Pride in Stickhandling Skills
In professional hockey, or any hockey for that matter, the player who’s stick handling the puck and can deke around others to set up a play or score a goal is the player who gets the attention and praise. Stickhandling is where the light shines, and is the skill that the cameras follow. More importantly, stickhandling is the skill that should help your team the most, and bring you the most pride.
Sean Skinner says there are no hockey highlights of just skating. Stickhandling makes the highlights and replays. You never see anyone in a replay just skating. How true.
What would be the best hockey stick for stickhandling?
Hockey Fundamentals Other Than Stickhandling
To make it to the NHL you have to be far above average in skating. That is the obvious first fundamental of all fundamentals of hockey. There are other hockey fundamentals though, but stick handling is the most important. It’s how you will move the puck up the ice and around obstacles. Without stickhandling, a puck carrier is just easy pickins for checkers.
A non-stickhandler has to be a darn good passer. Do you want to be the one who is told you cannot carry the puck? Want to be told to pass every time you touch the puck and as soon as you get it?
Among the fundamentals of ice hockey, you’ll need to become an expert in:
- Conditioning (endurance first and foremost, then strength)
- Skating (power skating, speed skating, agility and finesse)
- Stickhandling (stick handle, deke, dangle)
- Positional hockey (where to go while staying in position offensively and defensively when a play occurs, or begins to take shape)
- Anticipating plays (skate to where the puck will be)
- Play making (setting up plays, passing, getting in the open)
- Stick checking (what works and what’s a penalty)
- Body checking (where the fun begins, also the injuries)