Hockey fans—and hockey players—love the slap shot. It's big, it's fast, it's loud. But what both fans and players like more is seeing the puck go into the net behind the opposing goalie. That's why learning the hockey wrist shot mechanics is so important to your game. Nearly half of all goals are scored with wrist shots around the net, more by far than with slap shots. In fact, slap shots come in third behind wrist shots and snap shots. The wrist shot is quick, it's deceptive, and it works. Players who want to light the lamp should work on the wrist shot twice as much as they do the slap shot.
The Hockey Wrist Shot Explained in Four Steps
1. The Preparation
- Your feet should be shoulder width apart and perpendicular to the target.
- Bend your knees to achieve a good athletic stance so you can easily transfer your weight.
- Place the puck several feet away from your body and behind your rear foot.
- Slide your dominant hand down the stick until your hands are about shoulder width or more apart.
- Keep your hands away from your body, not tucked in close.
2. The Weight Transfer
- To begin the shot, shift your weight onto the back leg slightly, moving your upper body and hips back.
- As you pull the puck forward, you shift your weight to the front foot moving your upper body and hips forward.
- Your head should move from over your back skate to over your front skate as your upper body and hips shift forward with the weight transfer.
- Your weight should end up on your front skate as you push off with the inside edge of your rear skate.
- As your weight transfers forward and just before release, open your front foot toward the target.
3. The Wrist Shot
- To begin the shot, you'll want to cup the puck with your blade to protect the puck and position your stick. The puck should be positioned behind your rear skate by several feet.
- As you drag the puck forward and the puck reaches your front foot, your hands should be away from your body and your top hand should be well out in front of the puck.
- The shot happens as you pull with your top hand toward your body and push with your bottom hand toward the target. The result is to shoot the puck toward the net.
4. The Follow-Through
- As your bottom hand shoots the puck, follow through by rolling your wrist over and pointing your stick at the target.
- To shoot high, follow through high and leave the blade a little bit open, and to shoot low, follow through low and close the blade.
Speed and Accuracy are Keys to Improving the Wrist Shot
Work on your wrist shot from a variety of distances and angles, and at different velocities. Practice getting the puck up over the goalie's pads from short distances. Many wrist shots will have a better chance of beating the goalie when you get them off quickly, whereas sometimes accuracy is better. But developing a quick shot that is also accurate will make you deadly with the puck around the net.