Tips and tricks to help you be a better forward player.
7 Tips to be a great hockey forward
Ever dreamed of having all the great assists? Being the Queen of Goals in your team and maybe even earning that huge C on your chest?
If yes, then welcome to the club! This my dear friend, is nothing new. Every single Hockey Girl has had that dream some time or the other in their lives. But one thing we will tell you, is that it is achievable! YOU can be the Queen Of Goals.
Here, we will give you a list of things we believe you should be doing to even come close to earning such a title. First of, what is the role of a Forward? A forward player is a player whose primary purpose is to score and assist goals. Not to say that other positions can score goals, but it is really the main purpose of a forward player. The forward position is divided into 3 parts; The left wing, the right wing, and the center. We will dive into each of them in another article. In order to dominate the ice as a forward and be a Queen Of Goals, there are a number of things you should be doing;
- Know your position:
This is critical. Most players don’t know what their jobs are! Find out what role you play in all three zones(neutral, offensive and defence) and do it properly. It is also important to find out what role suits you best. If by any chance you are expected to “cover” for a teammate, make sure you(and your team) have a plan set in place and you have spoken to your teammates about it. If not, don’t play your teammates' roles! Stick to your own so that you can excel in it.
Backchecking is very important. You must apply lots of pressure in the defensive and neutral zones for the purpose of creating a turnover. While backchecking, it is important that it be done in full speed. Making sure that you have someone covered when returning to your zone.
- Always make sure to attack with the puck:
When you have the puck, give it all you've got and don’t make it easy for the opposing team to catch you from behind. This will result in more 2-on-1 and 3 -on-1 situations and will be difficult for the Defenseperson to cover.
- Pin your opponent to the boards and fight for the puck:
Puck battles are an essential part of the game. As a great forwards player, you have to be able to battle for the puck on your team's breakouts or on your forecheck. Now, actually winning puck battles, are a whole different ball game. Most players think that by slashing around with their sticks or simply raising the opponents stick, they can easily gain possession of the puck. But on a scale of 1-10 how effective is that? Probably a 5. So what is really the most effective way to win the puck battle? The answer is simple; use your body. Using your body to pin the opponent to the boards and also to shield and separate them from the puck, is a very effective way to gain possession. If you are able to do this, you can either go after the puck or pass it to an open teammate who will then start the transition to the attack.
- Keep your stick on the ground at all times:
This may seem like an obvious thing to do, but surprisingly most players fail to do this and have their sticks raised. Keeping your stick in the ice is very important because you NEVER KNOW WHEN THE PUCK IS COMING! Therefore you should be ready at all times. If you have your stick on the ice, you will be ready to receive passes, shoot at moments notice and maybe score that winning goal.
- Strong communication skills:
Being able to communicate with your teammates effectively is a skill every Hockey player most possess. You can communicate verbally by yelling out to an open teammate telling them where the puck is if they are backing the play, or communicate non-verbally by using your stick to let your teammates know when you are open, or directing them towards open lanes. Another way to nonverbally communicate is to use your body. Use your head to signal where you want to go with the play to your teammates and try to read their body language as well as that of the opposing team. Also make sure to look at other teammates to check for open ice, the position of the puck and to be aware of the unfolding plays.
- Skate hard:
To be a great Hockey player you have to put a whole and honest effort in EACH AND EVERY SHIFT. If you feel tired, get off the ice. It has been proven that putting in maximum efforts in your shifts( no matter how short) is effective in all levels of hockey.