While we’re all very familiar with the term hockey shot, knowing exactly what determines the quality of a goal in hockey can be quite the trick. After all, being able to accurately assess a shot is what allows goalies to stay sharp and prepared for when the puck drops.
However, instead of being mysterious and tricking, let’s take a look at the science of a hockey shot and what determines its success. Keep reading to find out.
Structure Of A Hockey Shot
As the name implies, a slapper is really just a short, quick slap pass that is perfect for quickly and accurately scoring a goal. The motion starts from the knees and continues up through the hips and into a quick release. The speed and quickness of the shot is what makes it so perfect for scoring.
If you want to be even more precise, you can use a wrist shot. Just like a slapper, a wrist shot begins with a short, quick motion from the knees all the way up into an easy release. The only difference is that a wrist shot is fired with the arm instead of the whole body. This makes it a more accurate and precise shot, especially from the point-blank range.
What Is A Clean Break?
Another important factor that determines the quality of a goal in hockey is how the player executing the shot handles the puck on their way in. A clean break is when a player swings the puck through the legs of the goalie and on to the net without any touches from the goalie, thereby keeping their goal clean. This is much easier to do if the player executes a whip-like spin while shooting.
Weight Of A Hockey Shot
The amount of weight that a player applies when taking a shot can also have a significant impact on its success. For example, a heavy shot will usually go in, while a lighter shot will usually go out. This is especially important if you’re shooting from the point-blank range, as the goalie is much less likely to block a heavy shot coming from there.
The Follow Through
In the same way weight can determine the success of a hockey shot, so can the player’s follow through. A follow through is the motion a player makes with their stick once the puck has been scored upon. In most cases, a follow through starts with the stick pointing up in the air, with the palm of the hand facing away from the goal. This makes a perfect sound effect, as it is traditional for the goal scorer to yell ‘goal!’, but it is more important for the goalie to prepare for the shot.
The Height Of A Hockey Shot
Just like a baseball hitter stands back and takes aim, the height at which a player shoots the puck can also have a significant impact on the distance it will go. For instance, a short shot will usually go in, while a high shot will usually bounce off the crossbar and out.
Speed Of A Hockey Shot
Like the speed of an athlete, the speed with which a player shoots the puck can also have a significant impact on the outcome of their shot. This is why a quick shot will often go in, while a slow one will usually go out. In contrast, a direct snap shot from the point-blank range will have the same effect as a heavy shot, as the goalie is less likely to block it.
Puck Delivery And Reception
How a player receives the puck and where they place it relative to their body when shooting can also have a significant impact on the outcome of their shot. Generally, a player will receive the puck on the forehand and place it on the ice in front of them before shooting. This makes it easier to aim and release the puck with the proper trajectory. In some cases, a player can even receive the puck on their backhand and still generate a perfect shot, as long as they place it on the ice in front of them before firing.
Where The Puck Hits The Net
Finally, we arrive at the goal scorer’s most important tool – the net. It is not enough to simply score the puck, a player must also know where it landed. This is much easier said than done, especially if you’re a beginner. The general rule is that if a puck enters the goal mouth, it will usually go in, while a puck that hits the top corner of the net will usually go out.
Knowing how to score a goal in hockey takes a bit of science and skill. While it might be difficult to perfectly execute every shot, each one has a different outcome based on the information discussed above. At the end of the day, having the best hockey shot requires confidence, practice, and knowing which variables affect the puck’s final destination. That is something to feel proud of!