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Minor Hockey Tips and Advice

Marco Thorne is API Hockey's President and CEO. He has established various goal, assist, and total point records in multiple competitive leagues, semi-pro leagues, provincial and national tournaments.

"Thank you for visiting our site. I hope that you will find our minor hockey tips & advice useful and enjoyable for yourself, friends, and family. I also wish you a great shopping experience here at API Hockey. Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to visit our Customer Service section... we will be happy to help you in any way possible."

Marco Thorne
CEO of API Hockey

View Marco's interview with CBC Newsworld about the Bertuzzi / Moore incident and his opinions on the state of the game from the NHL to and minor hockey. "These are important issues that need to be addressed by not only the NHL, but by the hockey community as a whole". Just click on the image.

Marco Thorne


Always Wear Protective Equipment
Some players think it's okay to play without helmets or proper equipment. This is very dangerous. You should always wear the required equipment (and more!) when playing hockey.


Correcting a Faulty Stride
Usually problems with boots only come if the boots are too large and don't fit properly. New or second hand boots can sometimes be made to fit well by simply going to the sport shop and putting them into the oven (special oven please don't use the one in your kitchen) and lacing them tightly to the feet of the skater. Using Ankle Protective Skate Inserts is a very useful skate accessory for sufferers of lace bite as well as faulty stride as they will help increase comfort and supply stability to the skater. Please remember that after taking care of the above, practice proper skating strides whenever you can.

Increase Skating Efficiency
To increase efficiency while you skate, remember to bend at your knees and not the waist. By focusing on the bend of your knees you are using the strength from your "glutes" and "quads" rather than damaging your lower back. Also, by keeping your back straight you facilitate the breathing process, increasing your stamina.

Increase Speed
The fastest skaters take the longest time to do ten strides. It is the contact with the ice that produces power. Many skaters leave out the gliding part of the stride and over work, producing short choppy strides. This is inefficient as well as tiring.

Stopping on Skates
Not sure how to stop while on skates? This will most likely take a lot of practice and it is obviously not the easiest part of skating. First: Try going slowly and as you approach the area where you wish to stop, quickly turn your feet sideways in a motion that allows you to slide along the ice while still digging into it. Next: All weight must go on your outside leg. Last: Just keep trying and always remember to keep your balance.


Forehand Passing
Both hands move in the direction of your target. Do not swing your stick in an arc as you release the puck. Proper knee bend is important. Keep your stick in contact with the puck; do not slap at the puck as you pass it. A pass should be done without making any sound.

Backhand Passing
Again, it is extremely important to make sure both hands move in the direction of your target. Imagine a straight line drawn on the ice that leads to your target. Your stick should travel in the direction of this line as you pass the puck.

Pass Reception
These suggestions apply when receiving the puck on either the forehand or the backhand. As the puck is coming towards you, move your stick towards the puck and tilt the top edge of your stick towards the puck. As the puck contacts your stick, let your stick move a bit in the direction of the puck to cushion the impact of the reception. On the backhand it is particularly important to let the puck cross right in front of your body as you're receiving it. Do not meet the puck with a rigid stick, or the puck will bounce right off your blade.

Stick Handling
As in pass reception, the blade of the stick cups the puck when you are stick handling. This applies to both the forehand and backhand motion in stick handling. You will be a more dangerous player if you have a wide range of motion when you're stick handling. This makes it easier to pull the puck out of the reach of your opponents, yet while maintaining control. You can receive a helping hand by purchasing some of our Training Aids.


The Right Shot
Wonder why players like Joe Sakic and Brett Hull always seem to be able to score from just about anywhere? It's because they have mastered the quick snap shot, wrist shot and backhand shot. If you want to be a goal scorer, don't waist too much time on the big slap shot. You hardly ever have time to use this kind of shot in competitive league play. Instead, practice the quick release. You can do this by using some of our Training Aids available now.

If you're fortunate enough to find yourself in a breakaway, try practicing this move as it is guaranteed to bring you success. It is important to initially gather as much speed as you can while keeping the puck ahead of you until you get reasonably close to the goaltender ( do not waist speed and time stickhandling at this point, this will only slow you down ). As you're about to make your move on the goalie, bring the puck to your forehand as if you're about to shoot, wiggle your stick blade to sell your deak, bring the puck to your backhand, wait a fraction of a second ( you will see some room between the goalie and the net ), and finally lift the puck to the superior part of the net.

Now that you're ready to try out our tips, check our stores for great discounts on skates, sticks, goalie and referee gear, equipment, and performance undergear for both ice and inline hockey. If you still feel that you need more instructions we have training DVDs that can help you perfect your game.

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