To be successful on offense, it is important to be able to score in a variety of ways. That’s why it’s essential for hockey players to keep several different shots in their arsenal.
The hardest and fastest shot for most players is the slap shot. It is commonly used by defensemen and works best when a player has time and space. With its quick speed, a slap shot can blow past defenders from even the farthest points of the offensive zone.
Professional hockey defenseman P.K. Subban shares the mechanics of a successful slap shot with Pro Tips.
HOW TO TAKE A SLAP SHOT
“There’s a lot of different intangibles that you need to have a good slap shot,” Subban says. However, he also believes that it is important to start with the fundamentals.
“First of all, the key to having a very hard shot and consistent, hard slap shot is making sure that you incorporate your legs and your core,” he says.
There are four phases to a slap shot: the windup, the “slap,” weight transfer and follow-through.
- Windup: During the windup, you’ll bring your hockey stick up to shoulder height or higher. Your bottom hand should be about halfway down the stick.
- Slap: The next phase is where the slap shot gains its speed. You’ll “slap” the ice behind the puck, giving bend to the stick.
- Weight transfer: The third phase is what Subban believes is most important. During this phase you transfer your weight from your back leg to your front leg. It is crucial that you are engaging your core throughout the weight transfer. This will help provide power to your shot.
- Follow-through: Finally, in the follow-through you will try to dictate the direction of the shot. Your arms play a key role here. If you follow through too low, your shot will likely stay low. If you follow through too high, your shot will go high. “This is all for accuracy and a little bit of power at the end,” Subban says.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A SLAP SHOT AND A ONE-TIMER
A slap shot and a one-timer often go hand in hand. A one-timer is a shot in which a player receives the puck from a teammate’s pass and immediately performs a slap shot. Unlike a traditional slap shot where the player has room to line the puck up, a one-timer requires quick and precise timing.
“The mechanics of a one-timer are very similar, but the only change that I would do is I like to open up my body to get a little bit more torque on my shot,” Subban says.
Slap shots and one-timers are great tools for defensemen to have, especially if they are serving on a power play. Looking for more ways to upgrade your defensive dominance? Check out Subban’s tips on gap control and how to be an elite defender.