Vital Hockey Skills – Part 2

More Vital Hockey Skills Skating Sensei, Jim Vitale – Part 2

Once again, we are here with Jim Vitale from Vital Hockey Skills to show us some innovative and creative hockey drills to help you improve your stickhandling, passing, and much more! Jim has been a coach since 1999 and has a unique technique to develop your hockey game. By combining Jim’s one of a kind approach with Hockey Shot’s Lineup of Training Aids we’ve created the ultimate online hockey development.

Most drills that focus on increasing your range of motion focus on which muscles to tense up and turn on. Jim finds that by actually breaking what your body thinks is normal and teaching it a new trick, like turning certain muscles off, you will see even more explosive power in your slap shot. This drill solves your backwards pivot problems by helping your legs become more spongy and receptive to your range of motion.


When it comes to hockey training, every now and then you need to throw in a drill that mimics the aggression you can experience on the ice. This can be difficult and is often overlooked by a lot of coaches but is a very necessary skill on the ice. This drill prepares you on how to get around someone aggressively to pursue the puck. By using your net as your opponent and skating on your toes this drill is the ultimate hockey tactic training. Just another great example of how Jim likes to think outside the box to bring the best hockey skating drills to you.


The Hockey Shot Stickhandling Aids have a wide range of uses, one of them being low cut cycle drill, perfect for forwards looking working on their low game. Jim combines these cut lows with a tap through using the Hockey Shot Extreme Danglers to develop your skills in multiple ways during just one warm-up hockey drill. The goal is to maximize space between the defenseman and the goalie to be able to get your stick in the blue zone and make a killer score!


Last but not least, some of the most important but overplayed drills are stick handling ones. By using Hockey Shot Stickhandling Aids the goal is to train your hands and feet to do opposite things, which helps you become even more unstoppable. Take this one slow to challenge yourself to stretch as much as possible to get the feel of the puck as well as increase your reach. Jim is cleaning up biscuits around the crease and sending them to their home. This hockey skills tutorial is a slot barging good old time!


Vital Hockey Skills – Part 1

Vital Hockey Skills with Skating Sensei, Jim Vitale – Part 1

After a lengthy minor hockey career Jim Vitale began coaching in 1999. Jim’s enthusiasm as a coach was spurred by the revolutionary skills being developed in the game. As Jim explains; “The techniques changed my skating and playing ability so dramatically that it was impossible to not want to pass them on!”. His passion for coaching has turned into an art form. Jim has formed Vital Hockey Skills into a very recognized hockey school focusing on player development and using innovative products, from HockeyShot.com.

In this series of videos, we can see first-hand how Jim inspires his players and uses creative drills in order to fully develop all aspects of their game. Below, we see Jim using Hockey Shot’s Extreme Defender to help create the perfect deke.

Often in hockey, you can’t simply skate around a defenseman. It takes a combination of stickhandling moves, the right pressure on your skates, and lots of practice. This is where Hockey Shot’s Extreme Defender comes in! Shaped like a pair of skates with a hockey stick blade made from high impact plastic and aluminum, you can practice getting around (or through) your opponent. You can even lift the stick up to simulate face-offs and takeaway drills!

In these videos Jim will focus on how to develop your extension during an under the stick deke and how to let the deke finish with a good stretch and reach. Watch below as Jim and his team demonstrate how to create the perfect fake out.

Jim is unique in the way he trains by cleverly using products in ways you probably have never even thought of! By using a Hockey Goal turned on its side, you can create your own net hack drill. This drill uses the net to act as an opponent, and helps you practice your puck protection. By keeping wide from your body and dropping your arm as a shield you too can create the ultimate resistance training.


Next Jim focuses on how to load your back leg to transfer into a slap shot efficiently. By making sure that you are not only setting yourself up for a goal, but also for your next shot, you will have a better chance of making sure you are in control of the puck. By being in charge of your puck placement you will ensure good agility and be able to roll off checks with a breeze. Watch below as Jim shows how to skate through the shot.


HockeyShot Enhances Off-Ice Hockey Training Possibilities

HockeyShot has introduced their Dryland Flooring Tiles – Allstar Edition. Offering hockey players at all levels an off-ice training outlet to hone their craft without the hassle of having to worry about rink expenditures and time—or, for those extra tenacious and devoted parents, putting together a backyard patch of ice for that matter.

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From the comfort of your driveway, garage or basement (this is when those unfinished basements come in handy), you can concentrate on various aspects of off-ice hockey training on a surface that mimics the feel of the ice in terms of both smoothness and its slick texture while stick-handling and passing the puck.

If you are looking to improve your stickhandling, shooting or passing, ANY Flooring Tiles from HockeyShot are the perfect solution, providing a similar gliding sensation to that which is found on a fresh sheet of ice, as you weave your magic with a hockey stick or burst forward explosively.

John Tavares, captain of the NHL’s New York Islanders, echoes these sentiments by stating: “I’m always looking for an edge to my game. HockeyShot Products, like the Flooring Tiles, are great to help keep my puck-handling and shooting sharp during the summer. All of their products help me to prepare better for next season.”

Building on their success from the original Flooring Tiles, HockeyShot has instilled a few upgrades in the off-ice allstar product, namely by enlarging the surface size and making the tiles thinner, which, in turn, increases the flexibility and adaptability provided, particularly on uneven platforms such as backyards for optimal off-ice hockey training.

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That same fluid texture found on HockeyShot’s previously-formed tiles has returned, taking it to another level with its newest formula that increases the sleekness without sacrificing its ability to stave off hindering light reflections and the wear and tear of scratches.

Weather obstacles are another element that the preferred off-ice hockey training Dryland Flooring Tiles can overcome, thanks in large part to the UV protection and weather-proofing treatment instilled into each tile. They are more than capable of withstanding the blistering heat or the freezing cold; however, it should be noted that the tiles would be better suited for indoor storage to avoid lengthy sun exposure that could ultimately lessen the longevity of them.

As for assembling the tiles themselves and any concerns related to it, fear not; the convenient clipping system ensures that the task will be simple and hassle-free. Think of it along the same lines as an IKEA project (but much faster), except for home hockey purposes rather than home furnishings.

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When you have completed your training, and exhausted yourself for the day, dismembering the tiles is similarly convenient, as they come apart without having to apply extensive force. Indeed, the only obstacle will likely be finding a logical reason to disassemble the tiles, unless of course you discover that it has become an overwhelming addiction in its usage.

Do not be fooled though; the tiles are remarkably durable, so much so that they can be pinned beneath a car and the only consequence would perhaps be in the form of a skid mark. Sorry parents, but you will have to find another method to pry your children away from HockeyShot Flooring Tiles.
While your friends might be looking forward to a summer filled with leisure and relaxation, you can get an edge on your competition, starting with the recommended 20 tiles in a box purchase to get going.

After that, the possibilities are endless and how far you wish to expand your self-improving hockey operation is entirely in your hands. Additional off-ice hockey training features such as Puck Stoppers, which act as miniature boards to keep the space confined and those pucks from wobbling elsewhere, and the Speed Deke Trainers, specifically designed for stick-handling drills, are just a couple of the exciting add-ons available.

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“I have always been a big fan of shooting pucks during the summer. HockeyShot products took it to another level. Now, I’m not only shooting pucks; I can deke, pass, sauce and practice one-timers. Allstar tiles are amazingly slick and you just can’t get any closer to the real-ice feeling. Overall, the products are a lot of fun and help preparing me for on-ice situations,” said Aleksander Barkov, shootout specialist for the Florida Panthers.

Although endorsements from the elite players such as Tavares and Barkov are re-assuring, one should not feel that HockeyShot Flooring Tiles are merely intended for only those who compete in league action; on the contrary, they can be enjoyed by others who partake in the sport on a semi-regular basis.

HockeyShot’s Dryland Flooring Tiles are also a viable product for the youth who are considering starting hockey activities or are worried about keeping their bearings while skating on the ice initially.

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“Combining AllStar Tiles, Puck Stopper Edging and Slide Board Booties works great when you want to work on your strides to improve your leg muscles. Skating will never be so easy,” said Alexei Yashin, former captain of the Ottawa Senators and New York Islanders.

Each tile measures 18″ x 18″ and 7/16″ thickness, all for the affordable price of $11.95 USD. To put that into context: a few hours on an ice rink will prove more costly than the 20 tiles which can jump-start your development or enhance it.

At that price, the only questions that should enter the minds of customers is how many of HockeyShot’s Dryland Flooring Tiles they will purchase at the first checkout and whether or not they can refrain from buying an abundance of them in the weeks that follow.

Spicing Up Exercise is Important

The HockeyShot Slide Board Pro was what I needed. I can have fun while keeping fit! I am very satisfied with this product. It helps give me variety and keeps my spirits high while the weight is kept down! This product is not just for hockey players. It is for the average person who wants variety and a fun way to work in exercise. It is a great piece of equipment for a beginner to use and progress with. The HockeyShot Slide Board Pro works in fun and fitness at the same time.

It is important for me to keep active. I lost 125 pounds and have kept it off for over six years now. I was a bullied, overweight child with low self-esteem and turned to food for comfort. I became a negative obese adult. As my weight piled on, so did the problems. I could no longer find my size in a store. Walking and stairs were chores. I could not play with my then three year old son. I could not ride certain rides due to weight restrictions. I had to sit out of activities because I tired easily. This was not the ideal life; I did not feel free. A car accident left me with two knee surgeries and a more broken spirit.

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I mustered up enough courage to build a better life. I changed my mindset and came up with tips and tricks on how to overcome healthy eating obstacles that we face on a daily basis. After losing 125 pounds, I wrote a book with these tips that helped me keep the weight off: Goodbye Fatness, Hello Gorgeous! I was always stuck on diets but did not know how to handle obstacles. My tips and tricks worked so I decided to share. I did a TEDx talk (now on YouTube) called From Bullied to Bold. I give motivational speeches at various venues, including workplaces. It is my goal to help other so they do not have to suffer as I did at 272 pounds.



To keep my healthy lifestyle in check, I use the HockeyShot Slide Board Pro so fitness can be not only enjoyable, but something I can stick to. I first saw this when I was tutoring at a client’s home. The student’s younger brother was using it and it looked like fun. I wrote down the name of this board, but as the ex-scientist that I am, did research on what is out there. Competitor boards received a lot of negative reviews. The side boards were either uncomfortable or were coming off. The boards were not adjustable. HockeyShot’s board is well made and is comfortable. It is adjustable so it is great to change stride length or simply make it tailored to whoever is using it. I slip the booties over my feet instead of sneakers and am ready to go! Another thing that is convenient is exercising in my own home. I do not have to worry about the proper gym attire and can be free to exercise if I have a few minutes available. I do not have to change into exercise gear; I simply jump on the board and get my exercise going in the time that is available.

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It is a challenge to work in a healthy lifestyle when life is so busy. I work seven days a week! A lot of people, including myself at one time, say that there is not enough time to exercise. Well, make time, you are worth it! This piece of equipment makes it easy. Exercising for five to ten minutes is definitely doable and it is still a great workout. This could be set up in front of the television and can be enjoyed while watching programs. There are many kinds of exercises that can be done on this such as sliding lunges, gliding mountain climbers, and the standard skating.

For more of my story and tips/ tricks for a healthy lifestyle, you can order my book here

For additional tips and motivation, like my page: Weight Loss Problems and Solutions with Lori

Are You a Get or Give Player?

The past number of months I have worked with many teams helping to get everyone on the same page, working to establish an agreed upon culture and help to identify any issues that could be preventing the team from maximizing individual abilities. As you know there are so many factors that come into play in the development of a great team. Part of it is the attitude of the player and how well they fit into the team concept.

During these sessions, one exercise we do is identifying “get” and “give” players and how the two very different attitudes impact the team and the team’s results.

What is a “Get” or “Give” Player?

There is a big difference between a “get” and “give” hockey player and knowing the difference is important to you and could directly impact how far you go in the game in the hockey.

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Let me explain:

Some athletes are primarily focused on what they get for themselves (“what do I get”) within the team structure. They generally want to know how they can…

  • Get to score even when they may not be in a position to
  • Get to show up for practice when they want
  • Get to start
  • Get to always be in the line-up
  • Get to play more minutes
  • Get attention as the star of the team
  • Get to give less than their best because they’ve been on the team awhile
  • Get to do what they want at the expense of teammates
  • Get rewards beyond the team (scholarships, individual rewards)
  • Get to have the trust of others when they don’t trust teammates

Now, there are other athletes on the team who have a “what can I give” approach. They are focused on giving to the team and what they get is not the priority…

  • Give their best effort in all practices, training and games
  • Give the team an example of their team values in action every day
  • Give their team a positive attitude no matter what the circumstances
  • Give their team a lift even playing a small amount of minutes
  • Give their team a chance to win no matter what position they play
  • Give other players a chance to get the glory
  • Give the team an example of sacrifice for the better of the group
  • Give the team an example they can follow
  • Give coaches a very coachable attitude

Why You Must Be a “Give” Player

There are many advantages to be a give player. Here are a few reasons why give players have the advantage:

  • Every coach looks for the “what can I give” athlete for their team – coaches look for reasons not to select the “what do I get” athlete
  • It’s far more fun to be on a team with “what can I give” athletes – the culture is more honest, more humble and teammates generally trust each other
  • It’s a funny thing in life that the more you give – the more you seem to get back – so a player who gives also “gets” in return
  • What is the Result of a “What Can I Give” Culture?

    The best example of a culture of giving in sports is the New Zealand All Blacks – rugby’s most successful team in history with an 86% winning percentage. Their “sweep the sheds” culture and attitude not only promote an honest, high performing, family environment – but they also win!

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    After every game the All Blacks players sweep the locker room of every last piece of grass, tape, and mud. No matter if they are playing a friendly match or in the World Cup – they take responsibility for leaving the locker room the way they found it. No one looks after the All Blacks – they look after themselves. They also strive to leave “the shirt” in a better place than they got it when they eventually leave the program. They are not there to “get”. They are there to “give”.

    Are you a “get” or “give” player? If you are a “get” player, you may consider what it might take for you to become a more “give” player. You may be surprised that a transition to a “give” player may help you “get” exactly what you want.

    6 Ways to Conquer Your Hockey Fears

    Named must your fear be before banish it you can.”
    — Yoda

    The wisdom of the master Jedi also applies to hockey—identifying your fears is the first step toward conquering them.

    I think we can agree that fear isn’t fun. It makes you feel anxious, unsure of yourself and can have a significant impact on how much you enjoy the game. It also shrinks confidence – a secret weapon you need to play your best on the ice. And, don’t forget, your fear can impact your hockey teammates too – so addressing your fears is important for you and the success of your team!

    What is it you’re afraid of in your game?

    Well… it could be many things from the real, tangible fear of failure, making mistakes, not reaching expectations set for you, disappointing coaches or parents, or a rather lengthy list of reasons that can cause those uncomfortable feelings and take the enjoyment out of your game.

    But fear not! There’s help on the way for you to address any fear you have and bring a more relaxed, carefree mindset to your game.

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    Biology Doesn’t Help

    First, if you don’t feel fear, you simply aren’t a human being. We all feel fear, to different degrees – it’s what makes us human. I have the privilege to work with some of the world’s leading athletes, including NHL players – and they feel fear – so it’s not surprising that you might feel fear in your game too.

    To a degree, we are all prisoners of our biology. As human beings, we are built to survive and protect ourselves. The amygdala, or control center of the emotional brain, makes sure of that. This little alarm mechanism has ensured the survival of the human species for centuries. You know how it works – you perceive a threat, the alarm goes off and that uncomfortable feeling begins. We all know this feeling.

    When human life was about “eat or be eaten”, and our ancestors were dealing with real, life threatening challenges everyday, the alarm was a must have. But, for you as a hockey player the emotional brain doesn’t really know the difference between a hungry lion chasing your ancestor and your perceived threat of embarrassing yourself on the ice. That’s important for you to know.

    The What Ifs

    Working with hockey players every day, the primary cause of fear that I address is a future projection of what a player believes may happen – what we call the “what ifs”. The tendency is projecting out that something negative may happen (protect mode) and that makes the athlete anxious in the moment telling themselves things like:

    “I can’t do it” or “Why am I doing this?”

    An example for you might be… you arrive at the rink for a game, coaches, parents and others are waiting for you to perform and the voice inside you starts considering threats and acting up…

    “WHAT IF I look dumb in front of everyone?”
    “WHAT IF I screw up and let my team down?”
    “WHAT IF I let my coach and supporters down?”
    “WHAT IF I don’t play well?”

    This creates your anxious feeling, and depending on the intensity of the feeling, it can be a real distraction… and sometimes even overwhelming.

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    There are many “what if” scenarios that could distract you from your central purpose for playing the game – enjoying the game you love and achieving something important to you. Keep in mind that although you project out these things might happen, they almost always never do – and that’s important for you to remember.

    Isolated experiences from the past can also create feelings of fear – negative emotional memories can be brought forward to cause the anxious feelings and also distract you from today’s performance. Experiences in the past are real and a part of you – but your focus must be on all of the great, positive experiences in the game (there will be many) leaving the few, negative ones behind.

    So … there is nothing wrong with you for feeling fear. It is normal. Recognize that your emotional brain always has the antenna up to perceive threats. Remember the advice from Yoda as a first step – you must recognize your fear. Then, you must ask yourself the question of how much of a threat it really is.

    Some Ideas & Practical Strategies That May Help

    Let’s talk about some ways you can address your fears. Here are a few simple recommendations that we might use with a player that might help you deal with fear and put it in perspective…

    1. Address your fears directly. What are you afraid of and what might be the reasons? When you understand what might be causing your fear and acknowledge it, it will help you consider ideas how to address it.
    2. Always remember your purpose for playing. “I love playing hockey because I love the speed, the competitive environment, the opportunity to show my skills and sharing an experience with my teammates”. Write your purpose down and keep it front and center – always! Your purpose will help you create perspective about what’s REALLY important in your game and why you are doing it. Remember also that have a feeling of gratitude about the opportunity to play and do what you love to do can fill you with positive energy and dampen the feelings of fear.
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    4. Learn to manage the most important voice in your game… and your life – your own! Sometimes our own voice doesn’t help and tells you things you really don’t want to hear … building the threats into something bigger than they are. It’s important to develop your own Emotional Caddie – a friendly, supportive voice that you might use if your best friend was having troubles. Try the same language and tone with yourself. A few suggestions might be…

      “I can’t wait to test what I’ve been working on in practice.”
      “Everyone watching is supporting me. I’ll treat them to some great play.”
      “My best effort is all I can do – I may make a few mistakes – being perfect doesn’t exist.”
      “Pressure really gives my game meaning – this is where I want to be!

    5. Confidence and constantly building it is a secret weapon to overcome fear123`AS=ZZ. Creating a feeling of “knowing” you can do it in your practice and preparation will help keep those fearful “what if” thoughts from taking over. After all, you’ve done great work in your practice with the team and on your own – you know you can do it – so bring the same feelings and approach to the game ice.
    6. Practice mindfulness to enjoy hockey and stay in the moment. The future is where your goals are – but you don’t achieve them without staying in the moment and paying attention to the steps that will get you to those goals. Choose to bring the positive experiences from the past forward to support your confidence – and choose to leave the few negative ones where they belong – behind you!
    7. Know the difference between prove vs improve – The goal in your game should always be trying to improve all of your skills (technical, physical, strategic, mental/emotional). Sometimes when our goal is to “prove” ourselves to others, fear will creep in – the fear of the “what ifs” and trying to meet other’s expectations of you. Winning is great, but it will only come if you are doing the right things – enjoying yourself and trying to become a better player each day.
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      So, if fear is holding you back from really enjoying your hockey and using all your abilities, fear not! Remember that you are in control of your fears and there are practical actions that can help you douse the flames – helping you to be a more confident, proactive player. Follow these steps and you are well on your way to your Pursuit of Greatness!

    Excellence, Not Perfection for Hockey Growth

    Being around the rink, I hear the word “perfect” a lot. And, that is always cause for some concern.

    Too often, hockey players try to be “perfect” when they perform. These players set high expectations (their own or the standards of others), then become upset and frustrated when they fail to match these standards. They can also frustrate teammates and coaches with this mindset.

    I hear from parents and coaches who worry about young players who become easily frustrated and take disappointment home with them… too often.

    You’re likely familiar with players who show perfectionist behaviors.

    There are Pros and Cons of the Perfectionist Player

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    Perfectionist athletes tend to criticize themselves for making mistakes, often hold high and unrealistic expectations for themselves and tend to get frustrated easily after making a mistake. These athletes are often perfectionists in other aspects of their lives–in school, at work and even at home.

    On a positive note, you will find some advantages to perfectionism in players. Perfectionist athletes tend to work hard, are highly committed to their targets and are willing to learn and improve.

    The problem is these positive traits often hide the problems that are associated with perfectionism in the sport of hockey. The players are so motivated that you often don’t think of them as having mental/ emotional struggles.

    Perfectionists Undermine Their Own Play

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    Athletes who try to be perfect can undermine their performance in many ways. Here are a few:

    1. Focusing too much on results leading to a vicious cycle of working hard, setting higher expectations and then thinking they are failing to reach their expectations.
    2. Unknowingly embrace very high expectations. They do this unconsciously. When they don’t achieve their expectations, they feel frustrated feeling like they have failed – and this can result in destructive behaviour.
    3. They don’t enjoy the game like they should. There is so much pressure to be perfect that they forget the real purpose of playing – to have fun, enjoy the experience and achieve challenging goals.

    Here’s a classic example from a Hockey Dad: “He is obsessive with the perfect shift or perfect shot. If he makes a mistake, it’s all we hear about instead of the great moments he had in the game. He’s never happy with his efforts in the game.”

    Excellence is Always the Goal

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    There is a big difference between perfection and excellence and I’d like to encourage you to think about making excellence your goal.
    Why?

    By creating realistic and challenging expectations and helping players focus on manageable targets, they are put in the best position to succeed and enjoy the sport they love.

    Some characteristics of excellence players…

    • A player who focuses on their personal best, not impossible goals
    • A player who has reasonable expectations and takes into consideration that mistakes are a normal, frequent part of sport
    • A player who focuses more on what they did well vs. the mistakes they made
    • A player who learns from failure instead of being devastated by it – moving forward to better performances
    • A player who keeps going when things get difficult – not giving up

    Remember that perfection is an unachievable pursuit. Nothing in life is perfect and nothing in hockey is either – the player, competitors, coaches and all surroundings have flaws, so to continually anticipate and expect a flawless, mistake-free performance is not only harmful to performance, but illogical!

    What Parents and Coaches Can Do

    Begin by identifying the very high or perfectionist expectations that pressure your young player. These are the expectations that motivate them to have a “perfect” shift or game and not make any mistakes.

    Once you identify these expectations – “I can’t make any mistakes”, or “I have to win” – your job is to replace them with simple, process-oriented targets.

    Smaller, more manageable targets such as “the best I can do on each shift” or “I want to get a good shot off on goal each period” helps players focus on the process. It also contributes to better results.

    Manageable goals focus the hockey player on the execution of one moment or one shift at a time.

    The Right Goal

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    As hockey parent or coach, you want to be mindful about placing unreasonably high expectations on your players. You may do this without even realizing you’re doing it.
    Some parents and coaches ask young athletes for results–and place expectations on them–in an attempt to boost their confidence. They might say, “let’s get a win tonight” or “let’s score a couple of goals in the game”. Unfortunately, such well-meaning input can cause players–especially perfectionists–to try to meet these expectations. They then feel frustrated and disappointed when they don’t.

    By creating realistic and challenging expectations and helping young athletes focus on manageable targets, you put them in the best position to succeed and help them maximize the enjoyment in the game.

    Excellence should always be the goal with players.

    Synthetic Ice Skating Series: Part 3 – Stops

    HockeyShot’s Skating Sensei, Jim Vitale from Vital Hockey Skills has been coaching for over 25 years. Once you’ve heard his voice, you know instantly that Jim has been around a few hockey arenas, yelling at players (maybe some parents) from time to time. Jim has run successful hockey camps for years to improve hockey player’s training and skills to develop them for the next level.



    “Stopping is more of a state of mind then it is a physical activity”. Players who have trouble stopping, panic when they feel the ice pushing against them. This can send you into a panic with the brain not recognizing what is occurring, but you can learn to master the ice by learning how to stop properly. “Get low as you stop” is the most important first step because it allows you to gain control of the natural forces surrounding you. “Dropping your weight makes your blades sink into the ice, it’s the pressure you need to counter balance the force of the ice pushing against your feet”.

    When Vitale is coaching youth how to properly stop, he gets them to stop and then to swivel to maintain proper balance. Pivoting is a great way to train your balance to know how to stop on the ice. The trick is to do both at the same time. Jim stresses the importance of not getting discouraged, because most will not be good at both ways.

    Jeremy Rupke asks: “How much does Synthetic Ice relate to stopping on real ice?” and Vitale responded with “You can really come to a full stop with the same type of resistance.”

    Look no further than HockeyShot’s Synthetic Ice! The use of premium grade materials in a unique blend makes this surface the closest thing to real ice in the world. It has a self-lubricating additive that requires no wax or upkeep to give players a genuine feel like they’re on the frozen stuff. Perfect for basements, garages, driveways or anywhere outdoors, this product is quick and easy to install with interlocking grids. AND depending on where you play (residential or commercial use) HockeyShot Synthetic Ice comes in a variety of formats.

    Please visit: Synthetic Ice Revolution Tiles or Synthetic Ice Panels for all the details on HockeyShot’ industry leading training surfaces used in these videos!

    Synthetic Ice Skating Series: Part 2 – Turns

    In part 2 of the Synthetic Ice Skating Series, Jim and Jeremy go over turning and more importantly, sharp turns!



    Jim is an advocate for extreme edges on a turn. There is a fine line between stopping completely or having the right power to accelerate into a turn. Digging your skate into the ice enough to make you strong on your feet while still accelerating on a turn is key. The speed at which a player turns always depends on the situation on the ice. Do you have a defender coming in hot? Are you in the corner with a defender at your back? Are you turning in the neutral zone? Do you suddenly have to turn for a back check? There are so many situations that as a player you need to simply practice these dynamic situations to understand how aggressive and intense you need to be making those turns.

    The scientific challenge behind this is called “inertia”, which is a mass of resistance that challenges you to change directions. When you change in motion (a turn for instance) your body/mass begins to resist changing with that motion and wants to continue going straight. So when you turn your skates at a high speed there is a moment where your body or mass wants to continue going the way it was initially (straight). A good athlete can manage that inertia by avoiding your body wanting to go in a different direction other than where your brain wants to go. So how do we get rid of that momentum that wants to keep us from going straight?

    First Jim shows us the vital tip to a good turn. Dropping your weight by bending your knees during a turn. This will help you accelerate during a turn and keep your balance at that high speed. You will not be able to control your turn by remaining stiff or standing straight up since your body will take that momentum and force to turn much more widely and slowly. Also, no matter where you turn (left or right) you’re going to want to put your force on the outside edge of your inside leg. So, if you’re turning left, you will put force on your inside leg (left leg) on your outside edge of that skate. If you keep your leg straight and not on the outside edge, your left leg will then want to continue straight rather than turn and that forces you to use much more strength or worse, blow a tire and allow the other team an odd man rush.

    Next, Jim advises to “scissor out your outside leg” which means you want your outside leg wider rather than close to your turning/inside leg. By doing that, it helps with stability and speed in the turn itself. Widening your base of support (legs) is key to a fast and strong turn. Having your legs too close together in a turn makes you wobbly and unstable so avoid that as much as possible. Amongst the debate between where to put your weight during a turn (outside or inside leg), Jim unequivocally says the inside leg where your pressure should be almost on your heels on your inside leg so you don’t fall forward and just a little bit of pressure on the outside leg to keep you balanced.

    Lastly, Jim says fall and fall again. If you’re careful, cautious and hesitant, these turns will never become natural. By falling and making mistakes, you can reflect on what and what does not work. So, for all your speedsters, take these turning tips and add them to your game!

    Please visit: Synthetic Ice Revolution Tiles or Synthetic Ice Panels for all the details on HockeyShot’ industry leading training surfaces used in these videos!

    Synthetic Ice Skating Series: Part 1 – Strides

    Welcome to the Synthetic Ice Skating Series! HockeyShot’s Bench Boss, Jeremy Rupke is joined by Skating Sensei, Jim Vitale to create a multi-part series to help you stay on your feet and beat the competition to the puck. The entire series is filmed on HockeyShot’s industry leading, head turning, awe-inspiring Synthetic Ice.

    While most of you already know “Mr. How to Hockey”, Jeremy Rupke some of you may be unfamiliar with the other man in these videos. Let us properly introduce you to a coach and hockey instructor for 20 plus years, Mr. Jim Vitale. He has put a tremendous amount of thought in the game and teaches players how to improve year after year.



    Jim Vitale from Vital Hockey Skills has been coaching many teams throughout Toronto including in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL). Jim has run hockey camps for years to improve hockey players training and skills to develop them for the next level. Nothing more important than the skill of skating.

    Vitale believes one of the most important skating drills is learning how to properly stride and maximizing the stride technique. Jeremy Rupke asks: “What do you think is the most important thing for beginner players?” Vitale responded with: “It is just a matter of realizing that to go forward you have to go side to side”. Many coaches are teaching their players to go back-to-front for their stride, but Vitale believes a stride should be more horizontal. “Like an airplane not a helicopter”. By using their stride back to front, it is minimizing the amount of time the blade contacts the ice, and that is going to get a player from getting down the ice as quick as possible.

    The more efficient you are at transferring muscle from hip to the ankle the better the stride is going to be. “Starting your stride from the middle to the back of the blade, allows you to make your force better”. Proper stride posture is very key to being able to skate properly, and going somewhere in between 90 degrees and 180 degrees gives your leg the only option to push sideways to extend horizontal. As your extending your leg, finish your stride for maximum effect.

    Please visit: Synthetic Ice Revolution Tiles or Synthetic Ice Panels for all the details on HockeyShot’ industry leading training surfaces used in these videos!