P.I.G. is One of my Favorite Off-ice Shooting Drills

When I was in high school, we had a hockey net and backstop out in my parents’ side yard. We also had a Shooter Tutor strapped up to the net, with about 100 pucks. Almost everyday my buddy and I would shoot pucks together. To keep it entertaining, most of the time we’d play a game called P.I.G.

P.I.G. is really fun, and can be played on or off the ice. Here’s how it works…

The Rules:
P.I.G. works a lot like H.O.R.S.E. in basketball, except that it’s a shorter game, so it’s a little more intense. Basically, a player calls his or her shot. The shots can be any typical shot, or you can get creative and start calling posts or crossbar, forehand, backhand, or even specifying shot type. If that player makes the shot, then the other player has to match it. If the other player misses, he or she gets a letter.

The player who called the first shot keeps calling shots until he or she misses the called shot (you don’t get a letter if you miss your own called shot). At that point it’s the other player’s turn to call a shot, and the process repeats itself.

You get two chances on the last letter.

In this video, my good friend Brett Fuller and I play a high-stakes game of P.I.G., to make it a little more interesting, the loser has to ride the bull (Happy Gilmore style) on camera. With so much on the line, neither of us wanted to lose!

I love putting a little additional pressure into practice drills––even off the ice! It gets you used to performing in clutch situations. Putting something embarrassing on the loser is definitely a fun way of doing this!

You’ll notice, 5-hole was giving us both a hard time in this video, and proved to be the game winner! Enjoy!


Shooting: Shooter Tutor Review




The Shooter Tutor is one of my All-time Favorite Hockey Shooting Aids!

I first began using the Shooter Tutor when I was about 10 years old back in Toronto. My dad used to keep one in the trunk incase we had ever had a goalie “no-show” us for practice.

During high school (about 6 years later), I kept that same Shooter Tutor strapped to a full-sized goal in our side yard. I left it up through rain and shine, and shot anywhere from 50 to 100 pucks a day during the summers. Needless to say, it saw its fair share of abuse from me!

Years later, when I began running my own skill development camps, the first thing I invested in were two Shooter Tutors. There’s nothing worse than showing up to a practice or drop-in, and having nothing to shoot at… especially in a camp setting! So, following in my old man’s footsteps, I now keep one Shooter Tutor in my car for “emergencies,” and the other one is strapped to my EZ Goal so I can keep my shot sharp between games.

So… what’s so great about the Shooter Tutor? Well, a lot of things actually! It’s light-weight, portable, and durable enough to take years of abuse. The design is simple, yet sophisticated. You’ve got your classic 5 holes cut out; The steel bar sewn into the bottom keeps it hanging heavy so that pucks don’t trickle through under the “goalie”; You have to actually snipe to score (most of the time). Also, the combination of canvas with the bungie cord straps makes for a very realistic rebound when you miss your shot.

BEWARE OF IMITATIONS:

Because the Shooter Tutor is so well designed, lots of companies have tried to come up with their own versions. I obviously can’t speak for ALL of them, but I can tell you that I’ve used a number of them over the years, none has held a candle to the Shooter Tutor. Many of them tend to be lower quality, don’t stay strapped into the net as well, and don’t hold up to real shots from real pucks the same way the Shooter Tutor brand does. In my mind, the Shooter Tutor is tried and true, and well worth the investment!

Shooting: EZ Goal Review




The EZ Goal and Backstop combo is a durable, versatile, and inexpensive way work on your shot from home!

One of the highest priorities in my Home Hockey Training Center was to have a solid shooting station. The first step is to have a good goal that you can shoot real pucks at. I chose the EZ Goal and Backstop because it is a full sized, durable, and portable piece of equipment. The design is very cool, and it can actually fold up for easy storage.

Assembling the EZ Goal frame was very simple. It took me about 35 minutes to build both the net and backstop. Most of it snaps together with spring-loaded pins. The few tools that were needed actually came with the net (other than a phillips screwdriver).

The hardest part about putting it all together was lacing the netting on. I’d never done it before, and had to undo and redo a couple of times. The biggest thing I can recommend is fitting it in and tying in the corners and other key spots before you begin. This will help make sure you don’t “run out of net” after you’ve laced 3/4 of the way around (yes, that happened to me!)

In all fairness, the lacing wasn’t hard, just time-consuming… and if you take my advice on “tacking it in” before you begin, you’ll have a much easier go of it!

Part-way through setting it all up, we had a rain storm. The EZ Goal is weather resistant, but I wanted to bring it into the garage anyways. So I had a chance put the folding feature to use. It was super easy to collapse, and it fit in my garage like a glove!

So, after the rain quit, I was able to finish the rest of the assembly and try it out. I’m REALLY impressed with the design! I’ve used nets in the past that don’t hold up to real shots from real pucks. This does.

I’ve also used set-ups where the backstop sits behind the net. They don’t work nearly as well as this design, because if you hit the post or cross bar just right the puck will still ricochet up and over the top of the backstop. With the EZ Goal’s design, the backstop is actually integrated into the net, so unless you just outright miss the net AND backstop, you’re very unlikely have anything get away from you.

Another thing I love about the design is that the side panels can swivel. This feature makes for a really cool set-up when working on shooting from an angle.

All in all, the EZ Goal is a fantastic piece of equipment at a great price point, and I highly recommend it to anyone looking to improve their shot this summer!