How to Take a Slapshot in Ice Hockey

The slap-shot is a very important part of any hockey game. If you don't know how to do it correctly, it won't have the desired effect (and it can be quite embarrassing when you whiff on the puck completely). This is a guide to help you improve on your slap-shot, or begin to learn how to do one. If you are having trouble with your slap-shot you can read this article on how to take a slap-shot

, it has some great tips and links to a number of other helpful articles


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    Understand how a slap-shot works. The hockey stick is aggressively slapped (almost as hard as you can) and bent on the ice, building tension that is then released against the puck in the direction of the intended target. Even though this technique can generate a puck speed of over 100 mph (160 km/h), it's not as accurate or as convenient as the wrist or snap shots.
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    Learn when to take a slap-shot. It's tempting to wind up on the one-timer heading for you when you're right at the top of those hash marks, but try to restrain yourself. The vast majority of the time, something much more simple will work better. Slap-shots should be used primarily by a defenseman when in his position near the blue line or to dump the puck in the offensive zone. This allows for a tip by a forward standing in front of the net.
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    Point your feet towards the puck, which should be about 3 feet (0.9 m) from your skates. Do not point your skates at your target (which is the net, hopefully); this is a huge mistake made by beginners. Although once you build more skill in taking Slap-shots, this will be possible. Later on, if you're short on time during a play, or cannot position yourself correctly for the shot, you can take a shot with your feet a little crooked.
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    Glance at the net. You probably won't have much time to get your puck off if you spend too much time aiming at this point. A simple glance will do for now to get the general direction of where you want to shoot.
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    Get the proper grip. If you're right-handed, you should be holding your stick with your left hand at the top. Your right hand should be lower than where you would normally carry it when stick-handling or skating. Make sure your hands are shoulder length apart on the stick, as the stick reaches its highest point your hands will separate a little more and move down the shaft, and as you finish the shot, your hand should end up somewhere near shoulder length apart. (NOTE: A majority of left handed hockey players shoot on the left making these instructions completely backwards. Your right hand would be on the top of the stick because you would use your dominant hand for best control)
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    Wind up. Don't do this to an extreme; pulling back way above your head doesn't add power and sacrifices time and accuracy drastically. Pulling the stick back to your waist should be sufficient. You should be looking down at the puck at this point so you don't miss it. Especially as a beginner, while trying to learn the overall movement, during the windup don't bring the blade of your stick any higher than your waist. Once you have a reasonable shot, you can increase your windup. With good mechanics it is possible to unleash a very powerful slap-shot with little windup.
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    Take another look at the goal and aim as you wind up. If you're going for a goal, you should aim for a particular spot on the net, not just the net itself. If you're taking a shot hoping a teammate will tip it (this is recommended over an actual shot for a goal), keep your eyes on the ice and on your teammate's stick side.
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    Make contact with the ice inches before you hit the puck. Many mistakenly hit only the puck, thinking the ice will slow their shot. If performed correctly, however, hitting the ice with your stick moments before contact with the puck will cause your stick to "flex" and shoot the puck off like an arrow from a bowstring.
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    During contact with the puck, roll your wrists so that the thumb on your dominant hand (right hand if right-handed, left hand if left-handed) turns down towards the ice. This adds accuracy to your shot.
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    Follow through with your shot to where you're aiming. After initial contact, follow through completely in the direction you want the puck to go. This makes for a more accurate shot, and it also helps keep your puck stable in the air. Your shoulders should finish facing the net, your hips should twist towards the direction of the shot, and your front foot should turn towards the direction of the shot. After following through, your stick and body should be pointing (gliding) towards the direction of your shot.


  • Take slow shots when starting out. Don't worry about power; instead practice location of the shots, and the location of the puck on your stick. Once you become comfortable, you can begin speeding up the motion of your swing, and the speed of the shot will follow.
  • Always keep on practicing. Reading about slap-shots on the Internet all day isn't going to help your shot as much as practicing will! Make sure to notice any mistakes you're making and consciously think about correcting them when practicing.
  • Where the blade of your stick finishes is where your shot will end up. If your blade is high off the ground, your shot should end up high; low - low.
  • In your slap shot, you hit the ice before the puck. Follow through with your shot pointing with the end of your stick to where you want the puck to go. The more force you put onto your stick the more accurate your shot should be.
  • Roll your wrists during your shot, this is where most of your accuracy comes from in addition to pointing to where you want the puck to go. Even if you point your stick, the puck will never go where you want it to if you don't roll your wrists during your contact with the puck.
  • Bend your knees -- this is vital as it increases the momentum of your body by using the muscles in your legs.
  • If you want the puck to go higher, do not bend your wrists downwards.
  • The distance between where you hit the ice to flex the stick and where the puck is vary from person to person. If your having a hard time getting the puck in the air, hit the ice further back.
  • Accuracy first, then power - This is a great tip for young players. Practice your accuracy first, why you ask? Even if you can shoot the puck 100 miles (160 km) and hour, you will never score if you can not hit the net. Also if you can aim, that means you will not be sending wild slap shots at other players heads. When your players are in front of the net, keep the puck low and keep the puck on the net. Your players will love it, and you and your team will score more goals. [1]


  • If you can't seem to get the puck off the ground, try moving your bottom hand down the shaft about an inch.
  • Keep your head up or you could get checked. It is especially important when you are trying to take a shot.
  • Make sure team-mates know you're shooting and are ready. Players can often get confused and end up facing the wrong direction and take a puck to the back of the leg where there is no protection.
  • The impact of hitting the ice/ground repetitively can cause injury, such as bursitis, especially if you are using a very stiff stick. Experiment with different flexibility ratings on composite sticks.
  • NEVER check another player into the boards from behind. This can cause serious injury and you'll get a penalty.

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