Hockey Passing Tips
Hockey is a team sport and you have to be able to give and receive passes in order to excel at the game. It is imperative for players to practice and feel comfortable with all the different types of passes on both the forehand and backhand sides of the stick blade. Remember, passing is a far quicker method of moving the puck than skating, and you should always quickly advance the puck to open teammates whenever possible. Here are a few tips to think about and improving your passing game.
- Transfer Weight. Just like in shooting weight transfer is also important when passing. You want to use you entire body and transfer your weight from your back foot to your front foot when passing.
- Cushion The Puck. When receiving a pass you need to have soft hands and cushion/give with the puck when it hits your stick blade in order to maintain control. This is especially critical when receiving hard passes.
- Work On Your Backhand. Ideally, you should feel just as comfortable giving and receiving passes on your backhand as you do on your forehand. Often this is not the case and extra time needs to be spent on improving backhand passing skills. Training with the Pass Master will help you become a stronger backhand passer.
- Communicate. Never hit your stick on the ice to let you teammates know you want a pass. Instead, communicate with you mouth and verbally tell your teammates when and where you want the puck.
- Give A Target. Position your stick blade on the ice where you want to receive the puck. This gives your teammates a target to aim at and eliminates confusion.
- Move The Puck Quickly. Holding onto the puck too long usually leads turnovers. When you have a chance to advance the puck do so quickly, accurately, and crisply. See the hockey passing trainer for developing a quick release after receiving a pass.
- Lead Moving Targets. You need to pass out in front of a moving target in order for the puck to hit the intended mark. The distance will vary based on speed and a pass too far in front is always better then a pass to far behind.
- Use The Boards. Use the boards to make bank and area passes when the opportunity presents itself. You should look to make a tape-to-tape pass first, but in some situations an area passes are necessary.
- Don’t Pass In Front Of Your Net. Avoid passing in front/across your own net whenever possible. A passing mistake made in front of the net usually results in an immediate scoring change for the other team.
- Practice Saucer Passes. Airborne spin and saucer passes are necessary in certain situations and should be master on both the forehand and backhand. Work on making the puck land flat so that it can be easily handled by teammates. See Green Biscuit for a great off-ice puck to practice saucer passes.