How does a slapshot work

Shot technique in ice hockey: this is how slap shots and co.

Ice hockey - the fastest team sport in the world

First of all: did you know that ice hockey is the fastest team sport in the world? Not only the players on the ice, but also the pucks fired reach top speeds that no other team sport can beat.

But how does it actually work physically? And what speed can a puck reach? The players of the Kölner Haie and Prof. Dr. Metin Tolan from the Technical University of Dortmund explain what the laws of physics are all about:

click HEREto watch the video.

In the following part, we will explain to you which shooting techniques are used in ice hockey, where muscle strength and dynamics play a major role, and you will see why you should take care of your teeth, especially when taking a slap shot.


The correct shooting technique in ice hockey

Although the pucks sometimes sweep across the ice at breakneck speeds in ice hockey, strength is not the only decisive factor for a precise and accurate shot. Above all, the right technique, timing and the necessary speed should not be disregarded in this case.

But what really makes a good shooting technique? Matthias Plachta, professional player at the Adler Mannheim, is of the fundamental opinion that this is difficult to generalize. “There is no such thing as one recipe. Every ice hockey player has to find out for himself which technique he uses best. It is important that in the end a hard, precise and quick shot comes out "says the ice hockey expert. In his opinion, this is largely a matter of practice and a learning process that will be automated at some point.

In addition to the slap shot - probably the hardest shot in ice hockey - we introduce you to the most important shooting techniques and explain what is important.

The slap shot

The slap shot (in English also called slap shot) describes a - as the name suggests - shooting technique in ice hockey, with which the hardest and fastest shots are achieved. The puck can be incredible Top speeds of up to 175 km / h to reach.

The slap shot can usually be found in four phases organize:

1. The player first makes a wide backward movement with the stick. The blade (blade) - that is, the part of the ice hockey stick with which the puck is shot - should be approximately at the height of his shoulder.
2. Next, the shooter swings the club down with a lot of momentum. In this phase, the blade should hit the ice directly in front of the puck and slide further onto the puck. The player must now completely shift his weight onto the club so that it bends and accelerates the puck strongly (spring effect).
3. The archer then vigorously leads the club forward with a twist of the hip.
4. The more skillfully the player has focused his target and guided the club, the more precise the slap shot is.

That the bat in the so-called slap shot how a bow has to be drawn and bends is optimal here shortly before the shot is fired:

Since a player has a big hit shot Backward movement must do with the club in order to be able to transfer the necessary energy to the puck, are sufficient with this shooting technique Space, strength and of course the necessary Marksmanship crucial.

But: Muscle strength alone is not enough for a slap shot. The trick is timing. You have to hit the ice before the puck. This is how the bat stretches like a spring. All the energy that the player has developed through the run-up and the rotational movement of the upper body is stored in the bend of the stick. This energy can then be suddenly transferred to the puck. The result: a hard, fast shot with the necessary power.

Again slap shot looks like a professional and the massive forces that act on the ice with this shooting technique, you can see here in slow motion from different perspectives - and of course hear them. After all, the sound of the slap shot is unmistakable. By the way: It is not uncommon for a massive ice hockey stick to break into two parts like a match with a particularly hard slap shot.

From days gone by: Canadian NHL player Bernie Geoffrion caused a sensation for the first time with the slap shot on the ice. The shooting technique has been his trademark since 1951. Geoffrion's nickname “Boom Boom”, for example, is derived from the sound of his particularly hard shots.


The wrist shot

The wrist shot (also wrist shot called) is a shooting technique in ice hockey that is mostly based on tight room is applied. The wrist shot lives here on his Surprise effect. The precision and fast execution often leave the goalkeeper no chance.

An experienced ice hockey player can fire a wrist shot quickly and still in a controlled manner. He just needs a very low backward movement make, which is why this technique is mainly played when the opponent is distressed.

The close contact between stick and puck is usually only given up shortly before the shot by a so-called "pulling backwards" so that the puck is then with a practiced one Rotational movement of the wrist - similar to the game of foosball - can be fired by the shooter.

That a wrist shot is not just about the correct turning movement of the wrist, but above all about one balanced weight shift (Shooting leg and swing leg) and the Targeted position of the player to the puck arrives, shows Jeremy Rupke clearly step by step in the following video. Incidentally, the passionate ice hockey player runs the How to Hockey blog with the associated YouTube channel, where he makes his extensive knowledge available, especially on the subject of hockey skills.

The snapshot

No, with the snapshot (in English too snap shot called) in ice hockey is not meant a snapshot of a particularly successful hit. The so-called snap shot is in principle considered to be a shortened one wrist shot (Wrist shot), in which the puck is additionally driven with the force of the slap shot (Slap shot) is fired. You can say: a good mixture that needs to be learned.

The snapshot is above all in the immediate vicinity of the gate used, because here it is particularly important that the puck is played as quickly as possible. This shooting technique should be mastered by every experienced ice hockey player in order to use goal chances effectively and surprising hits to be able to achieve.

Of course there is also the so-called snap shotprecision and correctly balanced Weight shift the alpha and omega, as Jeremy Rupke explains in detail in this video:

The backhand shot

The backhand shot (also backhand shot or backhander called) is a shooting technique in which the puck with the Back of the trowel (Bat face) is played. If a player masters a strong and accurate shot with the backhand, this opens up a wide range of goal opportunities.

Because it applies: The backhand shot is less precise than the wrist shot, but it can be used for confusion worry about the goalkeeper. If he does not see the shot coming in time, it will be difficult for him to stop the puck and prevent a goal.

In addition, the so-called backhand shottime the decisive factor: during a rapid stage there is often simply not enough leeway to quickly change the guide of the stick. So that a possible scoring chance is not simply wasted, a targeted shot with the backhand is suitable in this case.

Jeremy Rupke has summarized in detail what you should look out for when taking a correct backhand shot:

The peasant trick

With the so-called peasant trick (in English also wrap around A goal can be scored very quickly and effectively in ice hockey.

The shooter moves directly at high speed behind the opposing goal and tries to move the puck past the goalkeeper into the with a quick twisting motion opposite side of the mesh to transport. If the goalkeeper recognizes the maneuver too late, the pawn trick is an excellent chance to score a quick goal.

Here you can see the moment just before the shot is fired. The shooter is about to play the puck directly into the opposite corner, which is not being protected by the goalkeeper:

By the way: Did you know that this special shooting technique has always been used in Switzerland Buebetrickli is called?

How can you improve your shooting technique in a targeted manner?

Since a successful hit in ice hockey is all about the quality of the shot, variation and that apply optimal interaction of stick and disc as basic requirements that every player should learn and constantly develop. For this, stamina, strength, speed and good responsiveness are essential.

Matthias Plachta from the Adler Mannheim confirms that there is no longer any special shooting training for professional teams: “The shooting technique is still trained in the youngsters, also during the summer and sometimes with special shooting coaches. However, after a certain age there is no longer any guided training. We shoot a few pucks every now and then after team training. But everyone decides for himself individually. "


Training on the ice: shoot, shoot, shoot

If you want to improve your shooting technique on the ice, the ice hockey professional advises you one thing: “There are shooting machines with which you can simulate any situation on the ice as well as any type and direction of shot. Ultimately, you just have to shoot, shoot, shoot. To work on the hardness a little, there are special pucks that are a little heavier than the playing discs. But also with these applies: just shoot, shoot, shoot. Because in the end the right technology is always a matter of feeling. "

Shooting technique and Shot power are therefore the decisive components in order to be able to use goal chances successfully in ice hockey. In order for the players to be able to assess the situation on the ice accordingly and act on it, it makes sense to use a Reaction training and regular training of the Perceptual ability to be integrated into the training plan. In the next point we will show you what effective training on the ground can look like.

Improve shot power

Above all, to have the necessary shot power for wrist shot and snap shot to be able to develop, it makes sense to plate pinchers, hex holds and wrist rolls to incorporate regularly into the training. With appropriate weights, you can specifically strengthen the hand muscles and increase the training steadily as required. Also chin ups and push ups provide more power and strengthened forearm and upper arm muscles.

Practice stick handling

"Five minutes, five times a week"advises coach Jouni Lehtola from the Dallas Hockey Club. For him, stick handling, i.e. stick technique, is of crucial importance in training. To do this, he regularly gives his players homework to improve their skills.

That you can do this easily at home, on the go or in between with one Mini stick being able to train ensures effectiveness. Repetition is the key word here: This is the only way the muscle can remember a certain movement and later recall it correctly on the ice, even in stressful situations. Good stick handling helps to bring the target into the optimal position before the shot and to control the shot itself in the best possible way.

Holistic workout for ice hockey players

In order to be able to improve shooting power and technique in a targeted manner, is a holistic strength training Essential for every ambitious ice hockey player. It is important not only to train your arms (triceps) and legs, but also your back and of course to train your coordination.

A comprehensive ice hockey workout, for example Squats included for strong legs. For the chest and triceps, on the other hand, the so-called is suitable Bench press with dumbbells especially good. You can effectively strengthen your legs, buttocks and torso with one Combination of step-ups and a lunge. And to be optimally prepared for tough duels on the ice, you can Side support with torso rotation To run.

The players from EHC Red Bull Munich show what targeted, functional and, above all, effective ice hockey training can look like that is also fun at the same time.

From nothing, comes nothing!

The correct shooting technique in ice hockey cannot be learned overnight. As with most sports, the principle "Practice makes perfect" applies here. Or as Matthias Plachta called it: shoot, shoot, shoot.

So if you want to improve your shooting technique, you need to practice regularly on the ice and on the ground. But you shouldn't ignore holistic strength training either. Train your leg, arm and back muscles in a targeted manner so that you can win the often tough duels on the ice.

If you would like to know how the Adler Mannheims keep fit with effective summer training or how you can simply explain ice hockey rules, take a look at our magazine.

And if you are thinking of designing the ice hockey jerseys for your team yourself, you can use our 3D configurator for your individual design.

Photos: Cover picture: © gettyimages / Dmytro Aksonov, picture 1: © gettyimages / gilaxia, picture 2: © gettyimages / Dmytro Aksonov