5 Tips For Scoring Off Rebounds

[ posted by Kim on 17th of November, 2017 ]

The next time you watch a hockey game, count how many opportunities there are for players to score off rebounds. I would estimate that in the average girls’ hockey game, there are at least 10-20 scoring opportunities off rebounds. And so many of these potential goals go un-scored. It’s one of the main reasons that girls’ hockey games tend not to be high scoring affairs.

So I wanted to share 5 quick tips with you to help you score more goals off rebounds.

#1: Get out a little further from the goalie.
We know that your coach wants you to screen the goalie and maybe even advises you to get as close to the blue ice as possible in order to take away the goalie’s eyes. The problem with being too close to the goalie is that if there is a rebound opportunity, it’s going to bounce out in front of you and you’ll have to turn, find the puck and shoot. All those things take time, and time is something you don’t have a lot of when trying to score off a rebound. So get your heels out of the blue ice and be at least a stick length away from the top of the crease. You can still screen the goalie quite effectively from this distance and you’ll have a little bit more time to turn and open space to shoot at when that puck comes off the goalie’s pads.

#2: Put your stick on the ice.
This might be the #1 tip for scoring goals overall. You can’t tip and screen and score effectively with your stick at your waist. Players who are in the net front when a shot is taken should have their stick straight out in front of them and on the ice. This ‘tripod’ positioning allows for you to tip on either side of your body and if you have to turn to find a loose puck, you’ve already got your stick on the ice. I would however recommend that once you’ve turned to face the goalie, you need to have your stick ready in the forehand shooting position so that you can get a quick strong shot off quickly instead of two-touching the puck off your back-hand.

#3: Turn as soon as you lose sight of the puck.
It drives me crazy to watch player be in a perfect screening/tipping position who forget to turn once they’ve lost sight of the puck. If you turn immediately, and have your stick in a strong shooting position on your forehand side, I guarantee you will score more goals. And they are your coaches’ favourite kind of goals – the easy tap in or quick shot when the goalie is out of position. Sure, they don’t make the highlight reel, but they go in a lot and they count the same as the pretty ones.

#4: Pre-load your stick.
I’ve mentioned this already in the above tips, but I can’t stress enough how important it is to be ready to shoot when that rebound comes. If you have your toes turned towards the net, your stick pulled back on your forehand side and you’re pushing hard into your bottom hand, you’ll be in a great position to pull the trigger and score some easy goals. Too often, players simply aren’t ready to capitalize on the rebound opportunity.

Last but not least…

#5: Study how the puck comes off the goalie’s pads.
I won’t profess to know too much about how to teach goaltending, but I scored a lot of these ‘easy’ rebound goals in my time by understanding how the puck would come off the goalie’s pads. For example, you need to position your body and stick differently if you are playing a rebound on your forehand side and backhand side. Simply put, if you are on your forehand side, you need to be a little bit higher up from the goal-line than you do on your backhand side. This is because the ‘eyes’ of your stick are closer to the net when you’re on your ‘off’ wing, so you should have more of the net to shoot at. It’s a bit of a tough concept to explain in words so if you want to check out some on-ice videos I’ve made about scoring goals, you’ll find a good one about using the eyes of the stick here: http://totalfemalehockey.com/on-ice-how-to-videos/. Beyond that, players and teams need to practice scoring off rebounds a lot more often so that shooters can get more experience positioning their stick and body correctly when that rebound pops out. The more you practice it, the more ‘ugly’ goals you’ll score.

I hope those 5 tips help you fill the net a bit more in your next game.

Work Hard. Dream BIG. Score more ‘ugly’ goals.

 

Your friend and coach,

Kim

 

 

Kim McCullough, MSc, YCS

Director & Founder, Total Female Hockey
www.totalfemalehockey.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

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