the stick along the ice toward the puck in a bent state, keeping strong arms and shoulders so you can stiffen your lower arm when leaning on the slapshot, will give you the ability to flex your hockey stick for a more powerful slapshot.
When the bent stick meets the puck and forces it forward, the hockey stick shaft straightens in a spring loaded whip fashion for better slapshot power.
Scientific studies have included analysis of hockey stick composition and believe it or not, hockey stick construction, wood or composite, has nothing to do with slapshot power. Hockey Stick Flex, and the shooter's ability to bend it, is what makes power as far as hockey sticks are concerned. Light hockey stick construction will also add to power by way of a faster swing.
The hockey stick has to flex to store energy that can later be released as force against the puck. A stick that is too stiff for your body weight and strength will weaken your slapshot.
- 8. Improve Slapshot Power Where Blade Meets Puck
If you take a slapper with the tip of the hockey stick blade, the whole blade will cave in and make a weak, unguided shot. Hit the puck right in the middle of the blade so that you can maximize the force and flex of the stick and improve slapshot accuracy.
- 9. Better Slapshot Follow Through
Science shows that the longer the puck stays on the stick, the harder the slapshot will be. To that end, push the puck in the direction you want by following through completely and ending up with your hockey stick pointing at the target.
Improving slapshot's power by using any of the above slapshot tips. Use them all, working on certain areas repeatedly to maximize the potential of your shots. Break the shot down and work on part of it at a time.