As a beginner, one of the most challenging aspects of playing hockey is learning to hold the stick correctly. Understanding how to position your hands to achieve the best grip, control, and accuracy when shooting, passing, or stickhandling is essential. This article will explore where your dominant hand should go on a hockey stick and provide tips to help you improve your hockey game.
Understanding the Hockey Stick Grip
Before we dive into the positioning of your dominant hand, it’s essential to understand the basic hockey stick grip. In hockey, there are two common grip styles – the “overlap” grip and the “underlap” grip. The overlap grip is when you place your dominant hand (the hand you write with) above your non-dominant hand, while the underlap grip is the opposite, with your dominant hand below your non-dominant hand. Both grips can be used in various situations, and the choice will depend on your preference and the situation on the ice.
Dominant Hand Positioning
Now that you understand the two common grip styles, let’s dive into where your dominant hand should go on the hockey stick. If you are right-handed, your dominant hand should go on top of the stick, while your dominant hand should go on the bottom if you are left-handed. This is because your dominant hand provides the most strength and control when handling the puck.
If you use the overlap grip, your dominant hand should go on top of the stick’s handle, with your non-dominant hand directly below it. Make sure to grip the stick firmly with your dominant hand, placing your thumb over the top of the handle, while your non-dominant hand should wrap around the stick’s bottom. This grip is ideal for stickhandling and provides better control of the puck.
Using the underlap grip, your dominant hand should go on the stick’s lower end, with your non-dominant hand above it. Grip the stick firmly with your dominant hand, wrapping your fingers around the handle, while your non-dominant hand should grip the stick’s top end. This grip is perfect for shooting and passing, providing more power and accuracy to your shots.
Tips for Improving Your Grip
Now that you know where your dominant hand should go on a hockey stick, let’s look at some tips to help you improve your grip:
One of the most important things to consider when holding a hockey stick is grip strength. A firm grip will give you more control and power over the puck. To improve your grip strength, consider doing exercises focusing on your wrist, forearms, and grip, such as squeezing a rubber ball or using a grip trainer.
Hand positioning is crucial when holding a hockey stick. Ensure you have a firm grip on the stick, with your fingers wrapped around the handle. Keep your thumbs over the handle, and avoid gripping the stick too tightly, as this can cause fatigue and reduce your control over the puck.
Another essential factor to consider when holding a hockey stick is the length of the stick. The length should be proportional to your height, with the stick’s end touching the ground while standing on skates. A too-long or short stick can affect your grip and control over the puck.
In conclusion, holding a hockey stick correctly is essential for any hockey player, and understanding where your dominant hand should go is crucial. Remember to use the overlap grip if you are right-handed and the underlap grip if you are left-handed. Remember the tips to improve your grip, such as grip strength exercises, proper hand positioning, and ensuring your stick length is proportional to your height.
Can I switch my grip during a game?
Yes, depending on your situation or preference, you can switch your grip during a game.
Can I hold the stick with just one hand?
No, you cannot hold the stick with just one hand. It would help if you had both hands to maintain proper control and accuracy when playing.
Should I use the overlap grip or the underlap grip?
The choice between the overlap and underlap grip will depend on your preference and the situation on the ice.
Does stick length affect my grip?
Yes, stick length can affect your grip and control over the puck. Ensure that your stick’s length is proportional to your height.
How can I improve my grip strength?
You can improve your grip strength by doing exercises focusing on your wrist, forearms, and grip, such as squeezing a rubber ball or using a grip trainer.
Following these tips and understanding where your dominant hand should go on a hockey stick can improve your grip, control, and accuracy, making you a better hockey player overall.