Keeping your head up

Discussion in 'The Rink' started by brother52, Apr 21, 2007.

  1. brother52

    brother52 Registered User

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    I've been learning to play hockey for almost 10 moths at about two practices a week (I play almost no games at this point), and I still can't really keep my head up.

    I'm not a poor skater and more or less learned to carry the puck, stickhandle, make/receive a pass, etc. But whenever I get the puck during a drill or play, all my attention goes into handling it and I absolutely can't "see the ice". When stationary or carrying the puck freely on my own it's not so bad. But not under even the smallest stress that a drill with a partner is.

    How normal is that and what I can do about it? Can inline practices or games help me in this regard?
     
  2. PMP5030

    PMP5030 Registered User

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    2 things I would suggest:

    1) Try stickhandling a puck/ball off the ice, with your head up but the puck or ball just at the bottom edge of your vision as you dribble back and forth. This will help to teach you to use your peripheral vision to see the puck so you won't need to stare directly at it, and also to use your stick to feel the puck.

    2) When on the ice, keep your head moving around, as if on a swivel. When combined with the first tip, you'll not only be able to handle the puck without looking directly at it, you'll be able to see open teammates for passes, avoid hits, shoot for areas of the net, etc.
     
  3. Harbinger04

    Harbinger04 Registered User

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    it takes time, practice skating alone with the puck and always having your head up, then work into having a partner or two
     
  4. sc37

    sc37 Registered User

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    Like they've said, it takes practice. It honestly took my almost a year since I started playing to get the hang of it, and I still get mesmerized by the puck at times. Sounds like your new too, so maybe use a wood stick. I think one of my faults was using a composite when starting out and didn't really get a good feel.
     
  5. Keetz

    Keetz Registered User

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    try using a golf ball.

    1. its hard and you get a "feel" through the stick to where its at on your stick.

    2. its has a low clearance like that of a puck. using a tennis ball or something can cause you overcompensation problems when you get back to a puck because when practicing with something bigger you lift so high for clearance.

    3. it can be done inside on carpet.
     
  6. Wachovia Center

    Wachovia Center Registered User

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    A good thing to do is stick handle with a golf ball while you're watching TV, just don't look at it, and try to go as fast as possible.
     
  7. McNasty

    McNasty Registered User

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    I would say buy a roller hockey puck and go outside of your house and practice, thats how i learned. Make sure your able to go back and forth quickly with your head down first, eventually it becomes natural and thats when you can start worrying about other things while stick handling.
     
  8. MikeD

    MikeD Registered User

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    amazingly there is a training tool available for this. You might feel kind of silly though.

    heads up
     
  9. TaiMaiShu

    TaiMaiShu Registered User

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    Learn to use your peripherals!
     
  10. Wachovia Center

    Wachovia Center Registered User

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    There's a training tool for everything. Save your money and just buy a golf ball.
     
  11. Taz

    Taz Registered User

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    i find the golf ball works, or as u hae control the puck keep having looks up to start

    Ie. Recieve the pass by watching the puck, look up, look down make the pass
     
  12. lotus

    lotus Registered User

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    keep your head up while stick handling the golf ball and try to take notice of as many things around you. That can get boring fast though so I back the TV idea.
     
  13. xeric716x

    xeric716x Born To Expire

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    golf ball in front of the TV, i still do it this day.
     
  14. Evil Ted

    Evil Ted Registered User

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    Use a dry land ball, and when you play hockey make sure you know where the play is going before you recive the pass, figure out the safe play with the puck before you recive it, this will help you keep from getting frustrated, help build confidence until you get comfortable with handling the puck in traffic.
     
  15. EmptyNetter

    EmptyNetter Registered User

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    As far as technique, learn to use your peripheral vision as much as possible. The puck in front of you is a dark blur, your team mates are a (depends on team colors) colored blur. The lower your stance when you play the easier it is to keep the puck in your field of vision. Also the further it is in front of you the easier it is to see.

    USA Hockey has some good drills for practicing your stick handling. http://www.usahockey.com/ntdp/ntdp_features/main/ntdp/off_ice_drills_home/
     
  16. arcticwinter

    arcticwinter Registered User

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    coaches have to stand randomely in the drills in a interfering manner from the earliest training of hockey.you'd be amazed at how young kids keep there head up on even a simple st louis when a coach is in the way closing the gap on them.
     
  17. 94now

    94now Registered User

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    Continue doing what you're doing. Just give it two years. One day it will come to surprise you. If you do it for 10 mos, you've got a year or so left.
     
  18. Hank19

    Hank19 Registered User

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    I would stick handle with a tennis ball around plastic cups while I watched hockey games. Great way to learn to keep your head up while watching hockey.
     
  19. McNasty

    McNasty Registered User

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    I agree with most of what everyone said, but most importantly you have to be good at stickhandling. If you aren't great at stickhandling with your head down, then worry more about that then you need to practice that as well.
     

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