Every beginner to hockey will at some point need to know how to hold a hockey stick. It’s one of the fundamentals that you might think is an obvious question but it really needs to be asked. It’s also one of the most important things to get right when starting out as learning bad technique as a beginner can be hard to unlearn and inhibit your game later in your game.
In this post, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about holding a hockey stick correctly to set you up for success.
Left or Right Handed
The first question to ask is are you left or right handed. This will determine a number of things about the correct grip for your hockey stick.
The general rule of thumb is to have your dominant hand on the upper part of the stick with your non dominant hand towards the bottom of the stick near the blade.
The reasoning for this is to increase the amount of control you have over the puck as well as
But, just because you’re right handed that doesn’t mean that you have to hold it as other right handed players do. The best thing to do is to pick up the stick and see what feels more natural to you.
It seems like the power of shots comes from the hand on the lower bottom; hence it is sensible to have the dominant hand on the lower hand. As you may notice, most players play left-handed whilst other people are right-handed. This issue illustrates the upper hand controlling the stick except for wrist shot. Stickhandling and shooting of a righty or lefty come from what makes you feel comfortable and natural on the ice.
Your upper hand should get fixed on the upper hand of the stick, over the top of your stick’s butt which is between your thumb and index finger for perfect grip. Whilst the non-dominant hand should be underneath the stick’s shaft, with your fingers pointing up and your thumb pointing down when clenching the shaft.
Having doubts on how far the bottom hand should be down the shaft? Then try to point your stick in the air by only using your upper hand. Take your elbow on your non-dominant arm, touch it to your top hand that’s gripping your stick, then grab the hockey stick where your lower hand meets the shaft.
This position is the “neutral position,” which is ideal for players who would have just started. Remember your bottom hand should slide into different places based on which drill you want to focus on at a particular time — your upper hand should be farther down the shaft when doing a slapshot.
Since most players are righty’s all they have to do is place their left hand at the upper hand, and right hand in the middle. The distance between your left hand and right hand should be in such a manner in which there is space enough for two to three-finger.
Place your right hand below the grip provided on the stick for perfect overall control of the ball when dribbling the ball. When hitting the ball hard, you should place both your hands together, thus with no distance between both hands and place it in the middle of the grip. That should make you comfortable when hitting the ball if not change the positioning of the hands.
For left-handers, there is a separate stick for which hands are placed in vice versa manner from the way the right-handers hold their hockey sticks. Left-handed players use the left-bladed stick which indicates that the right hand is on the top of the hockey stick, whilst the left hand in the middle or between the other hand and blade.
Righties use the right-bladed stick, which is the other way from the left handlers.
Goalies who have left a catch- should place their right hand should be above the padded, as the sticks broaden. Goalies who are a right catch- should put their left hand above padded for comfortability sake.
You’ll find that some right-handed people play hockey with their left-handed stick, with the ideology of dominant hand at the top or they prefer comfortability when using a left post.
Which Hand Goes On top?
The first step to knowing the exact way of holding a hockey stick is through placing both hands on the hockey stick.
Did you know that approximately 90 per cent of hockey players are right-hand dominant? Therefore this shouldn’t be a barrier to you to use the left-handed stick as all that’s needed is for one to be comfortable when playing.
If you do not have a personal stick at home, then try testing whether you a righty or lefty by holding a broomstick. The hand you feel comfortable with putting on top of the broomstick is similar to the one you will feel comfortable using when holding the hockey stick.
The top hand
Having trouble with navigating the movement of your hands on your stick as you hear thunder sounds on the ice every moment you move the stick, then you are relying too much on the non-dominate hand instead of the dominant hand.
The upper hand should take control of the sticks coordinating movements.
The bottom hand
Your lower hand should anchor the upper hand on the stick.
Whilst acquiring knowledge on how to hold a hockey stick, the length of a hockey stick should guide you. For example, If your butt end is sticking out more than a few inches while holding the hockey stick, then the hockey stick is too long for your use hence need the right size for you.
To be a left or right hand is definitely by choice but its best to hold the hockey stick in such a manner that it will be comfortable and easy to hit powerful balls.