Backhand shot hockey

What is a backhand shot in hockey, and why should every player master it? Any player looking to up their game on the ice knows that learning multiple shots is paramount – and the backhand shot is one that every player should have in their arsenal. 

Read on, as we look at what a backhand shot is and how to properly execute it. You’ll also get tips on how to improve your shot and learn who has the best backhand shot in the NHL. With enough practice and knowhow, you can improve your backhand shot hockey skills.

In this article, we’ll cover:

What Is a Backhand Shot in Hockey?

The backhand shot hockey players love is when a player shoots the puck using the side of their stick opposite from where they would usually shoot (the forehand). This backhand shot allows players to maintain control over the puck while still generating power and accuracy. 

The hallmark of an effective backhand shot lies in its unpredictability. Most goalies are more accustomed to defending against forehands, so catching them off guard with a well-executed backhand shot means you have a better chance to score.

Mastering the backhand shot is essential – here are some ice hockey backhand shot steps that’ll help you perfect your next backhand shot:

How to Shoot Backhand Hockey

To successfully execute a powerful and accurate backhand shot, follow these simple steps:

1. Position your body correctly

To make an effective backhand shot, start by positioning yourself with the puck on the heel of your stick blade. Ensure both feet are shoulder-width apart and bend your knees slightly for better balance.

2. Hold your stick properly

Grip your stick firmly – but not too tightly. This allows for more flexibility in your wrist movement during the shot. Place one hand at the top of the shaft with the other lower down near the middle point.

3. Shift your weight forward

As you prepare to take a backhand shot, shift most of your body weight onto the foot closest to your target (your front foot). This generates power behind your swing while helping you maintain stability throughout your shot.

4. Create an arcing motion with your stick blade

Aim Low: To control the puck’s trajectory when taking shots from close range or tight angles, try focusing on keeping the blade low before releasing it upwards towards the target area upon impact.

Sweep Wide: Increase accuracy by sweeping out wide across the ice surface instead of going straight forward. This creates natural arc motion, making it harder to predict the path the puck will travel on after leaving the contact zone between the blade and ice surface.

5. Follow through with your shot

Always follow through with your backhand shot to ensure maximum power and accuracy. You can achieve this by extending both arms fully toward the target while keeping your eyes on it. This helps guide the puck in its intended direction.

Helpful Tips for Shooting a Hockey Backhand Shot

Mastering the backhand shot in hockey can be challenging, but with practice and proper technique, you’ll soon be scoring goals with a backhand shot like a pro. Here are some helpful tips to improve your backhand:

  • Proper hand positioning: Make sure your hands are positioned correctly on the stick. With your top hand, grip toward the end of the stick. Your bottom hand should be about halfway down the stick. This hand position will give you better control and power when you’re executing a backhand shot.
  • Flexibility matters: The flex of your hockey stick plays an essential role in generating power for your backhand shots. A more flexible stick allows you to store more energy during the wind-up phase, resulting in more forceful shots. 
  • The importance of weight transfer: When shooting a backhand, it’s critical that you transfer weight from one leg to another, helping to generate force behind the puck. Start by placing most of your weight on your rear leg before shifting it forward as you release the puck.
  • Aim high or low: Goalies often have difficulty stopping well-placed high or low backhands because they require quick lateral movements across their body – these are the areas that are prime targets for goal-scoring opportunities when you use a backhand shot.
  • Puck placement on blade: To achieve maximum accuracy and velocity with every shot, place the puck towards the heel-end rather than center-middle part – this ensures optimal lift off surface and reduces the chance of a missed attempt due to improper positioning.

Who Has the Best Backhand Shot in the NHL?

When we talk about who has the best backhand shot in the National Hockey League (NHL), one name consistently comes up above all others is Sidney Crosby. The Pittsburgh Penguins captain and three-time Stanley Cup champion is renowned for his incredible skill, finesse, and accuracy with a hockey stick. Crosby’s backhand has been praised as one of his most powerful offensive tools.

Crosby’s success with this type of shot can be attributed to several factors. His hand-eye coordination allows him to maneuver the puck even when challenged by opponents deftly. It’s a significant factor in his backhand shot’s success. He also has an uncanny ability to change angles while maintaining balance on skates quickly – a crucial aspect when executing a perfect backhand shot.

Shop Our Selection of Hockey Sticks to Level Up Your Backhand Shot

Now that you better understand the backhand shot in hockey and how to improve your technique, it’s time to make sure you’re equipped with the right gear. HockeyMonkey’s extensive selection of hockey sticks mean you’ll find the right gear for players at any skill level.

To help you choose the perfect stick for leveling up your backhand shot, consider these factors:

Flexibility: A more flexible stick can provide increased power on your shots. At the same time, a stiffer one offers greater control and accuracy.

Curve: The curve of the blade plays a significant role in controlling puck movement during shots. Experiment with different curves to find what works best for your style.

Grip: Choose between grip or non-grip finishes based on personal preference – some players prefer additional grip support while others like smoother surfaces for more effortless hand movements along the shaft.

In addition to the stick selection process, don’t forget that we also carry a comprehensive range of other essential hockey gear, including gloves, helmets, skates, and protective items.  

If you need help finding the perfect stick or have any questions about specific products or brands we carry, reach out today – our knowledgeable staff is always here to help. So don’t wait any longer – upgrade your gear now and start mastering those powerful backhand shots on the ice.

Browse our full selection of hockey sticks at HockeyMonkey today.