Home » General » Currently Reading:

A Scorer’s Guide

October 19, 2011 General No Comments

A scorer’s guide
By Wayne Anderson
Nov 5, 2001, 20:00

 

With the ever-increasing focus in roller hockey being on offense, more young players are looking to their coaches and parents to provide them with the all important offensive skills that make great goal scorers. In this month’s column I’ll try to give you a handle on those skills and the equally important, but often forgotten, scoring mentality.

Scoring is not just in the skills players master but in the mentality a player has. And make no mistake; all of the great goal scorers have it. It is a feeling inside that they want to be out there during the last minute when the team is down by a goal; a yearning to be out there during the power play; to be in position to make a difference when the game is on the line. And above all, the certain knowledge that they want the puck in the offensive zone.

What you do during those critical times will eventually either set you apart, or sit you on the bench. Unfortunately, these are pressure situations, and times when we must produce the outcome that everyone expects—goals.

 

The scorer’s profile

The following traits are common among all good goal scorers, and if practiced should help you obtain your goal of improved offense.

 

Attitude

• Think offense before defense. (But within the framework allowed by your coach!)

• You must respect the team concept, and remember: team before self.

• Enjoy pressure. Playing the crucial parts of the game, e.g. power play, last minute with the game on the line, is something you must want to do.

• Selfishness. But positive selfishness which will benefit the team. “I want to be out there and I want to score. I want us to win.”

• Mental skills. The ability to read transitions to offense are critical.

• Sacrifice. Do whatever it takes to score. The willingness to take punishment and not retaliate is perhaps the most important sacrifice you can make for your team—and your reputation.

• Patience. Hold your position, doing the things that are necessary to score all game long. You must also have a low panic point. Hold onto the puck and wait for the openings to be there.

 

EQUIPMENT

• Stick. Get a stick that feels like a magic wand. Experiment with length, blade, curve, flex, lie, wood or aluminum, and tape.

The stick is a security blanket for many players, and goal scorers spend much time preparing their sticks prior to the game. However, there is no common denominator between goal scorers and their sticks. Some use short ones, some longer; some have toe curves, others center curves, etc. The real key is consistency, having a stick that feels the same—and feels right—game in, game out.

• Gloves. Try short cuffs for better feel and more flex for the wrist.

• Skates. And knowing how to use them! The ability to use their skates and wheels for handling and controlling rebounds and passes sets offensive wizards apart from the crowd.

• Pads. Often lighter pads lead result in quicker movements to the puck and to the net.

 

SHOTS

• Variety. Wrist, slap, backhand, snap, tip, and one timers should all be in your shooting arsenal. That way, whatever the situation—whatever position you’re in—you’ll have the right weapon at your disposal.

• Accuracy. All good goal scorers have a wide selection of shots and are confident about using them. But the real key here is accuracy. Even a guided missile is worthless if it doesn’t hit the net.

 

SKATING

• More emphasis on forward skating and agility, including edges.

• Using your skating skills to attack wide.

• “Cycling” to keep your feet moving in and around the net.

• Quickness to, and on, the loose pucks.

• “Balance” to withstand the bumps and jolts in front of the net.

 

POSITIONING

• Drive for an opening, a skill known as “driving the gap”.

• Find a spot where you can receive the puck; make it easy for your teammates to hit you with the pass.

• Learn to fight off shadows, and man-on-man coverage, along with stick checks.

• Read the transition to offense, and know when to be going in which direction.

• Play in the slot and around the net (moving in and out, staying in motion).

• Keep your stick on the surface, facing the puck, and always ready to receive a pass or rebound.

 

Coaching tips

Coaches can help create a better scoring mentality by constantly reminding their players to work on the following skills:

• Shooting the puck/ball.

• Hitting the net.

• Following your shot in.

• Playing your rebound.

• Stick on the surface

• Driving to the net, with and without the puck.

• Stopping at the net, and being ready at all times.

• Making second-effort plays.

It is important to watch and study some of the great goal scorers. On the ice look at Wayne Gretzky, Brett Hull and Luc Robitaille. On the roller surface, look for John Vecchiarelli—perhaps RHI’s most dynamic scorer. Watch not only what they do with the puck, but more importantly what they do without it. This is an area where goal scorers excel; finding the opening, being ready for the pass, and finishing the play…often by raising their arms in celebration.

Wayne Anderson is Managing Director of Huron Hockey’s roller hockey schools.

This first appeared in the 11/1995 issue of Hockey Player Magazine®
© Copyright 1991-2001 Hockey Player® and Hockey Player Magazine®

Comment on this Article:







26 visitors online now
12 guests, 14 bots, 0 members
Max visitors today: 32 at 08:00 am UTC
This month: 55 at 10-18-2020 12:14 pm UTC
This year: 153 at 06-15-2020 03:20 pm UTC
All time: 162 at 07-03-2012 08:01 pm UTC