Hand-Eye Coordination Exercises for Hockey
Strong hand-eye coordination skills are essential for high-level hockey players. Having the ability to knock a puck out of mid-air with your stick might help you knock down a pass, deflect a shot into the net or swat a puck out of mid-air to score a goal. Develop your hand-eye coordination with on and off-ice exercise.
This is an on-ice drill. Stand in front of the net a few inches outside the goal crease. Have a teammate stand just inside the blue line with about 25 pucks. It's your choice whether you want to use a goaltender or not. Your teammate should proceed to shoot the pucks at the net. His shots should range anywhere from right along the ice to waist height. Use your stick to deflect the shots out of mid-air and into the goal. Be careful with this drill, wear full equipment and make sure the shots from the blue line are not too high. Defensemen should shoot to hit their teammates' hockey stick in front of the net as a deflected shot is difficult for a goaltender to stop.
Ball Balance Drill
This off-ice drill is primarily intended for goaltenders. However, it can be used by players playing any position. Take your hockey stick and a tennis ball and flip it into the air. If you're a goaltender, your stick is probably a little too heavy to do that, so simply set the ball on the shaft. Now, hit the ball into the air as many times as you can. Every time you do this drill you should attempt to beat your record for most number of times hitting the ball in a given sequence.
Martin Brodeur Drill
Martin Brodeur has been the starting goaltender for the New Jersey Devils since 1993 and is the NHL's all-time leader in wins and shutouts. Brodeur has also won the Stanley Cup three times and has won the Vezina Trophy for the league's best goaltender four times. Brodeur uses this drill to work on his feet, hand-eye coordination and speed. Have a tennis ball in each hand, and toss the ball at a wall a few feet away. Throw with your right and catch it with your left. Immediately toss one of the balls in your left hand and catch it with your right. This drill requires high concentration and focus. If it is too difficult, start with one ball and catch with the opposite hand you threw with. The goal is to catch it as quickly as possible coming off the wall.
This off-ice drill is performed with your stick only. Hold the stick in your gloves. To begin, have the stick almost parallel to the floor and the edge of the blade pointing up. With a loose grip, flip the blade to the left and then quickly flip the blade to the right. Continue in this fashion for a couple of minutes.
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