Want to be more effective time and room shooter? These 4 drills you can implement in your backyard, or on the practice field to improve your shot power, release, & accuracy.
1. Hands Back Shooting
This is a simple warm-up drill, that emphasizes getting your hands high and away from your body to both improve your leverage and power on your shot, but also create deception.
When you reach your hands back and keep the stick behind your gloves and helmet, as you follow through the head of your stick is not seen be the goalie until the last second, giving the goalie less time to react.
To help improve the speed of your release and shoot quickly with power, either have a partner pass you the ball or use a rebounder to simulate a pass coming to you. If you don't have these options, you can also throw the ball up to yourself. As the ball is in the air make sure to move your feet to ensure you catch the ball with your hands back so you can quickly get into your shooting motion.
2. Spin & Fire
The spin and fire drill is an effective drill for building power and speed to your shot. It teaches you to shoot using your entire body and engage your core and back muscles. To set this drill up, stand about 8 yards away from the cage with your back facing the goal. Start in a nice athletic base with knees bent slightly and with your feet shoulder-width apart. Extend your arms in front of you, turn and fire. On the follow-through, focus on driving your opposite leg into the ground and coming over the top snapping your wrists down towards the cage. This is not an accuracy drill, however, it is best practice to aim for the lower portion of the cage to reinforce shooting high to low and changing plains on your shot. The below video visualizes how to set this drill up and key focus points.
3. Swat the Fly
This drill is similar to the hands back drill, however, the change point here is you are taking the bottom hand off your stick. You are still utilizing the same footwork to set yourself up so you are catching the ball in a loaded position and with your top hand high and away from your body. The lack of your bottom hand allows you to develop more wrist and forearm dexterity and allows you to develop more power and control on your shot when you go back to two-hands.
4. Shooting Over a Goal
The shooting over the goal drill helps reinforce good habits as you need to keep your hands high and away from your body in order to be able to make it into the second cage. It's important to always wear a helmet when doing this drill, because sometimes you may hit the crossbar and have the ball come flying right back at you - Safety First!
If you're out in your backyard and have some time to work on your game. Instead of just shooting without a plan and potentially reinforcing bad habits, challenge your self and start off your with some or all of these drills and we guarantee you'll be happy with the long term results. As you can see from some of these videos, these drills are performed at the highest collegiate levels to reinforce good technique and habits. If it works at this level, it will certainly work for you and help take your game to the next level.
Comments? Questions? Post them below. We'd love to hear your feedback.