• Pro's
  • Tips
  • By Randy Velischek

Check out these on- and off-ice tips from Randy Velischek to give yourself an extra edge on the ice.

On-ice tips –

Keep your head on a swivel!

Always look around you to know where the puck is and where the other players are – your team's and theirs. Do not become magnetized by the puck.

Stick on puck!

When defending, keep your stick on the ice and always on or near the opponent's stick while he/she handles the biscuit.

Shoot low from the point!

Low shots are harder for the goalie to handle and also allow your forwards to deflect the puck. Additionally, they will not curse at you for hitting them in the head!

Finish your checks! (when age and gender appropriate)

Hockey is a contact sport and making it hard for your opponent to move up the ice or to come out of the corner is integral in being an all-around player. It doesn’t have to be big hits, bumps are fine.

Head man the puck!

Move the puck to the person ahead of you, especially in the neutral zone. This creates flow and makes it more difficult for your opponents to act defensively. Also, your team will not have to hold up while you catch up to them. 

No one beats you to the net”

When you defend, keep yourself between your opponent and your net. "No one beats you to the net" is a worthwhile expression to remember.

Shoot from anywhere!

Getting the puck to the net creates offensive opportunities. Force the goalie to make the save and try not to pass up any shooting chances. Every shot is a good shot.

Do not chirp at the referees

Referees are human and they remember insults and put downs. Zip it! Have you ever seen a ref reverse a call (at least not without going to the videotape)?

Off-ice tips –

Catch lots of zzzz’s!

Proper rest plays an important role in on-ice performance. The right amount of sleep prevents injury and helps avoid illness.

Eat balanced meals

A high carbohydrate, low protein meal 3- 4 hours before game time can help provide more energy on the ice.

Skills and drills

Hockey-specific athletic training can improve conditioning, balance, and foot speed on the ice.

Watch the pros!

You can learn a lot about the game by watching. Watch how the pros move the puck, and what they do without the puck.

Stick handling at home

Handle a hockey ball or puck at home, in the basement, or in the driveway to improve puck handling skills on the ice.

Shoot! Shoot! Shoot!

The more you shoot, the better your shot will get! Use tennis balls, hockey balls, pucks, whatever object you chose to practice at home. Shooting away from the ice helps improve balance and velocity.

Get stronger

Push-ups and sit-ups are the only strength exercises Hall of Fame Defenseman Kevin Lowe did during his off seasons. You can do these anywhere and they are great for developing core strength.

Develop your core!

The legs and torso are where it is at! Hockey players have big legs and buns, not big chests and arms! Focus on training the proper muscle groups.