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

Skating & Mohawk Dangles – Skills Series

If you really want to up the challenge in your off-ice training, try rollerblade drills like Mohawk Dangles! With a sweet name like that, you’d be a fool not to watch this video. We worked on the footwork and technique last drill, but now let’s take it up a level by adding stickhandling drills. Before getting into the drill itself, many viewers had questions about the awesome Marsblade in-line skates. As Jeremy explains, unlike other chassis (frame that holds your wheels) that remain stiff and rigid, the Marsblade chassis moves with you giving you an extra challenge and strengthening the most important parts of a hockey player, your legs! It also gives the skater a more realistic feel with turns and strides while also forcing your legs to bend to get extra power. If you’re not bending your legs while protecting the puck, you won’t last very long!



The first drill Jeremy shows us is simply one fluent motion where your heels are still together and toes pointing outward. It may feel uncomfortable so get your footing and feel down before worrying about speed. Next Jeremy gets us to shift on both sides using “The Crosby Move” while continuously stickhandling. This will force you to think while moving, and is a great way to start practicing before using real defenders. If you really want to challenge yourself, try using one hand as if defenders are holding you up with their stick or arms. This may seem impractical but at high levels you’re always being tied up in the corners and whether it is legal or illegal, you have to keep moving! The third drill is another stickhandling while in motion strategy. Jeremy recommends doing this on both sides so you get the feel of your backhand and forehand while in motion. It also helps with mastering the toe drag. Here we see Jeremy using the HS Green Biscuit that is an ounce lighter than standard pucks. This puck is not meant for shooting, but is perfect for stickhandling and passing. If you want to work on your dangles even more, try saucing the puck over the stick while still maintain puck control; it’s not easy!

Next, Coach Rupke uses HockeyShot Dryland Tiles to avoid ruining his stick and moves in a circular motion while keeping the puck on the training surface. This helps improve stickhandling while still implementing “The Crosby Move” and maintaining that leg strength you need to protect the biscuit. If you don’t have a Shooting Pad, the HS Green Biscuit is perfect for the pave and other non-ice surfaces. Finally, Jeremy tries another add on to this drill be using another stick to this drill. These drills develop your stamina while stickhandling fluently while still remaining in motion at a high tempo. These are the skills you need to get the edge on your opponents!

Be sure to try out these drills on our Synthetic Ice.

The Crosby Skating Move – Skills Series

Welcome back to another Skills Session with Jeremy Rupke! Today, in Episode 3 – Jeremy is going through smart skating drills for off-ice training. Last week Jeremy went over shooting skills but this week Jeremy goes over the importance of skating and how lower stances while keeping your legs moving can help in tight situations.

Sponsored by Marsblade, Jeremy uses a pair of Marsblade in-line skate blades that are usable with your very own ice skates! His first drill is “The Crosby Move”. We call it the Crosby move because if anyone has seen him play, Sid the Kid always has a low center of gravity and uses his legs (not upper body) to stay well grounded where the defender cannot push him around so easily. In terms of height, Crosby is 5’9” which means compared to many of his defenders, he lacks size. So how does he remain so strong on his feet while still moving at game speed? For one, he trains relentlessly, but it is his footwork and low center of gravity that allows him to stay on his feet and avoid being manhandled by defenders.

It’s simple: the best forwards know how to protect the puck and simply put, no one protects the puck as well as #87. Puck protection is often overlooked compared to speed and skill, but if you want to see more pucks in the back of the net, you need to master the art of protecting it. This is not just done with your arms stickhandling; more importantly, you have to protect the puck by having a low stance, and using your strong legs to protect the puck in corners and the sideboards. The drill is versatile in that it can be with or without in-line skates as well as indoors or outdoors.



To begin, Jeremy gets us to make a fat diamond shape with our legs where our heels are together and toes are pointing outward (visualize @ 1:38). While you’re doing this, push your heels as far as you can outward, while bending your knees for some relief of the awkward stance. In order to move with this stance, the player must shift their weight on the glide leg, open up and plant your other leg while still in motion on the ground (visualize @ 2:44). It’s important to open up your shoulders and hips so your body does not lock or make an awkward motion. Often players will use this strategy while coming into a turn or going out of a turn at high speed since it can help with your puck control while the defender is chasing. This is a great move for forwards to move around the defender but be careful of not opening up in this turn while in a vulnerable position; It can make for a big hit on the forward if the defender has a step on them, so timing of this trick is key!

At 3:30, we can see Jeremy go from each side. This is important because having only one side to work on this makes for a predictable forward. We also see that this trick is not only good for coming into turns, but it can also open the forward up for a one timer or to get open quickly. Especially on the power play where there is more ice to work with, this is a great strategy for all you slick skaters out there!

It can be hard for a skater to remain in that position for any period of time but one add-on drill to “The Crosby Move” is to keep both of your feet planted on the ground while pumping your legs (not lifting them) to keep the position and your movement. Your legs should act like pistons pumping in back and forth motions. This can help with the strength of your legs as well as footwork you need for puck protection in game situations. Finally, Jeremy’s last portion of the drill shows how if you use this move while turning your back (this can be done almost anywhere on the ice, but the corners work best while fighting off defenders), it seals off the defender and allows you some time. This time helps you two-fold: you have time to see other players and make that perfect pass, and it tires the defenders. Once you get used to this simple trick, you’ll be spending more time playing keep away from the D, and racking up the points while doing it!

“The Crosby Move” is something most hockey fans have seen before, especially when watching The Kid play in tight situations, in corners, or generally fighting off bigger and stronger defenders. Getting used to this motion as a forward is key for success, especially if you’re a bit smaller!

Be sure to try out these drills on our Synthetic Ice.

2017 BTNL – HockeyShot Development Camp



Here we have NHL pros using HockeyShot’s Danglers in drills on-ice. Although they’re used mainly for stickhandling, players are also using them here to make their passing more challenging, and they can act as cones for players to manoeuvre around as well. A number of drills are being used in the video and shows the versatility of the HS products in many situations.



Another on ice (multi-player) drill shows us how passing with HockeyShot’s Extreme and Mini Danglers can prove very challenging in motion! More NHL pros are using these danglers to stickhandle quickly in between strides while also releasing and receiving passes in motion. HockeyShot products remind players to never watch your pass and keep moving!



This stickhandling drill with the HS Danglers emphasizes the importance of having light touch with the puck in tight spaces while going full speed. Players often stick handle to slow or too fast for their own good and that leads to losing possession. Dan’s intensive training starts at sunrise and ends at sunset so players make sure they get it right! Top-level players understand the need to continue intensive training even after the season.



Keeping with the on-ice training, we have more NHL pros using the Mini and Extreme Danglers in their drills. Here we have pros using their slick hands to sauce around the danglers before sniping one for the kids. The importance here is how they move at full speed while manoeuvring around them, and that they use their body to protect the puck while moving. In tight situations and working the corners, staying low to keep your centre of gravity and protecting the puck using your body is essential to fight off those big and slow defenders! For more info on HockeyShot products, check out their Instagram page @HockeyShotStore.



Finally, we have a behind the scenes look at Dan (at centre-ice recording) some drills using HockeyShot products. Remember, be careful sharing your on and off ice recordings. No one wants to slip or run into anyone mid recording so make sure you take all the right precautions. Thankfully Dan has the balance of a fox and didn’t slip on the ice (close though!), but always share with care 😉

The HockeyShot Playground – Where Men Become Boys

This Summer HockeyShot has teamed up with Professional Instructor, Dan Ninkovich to run his leading edge BTNL HockeyShot Development Camp. Beyond the Next Level is an innovative program and gym geared for top level hockey players. Let’s have a look at some video work in Dan’s newly renovated gym that includes HockeyShot’s training aids!



In our first video, HockeyShot gets a quick tour of Dan’s new facility. BTNL has renovated their gym and has added a complete setup of the HockeyShot Goal and Backstop along with the Extreme Shooter Tutor. As you can see, the NHL pros have beaten the h-e-double-hockey-sticks out of the net the past few months while practicing shot-power, speed and accuracy day in and day out! For one-timers and passing development, there are HockeyShot Extreme Passer Pros on each corner that STILL rebound passes perfectly. Lastly, to add a more genuine feel to stick handling and shooting, Dan has also integrated HockeyShot’s Synthetic Ice for a smooth surface.



Here, HockeyShot got an inside look at the renovated facility for Beyond the Next Level. We’re able to see the state-of-the-art locker room that, with the help of sponsors like Pacific Rink and MuscleMilk, is fully loaded with a flat screen TV for video preparation, speakers, and plenty of room, even for a Ping-Pong table! What you are not able to see is the hot-tub around the corner which had players soaking in it.



This short video shows HockeyShot’s Mini Danglers in a square formation (can use in circle formation too) for an on ice warm up drill. This gets the creativity and hand-eye coordination flowing correctly before getting out in high tempo drills. Adjustable and high quality, this simple accessory will most definitely improve your dangles and dekes!



HockeyShot’s game-changing Synthetic Ice Panels are being used in this video where our player is stickhandling seamlessly with HS Mini Danglers as well as quick passes to the HS Extreme Passer Pro. The synthetic ice panels are very smooth giving players a near identical feel as the ice itself. Although he is in sneakers, you can skate on this surface! All HS products serve for flawless off ice training tools!



In this video, we have HockeyShot’s Extreme Danglers stacked on one another to make a Celtic Cross formation. The drill aims at improving stickhandling, hand eye coordination and speed. Mainly, it helps tremendously with speed in relation to hand-eye coordination as you need perfect touch in these tight spaces. Also, Dan loves to share videos and stories on Instagram so make sure to post and have a look for more on his page @deejbtnl



HockeyShot Passer Pros are a great way to practice not only one-timers, but also quick-release shots. In this video, we have an elite prospect using the Passer Pros in a quick release drill. On the HockeyShot Synthetic Ice this drill is seamless in transition and gives the shooter a similar feel to the challenge of releasing the puck nearly immediately after receiving it.



Finally, we have some youthful talent using two Extreme Danglers lined up in rows for a stickhandling drill that forces the player to not only sick handle but also transition in motion to the other Dangler. This challenging drill should be done at the player’s full speed to improve on hand eye and of course stickhandling speed. Don’t forget, share your videos with Dan on Instagram @deejbtnl

Great Slide Board Workouts… Even if You Don’t Play Hockey!

If you’re reading this article, you’ve likely got a friend or family member who plays hockey and owns
one of HockeyShot’s Slide Boards. You may have admired how agile they are, or the muscle tone
they’ve developed on their legs since they bought it. In any case, HS Slide Boards provide hours of
fun and fitness for any athlete to enjoy.



Here are five exercise routines you can do with any of our Slide Boards, suited for any lifestyle. Pull
on your booties and get ready to sweat. If you’d like some help with these, click on the various links
throughout the article to see a YouTube video from Bench Boss, Jeremy Rupke. The “How to
Hockey” and “The Hockey Movement” marvel is well-known for helping customers get all that they
need out of their training, so allow him to demonstrate:

1. Speed Skater/ Dab Slide

If you’ve watched speed skating during the Olympics or World Championships, or if you know the
Dab pose, you’ll pick this drill up quickly. Start off on the Slide Board with one foot flush against a
bumper and the other foot on the Slide Board runway. Push off across the slippery surface, bend
your knees slightly, and glide until the inside foot ends up against the other bumper. Sway your arms
conservatively as if you were skating. If you have a medicine ball, you can carry that and sway it
towards the opposite bumper as you slide.

Hardcore Advanced Drill:

While you glide, swing your arms until the inside arm ends up bent under your neck, and extend your outward arm in an upward angle. Maybe pretend you’re Batman, pulling up his cape as you glide. This will help you balance and have a few laughs. Repeat this movement as you glide back and forth across the Slide Board. Push off with more force and speed as you build confidence and balance. You have about eight to ten feet to cover from bumper to bumper, so you can build some good momentum.

2. Mountain Climbers

For this move, you can place your hands on the floor (or on the bumper) at one end of the Slide Board. Crouch over the bumper, and pretend you are a sprinter setting up in the starting blocks. Then, rise, up on your toes and start sliding each foot back and forward alternately, ending in a full leg extension each time. You wouldn’t make a great mountain climber doing this, but you’d get a good workout.

Hardcore Advanced Drill:

Push both feet out, then pull them in at the same time. Feel the burn in your core and you’ll know you’re doing it right.

3. The Tantrum Drill

If you have ever taken a four-year-old child to a toy store and didn’t buy them everything in sight, you may have seen them perform this drill. Lie flat on the Slide Board, with your arms spread out to your sides. Next, draw your feet towards your butt, and push your pelvis skyward. Then, slide back to the starting position. Repeat multiple times for a good workout. The further apart your arms, the more work it will be. Try one legged drills for more exercise.

Hardcore Advanced Drill:

Take your child (hopefully they’re grown up now) and your Slide Board to that same toy store. Do the drill as described above, while shouting, “I want action figures! I want a new bike!” Feel free to substitute the script with Hockeyshot products.

4. Gravity Challenged Pullups

Lie face down on the Slide Board, and grip the bumper as if it were a chin up bar. Point your toes and keep your forearms against the floor as you prop yourself parallel to the floor. Simulate a pull-up as you slide up and down as if you were doing a natural pull-up. The further out you push before pulling up, the harder it gets.

Hardcore Advanced Drill:

Have someone place a cat, small dog or human being on your back. Make sure you capture their facial expression as you complete the drill. Ensure the pet is declawed before trying this.

5. Preacher Reverse One Legged Lunges

For this drill stand about midway up the Slide Board, with your arms bent, and almost in a prayer position. Slide a foot slowly backwards, with your leg slightly bent as far as you are comfortable while maintaining balance. Alternate legs and do as many reps as you are able.

Hardcore Advanced Drill:

If you aren’t married, do this drill in front of your girlfriend or boyfriend with a ring box in your hand. Their love for you will dictate how hardcore this drill is.

Remember, these exercise routines are a great way to make the best of your Slide Board Pro, or if your sibling or roommate has one in your home. You will improve your balance, agility, muscle tone and knowledge of how much you need to vacuum your home.

Hockey Skills: 5 Exercise Regimens to Elevate Your Game

To excel in a fast, endurance-testing game like hockey, you need to adopt and stick to a comprehensive exercise routine. Activities like couch luge, TV-to-fridge sprints and laundry hamper 3-point shooting are fun, but they really won’t improve your hockey game. You need to schedule time to:

  1. Build strength in key muscle groups
  2. Increase your aerobic fitness so you can play hard, even in overtime
  3. Improve your balance and stability
  4. Enhance your ability to skate hard from a stand-still
  5. Condition your body to resist injury and heal from it

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Though it may seem like a tall order to get all of this knowledge from a single article, you’ll find links to other resources where you can find detailed instructions on how to complete these exercises. Some of these resources are right here on the HockeyShot website, others are from trusted sources. Grab a bottle of water and make sure you’re wearing your workout gear, because we’re about to take you through your paces.

1. Hockey Strength Training

To skate fast, shoot hard and evade the opposing team, you need to build strength and flexibility in your shoulders, arms, chest, abs, core, legs and glutes. You also need to build emotional and mental strength, but we’ve saved that for another article. You’re probably tired already since I’ve mentioned just about every muscle group, but hockey’s that kind of game. Make sure you start with a good warm up, including:

  • Arm swings and circles
  • Trunk rotations, twists and stretches
  • Walking lunges, prisoner squats and leg swings
  • Burpees and stride jumps
  • Medicine ball tosses and cross crawls

If your heart skipped a beat when you read prisoner squats, don’t worry. They are an excellent way to warm up your quads before strength conditioning. There are video demonstrations of these exercises available at the “warm up” link above.

To actually build strength and explosive power, you’ll want to follow a plyometric exercise routine and use free weights and resistance equipment. In many cases, you can use everyday objects around your home, at school or even at the office.

There are many different exercises and devices to build a stronger shot, stronger skating strides and stronger arm strength with dumbbells for building up stick flexion, grip strength for stick control and for goalies, stronger quads for those acrobatic stops in the crease.

2. Aerobic Fitness

Keeping your heart and lungs fit for the hockey season doesn’t necessarily require a gym membership or an expensive treadmill in your home. Find a public building like a football stadium with a set of stairs you can run at your own pace. Take up jogging, ride your sister’s bike, or take a hike in the forest when your sister finds out you’ve been riding her bike.



Building up respiratory and circulatory health is important for hockey fitness, and variety keeps you engaged. Former Toronto Maple Leaf’s forward Gary Roberts now trains pros like Connor McDavid and Steven Stamkos. In an article in the Toronto Star, Gary said: “it’s important to have variety in your workout, to eat right while being consistent with scheduling. A good mix of sprints and endurance running is good for hockey agility, speed and resilience for extended shifts.”

3. Balance & Stability

When you are streaking down the ice as fast as Gary Roberts could back in the day, keeping on your blades requires excellent balance and stability. As kids grow into adolescence and adulthood, maintaining balance in their growing body and hormone-pumping brain requires a lot of practice. On the ice, players can work on edge training and shooting the duck (gliding on one foot) but off-ice they can do single-leg step ups and Russian dead lifts.

You’ll find many balance, edgework and stability exercises from our friend Jeremy Rupke on his coaches page.

4. Skating from a Standstill or a Turn

Whether you are taking a penalty shot, or a reacting to the drop of the puck at center ice, building the ability to skate fast from a standstill is important for fast acceleration. Just like you need a powerful engine with lots of horsepower for a car to go from 0-60 MPH quickly, players need a strong heart and leg muscles to be able burst into a fast skate. Using equipment like the Slide Board Pro can build the quads and calf muscles needed to skate hard and fast, both going straight or changing directions.

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5. Avoiding, Preventing & Healing Injuries

There are many precautions hockey players can take, exercises they can do, and lifestyle habits they can adopt to prevent injury, or heal from it faster if it happens. They include:

  • Keeping your head up on the ice, and generally exercising safely, at your own pace
  • Ensuring you are hydrated, rested and following a nutrition plan
  • Wearing protective equipment and exercising caution when on synthetic ice, slide boards or practicing slap shots.
  • Protect others with a hockey tarp or backstop.
  • Seeing a physician for or a fitness trainer to get an assessment of your baseline fitness, existing injuries and setting realistic goals/workout regimens

Healing from minor injuries can be helped by rest, heating or cooling pads, and doctor-prescribed medication. Having an RMT, or your significant other massage your back to comfort are both good options (return the favor).

There are many ways a comprehensive exercise program can help you be a better hockey player, a better teammate and a healthier person overall. If you need help finding hockey fitness equipment or training tips to help you build your hockey skills, contact our knowledgeable experts today: customersupport@hockeyshot.com

Taking Your Skills Beyond the Next Level!

With Professional Instructor, Dan Ninkovich

Off-season training is an absolute must to make it to the next level. Like most sports, rigorous training and the development of fundamental skills are becoming the norm with the influx of competition both at a national and international level. Dan Ninkovich is one of the leaders in competitive, high-end training for not only the up and coming prospects of tomorrow in the CHL and NCAA (Division 1), but at the NHL level as will with the likes of John Tavares, Phil Kessel, and many more. Beyond The Next Level training is designed with Ninkovich’s expertise.

Based in Oakville, Ontario, BTNL caters to the serious-minded players wanting to get to the next level and maximize their potential. Providing sport-specific motions in strength training and drills, along with professional rehabilitation for the body’s muscles combine for a comprehensive and personalized regiment that hockey players require. With his vast experience and professional accolades, Ninkovich is one of the most qualified trainers on the globe specifically for hockey players. He combines demanding training with a focus on the very motions players use in game-time situations. The science is clear and practical: using core strength exercises and drills with in-game motions to build on dexterity and power.

Ninkovich also incorporates HockeyShot products within most of the training. HockeyShot is undeniably the complimentary piece to many of Ninkovich’s training since they’re industry-leading products gives players the proper on and off-ice training needed. Whether for warm-ups or demanding training, HockeyShot has the product.

Check out some of the videos below to see a glimpse of CHL and NCAA players integrating HS in their training:

Here, Jesse Barwell is using the HS Extreme Dangler on the ice for warming up. This piece can be used on and off the ice as well as the HockeyShot Synthetic Ice. A great product for improving stickhandling speed and accuracy!



This OHL player shows us the importance of footwork and stamina in the one-handed focus drill using the HS Extreme Dangler and Puck. He has adjusted the moveable center legs to provide a wider gap, while using evenly spaced sticks to keep his footwork honest. The variety of drills players can utilize with the Dangler is endless!



This NCAA Division 1 Goalie is using the HS Slide Board Pro to develop in-game motions and timing from post-to-post. Goaltending is demanding in angling, precision and the constancy of up-and-down movements, so working on these in-game motions is essential to build on stamina.





How to play hockey, and have fun doing it

Learning how to play hockey well is a great way to learn how to succeed at life. Some of the lessons hockey teaches kids and even adults include:

  • Teamwork
  • Confidence
  • Being gracious in defeat and humble in victory
  • Discipline
  • Trust
  • Goal setting (and achievement)

If you are a parent, or a coach helping children or young adults learn how to play the game, it’s important to keep these important lessons in mind. Building skills like skating, passing, shooting and stickhandling is a great way to reach all these goals.

Here are seven fundamental areas of the game of hockey which will make for great players, and awesome people.

1. The Ice Surface

Just like how Daniel had to learn to paint a fence and wax a car before he became the Karate Kid, a hockey player needs to know the ice surface before they can become a competent player. Most rinks in North America follow NHL specifications of 200 feet × 85 feet and a corner radius of 28 feet. It’s got Zamboni doors on one end, penalty boxes on one side, and team benches on the opposing side. The boards are about 40-48 inches high, and topped on most of the perimeter (except for in front of the player benches) by panes of glass.

aireal view of outdoor rink

There are several lines separating the zones on the ice surface:

  • The center red line, which splits the rink in half
  • Blue lines which mark each team’s end, and the neutral zone between the red and blue lines. The blue lines are 25 feet from the centerline, making the neutral zone 50 feet deep.
  • The face-off circles, one at centre ice for faceoffs (more on that soon) at the beginning of each game, period and after goals. There are four other face off circles, two in each end to the left, right and in front of the goal nets
  • Four face-off dots in the neutral zone for when players are offside (you’ll read about that too) and/or play is stopped in the neutral zone for a penalty

You’ll often see colorful team logos or corporate advertising on the ice. When a player scores three goals, you will often see hats float to the ice from adoring fans.

2. Zones and Creases

You’ve already read about the neutral zone. The defensive zone is the area within the blue line back to the goal and beyond to the end boards, at each end of the rink. Goal nets are 4 feet tall x 6 feet wide (between the goal posts). The crease, (meaning the painted ice area immediately in front of the goal net) is 6 feet in diameter. Players are typically not supposed to enter the crease unless they are forced in by another player. The crease is meant to be a safe place (from players not slapshots) for goalies to play. The area immediately behind the net is called the trapezoid.

The goal lines (which cross the crease and when a puck crosses them, a goal is official) are 64 feet from the blue lines, and 11 feet from the end boards.

3. Player Roles

There are five active players on the ice at any given time, and each team can have as many as twenty players. The NHL allows as many as 23 players on each roster, and 16 players on the bench and ice combined. There are six players on the ice per team at any given time.

  • Three forward offensive players, including a Center (who handles faceoffs) and Left Wing and Right Wing players. Offensive forwards play defensively when required. Their responsibility is to get the puck up the ice, deep into the opposing team’s zone.
  • Two defensive players, who assist forwards in keeping the puck out of their end during the game, and work to keep the puck in their opponent’s end during the game. If they have a clear shot at the goal, they can take a shot and try to score, though they often move the puck to a forward, who are usually closer to the goal, and more likely to put the puck behind the person in the next bullet.
  • The goaltender, otherwise knowns as the goalie, netminder and other fond nicknames. They keep the puck out of the net, using their blocker glove, catching glove, stick, goalie leg pads, mask, chest or any part of the body (hopefully) protected by padding or hard plastic. Common target areas which forwards often snipe for are between a goalie’s legs (known as the 5-hole), as well as at the four corners of the goal net.

player-roles

Most of these players (except for the goalie) rotate on and off the ice with other sets of players who play similar roles. Each time period on the ice is called a “shift”, which varies in time between about forty seconds and two minutes. Coaches usually delegate when players are on and off the ice.

4. Rules and Penalties

One of the ways hockey generates character is by having a set of rules, and penalizing players who break those rules. The rules forbid actions like the following infractions which generally result in a player sitting in the penalty box for two – four minutes, depending on the severity.

  • Tripping a player with your hockey stick by hooking a skate leg with the blade of the stick
  • Hooking, which is slowing a player by placing the blade of your stick against an opposing player’s torso or arm.
  • High sticking is raising your stick above an opponent’s shoulders and striking their head, neck or shoulder area. If the player gets cut and draws blood the penalty doubles to four minutes. True story.
  • Cross checking is when a player holds their stick at the bottom of the shaft and at the knob end, and they push an opposing player to move them off the puck or just to be mean.
  • Delay of game, such as purposely flipping the puck over the glass, and into the bleachers during game time. Doing so before a game, to a child or attractive fan doesn’t incur a penalty. That only incurs smiles.
  • Fighting with opposing players can carry a penalty anywhere from five minutes to a full game misconduct or more, based on referee and/or a league executive’s discretion.
  • Boarding is when a player checks another player from behind into the boards, which can be dangerous and end in concussion or further injury.

Other penalties occur, such as knee on knee contact, too many players on the ice and unsportsmanlike conduct, which don’t happen as often. Some of these penalties incur more severe penalties or suspensions, depending on the level of play, and age of players in the amateur or professional tier of the game.

Penalty shots sometimes are delegated to a player who is unfairly removed from their attempt to score. Penalty shots offer a player a chance to challenge the goalie, one-on-one without interference from other forwards or defensive players. Penalties result in one of the five players outside the net to be removed from play, which often causes an unbalanced ratio of players, known as a power play (five players vs four). Teams that score goals when they have a player in the penalty box get a “shorthanded goal” which is much more impressive. Power play goals happen when the team with more players takes advantage of that situation and buries the puck in the net while the penalized player feels like a complete dummy.

5. Shooting, Stickhandling, Passing and Blocking the Puck

Moving the puck up and down the ice, and keeping it out of the ice takes some skillful stick work, weight transfer and hand-eye co-ordination. Shooting the puck occurs in either a slapshot, wristshot or snapshot. There are many techniques involved in shooting the puck, including building up potential energy in the stick and creating optimum shot velocity. We have many tips from experts and training equipment to help players make great shots at all experience levels. Scoring a goal, as indicated above, is getting the puck into the net behind the goalie.

shooting on synthetic ice

Stickhandling helps players to move the stick off the ice, while protecting it from opposing players, and creating confusion in a goaltender’s mind as to from which direction the puck will come from, and when the shot will take place. We’ve got many tips and tools for players to build their stickhandling. Passing the puck is how players move the puck to each other, vying to get the best possible angle and proximity to the net to score a goal. We’ve gathered stickhandling and passing tips and gear together to make things convenient.

Goalies need a whole set of specialized skills, practice gear and personality. We’ve gathered training tips and gear together under our Goalie section.

6. Mind, Body and Discipline

Hockey players need a healthy body to play their best game, and they need a sharp hockey mind. You can find some excellent advice and training aids to improve both by clicking on these links. Hockey players need strong muscles to skate quickly and explosively. They need aerobic stamina to perform well on the ice over a longer period. All these senses are important to hockey

  • Sight, to see the puck, other players and the net
  • Listening, for the whistle, teammates, referees and coaches.
  • Smell, to know when a sweaty defenseman is pursuing you on a breakaway
  • Touch, for the grip on the stick and the high fives when you score a goal
  • Taste, for the hot chocolate, hot dog or other celebratory food or beverage after a great game

7. Coaches and Referees

Taking direction and feedback from coaches, referees, senior players and parents is great practice for working with superiors and elders throughout life. Sometimes you just have to take a knee, swallow your pride and do what the coach tells you to win a game. Good practice for your future career.

hockey-referee

Hockeyshot’s goal is to help players at all levels to improve their skills, get more enjoyment from the game, and enhance their mental and physical fitness. Hockey is often called the “fastest game on Earth”. Improving your skills and reflexes for the game takes lots of practice, study and learning from your mistakes. We’ve got some great experts who know how to make improving your skills fun, and awesome gear to practice with.

Think we’ve missed something in our “How to Play Hockey” overview? Let us know on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube or Instagram. We’ve probably got the advice on one of our other channels, or our editor will add it here soon.

Hockey Performance Training – SKLZ Lineup

Steven Wong is a WORLD RENOWN SPORTS TRAINER who demonstrates the proper techniques to get the most out of your daily exercise. If you want to make it in the hockey world, it is essential to watch these videos to see what exactly it takes to succeed on and off the ice. Wong shows how the HockeyShot SKLZ products maximize an athlete’s ability to GET THE MOST OUT OF YOUR GAME. As informative as he is entertaining, Wong, with the assist from HockeyShot, gives you the tools you need to take your hockey skills to the next level!

Activation





The SKLZ Agility Cones are the perfect product for the hockey player who wants to get the most out of their workouts. Its combination of mobility, agility, and being adaptable are essential for hockey players of all ages and skill levels. WHETHER YOU’RE IN THE PROS OR JUST STARTING OUT, these cones will give you a workout that is as challenging off the ice as anything you will do on the ice. Steven Wong skillfully teaches you how to properly warm yourself up with a rigorous workout that is DESIGNED TO GIVE YOU THE STRENGTH you need to be your best inside and outside the rink. As durable as they are fundamental, the cones are an absolute must to get the most out of your mind, body, and hockey performance level.

Breakfast Table





Steven Wong methodically demonstrates how Isometric Contraction is an excellent exercise for hockey players of all ages. It is something you can do literally anywhere in and outside your home. A move that requires work ethic and patience, but is ABSOLUTELY REWARDING with how well it works your body into the best it can be. By doing Isometric Contraction you are building and repairing soft tissue. This is VITAL TO ALL ATHLETES, BUT ESPECIALLY HOCKEY PLAYERS who are constantly starting and stopping on the ice, which leads to a tremendous amount of wear and tear on the body. The Sagittal Lunge is an important next step to get your body shredded into exact peak performance. They may look easy but these positions are not easy to master!

Agility





The Elevation Ladder is an adaptable product that gives you exactly what you need as a hockey player. It allows you to do the exercises you want that will GIVE YOU AN EDGE ON THE ICE. Steven Wong shows how a hockey player should properly use their body in order to get the most out of this product. With tremendous ease, the Elevation Ladder can be moved upright to give the athlete an entirely new set of exercises ranging from working with movements in your feet, legs and even arms! Hockey players must have tremendous foot work to stop and start on the ice and this product allows you to practice tremendous foot movements. The Elevation Ladder will fall flat if you hit it, giving you automatic feedback of your performance. Give yourself plenty of time to practice agility and lateral quickness as you need it to ELEVATE YOUR GAME TO THE NEXT LEVEL!

Rink





The SKLZ Reaction Ball is an indispensable product that all hockey players must own. Steven Wong shows how it works to IMPROVE YOUR HAND EYE COORDINATION to a level that is required to be your best on the ice. Reaction time is different for all hockey players, but is a necessity if you want to truly make your mark out there. Goalies will definitely benefit from the Reaction Ball, and will absolutely see their reflexes improve after using this product. Bouncing pucks is something forwards, defensemen, and goalies all deal with, and the Reaction Ball will greatly improve your ability to handle anything that is bounced at you. The Reaction Ball is extremely adaptable as you can USE IT INSIDE YOUR HOME, outside on the garage doors, or literally anywhere you can bounce a ball. With the Extreme Stickhandling Ball and the Swedish Wooden Ball, the same principle applies, grab a stick and practice your skills on any surface you can find to give you an explosive performance.

Jump & Sprint





SKLZ Hopz 2.0 is exactly what you need for EXPLOSIVE LEG POWER and strengthen your muscles. It is the most durable product of its kind and Steven Wong cannot recommend it enough for all athletes including hockey players. High intensity bands allow for a WIDE RANGE OF OPTIONS to make this product as comfortable as you need it to be. The vertical jump allows for maximum explosiveness. When your done jumping, change into a sprint with the SKLZ SpeedSac! It comes with weight bags that can be filled with sand to be extremely versatile. Sprinting with the SKLZ SpeedSac gives you an OPTIMAL EDGE ON YOUR OPPONENTS who are running without extra weight attached to them. Another way to train with resistance is the Speed Chute. It will maximize acceleration through all kinds of exercises. Weather does not matter when you are using the Speed Chute, in fact the windier the better!

Conclusion

We hope you enjoyed our Wongmania Performance Training videos! Remember that HockeyShot offers all kinds of fun & dynamic training aids to help improve your hockey skills! Whether you’re an elite athlete like Justin Baker or just starting out like 6-year-old Marcus, HockeyShot has everything you need. It’s never too late to start something you feel passionate about. THE FUTURE OF HOCKEY STARTS NOW!