X-Deviator Hockey Stickhandling Aid



Develop Stickhandling Abilities with the X-Deviator

I’ve mentioned this before, but there are a number of skills that can easily be developed off the ice. I’m a strong believer that players who don’t take advantage of off-ice training time are leaving precious skill development on the table. Stickhandling is one of the easiest skills to work on at home. XHockeyProducts has put together a great line of hockey training aids that is both fun and effective, which means players will be more motivated to work on their skills off the ice!

The X-Deviator:
The X-Deviator is a new take on hockey stickhandling aids. The biggest difference between the X-Deviator and some of the other stickhandling aids out there is that the X-Deviator is adjustable. Each joint on the X-Deviator swivels, this feature opens the door for increased creativity by allowing for an endless variety of configurations.

Size Options:
The X-Deviator is available in two sizes; Standard – 7 segments, and Mini – 3 segments. Either can be used on or off the ice. Pick the one that fits your needs and matches the space you have available.

Integration with the X-Line-up:
The X-Deviator is part of the X-Line-up. All of the products in the X-Line-up are designed to be used together, and can be configured to work on whatever skill you’re looking to develop. If you already have (or plan to purchase) the X-Tiles, make sure you pick up an X-Pocket to go along with your X-Deviator. The X-Pocket will allow you to hook up your X-Deviator right into your X-Tiles system.

Conclusion:
I’ve been a big fan of XHockeyProducts’ X-Line-up for a long time, and the X-Deviator didn’t disappoint! The concept is fantastic, and the product is well put-together. One minor word of advice would be to make sure to tighten the nuts that hold the segments together from time to time. They can get loose from using the X-Deviator and changing configurations. If the nut falls off, the segments come apart. Not a huge deal, but just something to watch out for. All in all, another great product from XHockeyProducts!


Dangle Glove Hockey Stickhandling Aid




The Dangle Glove Encourages Proper Stickhandling Technique by Forcing Players to Use their Top Hand

Every once in a while, a product comes along that just “makes sense.” The Dangle Glove is one of them. This special glove helps to “force” players to use proper technique while stickhandling.

Dangle Glove Overview:
I’m sure at some point you’ve seen players stickhandling using a piece of PVC pipe, or a toilet paper tube on their bottom hand. This old training technique has been around for a long time, and is used to help players develop the habit of using their top hand to control the stickhandle, while their bottom hand acts as a stabilizer. The Dangle Glove takes this training method to a whole new level, allowing for more flexibility in drill types.

Problems with PVC Pipe Method:
Although the old PVC Pipe method is a good start, there are some major limitations to this training method.

  1. You can’t let go of your bottom hand. If you do, the pipe drops to the bottom of the stick, and the device is useless.
  2. You can’t do on-ice, contact drills. Obviously, there’s no padding around a piece of PVC pipe. In theory, you COULD wear your glove, and hold onto the PVC pipe, on the ice… But then you run into the same problem we mentioned above; you can’t let go of the stick without the pipe dropping to the bottom.

The Dangle Glove:
The Dangle Glove fixes the problems with the old, PVC pipe method. Here’s how they’ve done it:

  • Dangle Glove features an HDPE insert that mimics the effect of the PVC pipe, except it’s the shape of a half cylinder. This design lets you let go of the stick, then re-grab it, without losing the insert.
  • Dangle Glove has attached their plastic insert into the palm of the glove (via velcro), which allows players to wear the glove in on-ice, full-contact situations.

Conclusion:
The updated design of the dangle glove let’s players develop their stickhandling skills in a multitude of situations. It’s great for off-ice use, as well as for use on the ice. It’s a fantastic tool, and one that I definitely recommend!


Hockey Plus Minus App for iPad



This Hockey Plus Minus App for iPad is a Fast and Easy Way to Track Plus Minus During Games!

Anybody who follows my blog knows I’m a huge believer in using technology to enhance hockey coaching. I recently came across an iPad app that I’m really excited about… it’s called Hockey Plus Minus.

If you check out the app store, you’ll see there are a number of hockey stat apps that have begun cropping up, some are really complex with the ability to track tons of different stuff, some are extremely simple, and only track a few things. With all the different options out there, I figured I’d take the chance to throw in my 2 cents worth on the subject.

Here are three questions you should ask yourself before picking a mobile stat tracker:

What do you want to track?

You can get REALLY in depth with your stat tracking, or you can stay pretty basic. Higher level teams need a lot more depth in their tracking (hits, faceoffs won, shots on goal and shot locations, etc.), younger teams don’t need to dedicate as much time and effort into stat tracking––in my opinion.

What is already being tracked?

Obviously, an app that tracks goals and assists will be redundant, since that’s already being tracked on the game sheet. Some leagues require the score keepers to track shots on goal as well. I don’t care about wasting time and effort tracking things that are already being tracked.

Who will be tracking the stats?

If you, as the coach, are planning on tracking the stats yourself from the bench, you’ll need an interface that is clean and simple, that requires little time to input each event. This is the main reason I love this Hockey Plus Minus app. The interface is simple, and I can enter in the info quickly, with minimal effort.

Conclusion:

As a coach, Plus Minus is the main stat I prefer to keep control of. The real strength of Plus Minus is what it shows over the course of a season, so if it is inconsistently tracked, its useless and might as well not be tracked at all. This app makes it really easy to track it consistently.

There are a few suggestions I’d make to the developers of this app as they roll new versions out:

  1. add the ability to view, select, and edit by individual goal (if you made a mistake and need to change it)
  2. add the ability to see the score
  3. add the ability to export a report into an excel doc

Hope this app comes in handy for you,

Cheers!

Jeremy

QuickStickz Review




QuickStickz is a Fun and Effective way to Develop Stickhandling Ability

I’ve been really excited to get this post out, and let you know about a cool product called QuickStickz. QuickStickz is an innovative new way to work on your stickhandling abilities off the ice, and it’s a lot of fun too!

A few months ago I was invited to take a look at QuickStickz, which is a video-game-based, hockey stickhandling development system. I had seen the product before, but I’d never had the chance to get my hands on one. The idea seemed really cool, so I was excited to see what it was all about.

How it Works:
QuickStickz uses a special infrared camera that connects up to your PC via USB jack. The camera combos up with a customized SmartHockey stickhandling ball, that has been machined out with a whole bunch of tiny reflectors all over its surface. As you stickhandle, the camera picks up the movements of the ball, and sends the signal into the computer, which allows you to see your stickhandling movements on the screen.

Set-up is pretty simple, just plug in the camera, go to the QuickStickz member’s area, and install the plug-in when prompted.

Drills and Games:
Once you’re up and running, just select a drill or a game from the member’s area, and have at it! The drills are designed to help you work on various skills such as tight puck movement, wide puck movement, dekes, toe drags, etc. The games apply these skills in a more dynamic environment.

Member’s Area:
The member’s area is a great way to track your progress. You can check your own stats and progress, or see how your top score compares to other top scores from around the world. The member’s area also tracks how much time you’re spending on QuickStickz. This makes it easy for parents or coaches to check in on the player’s efforts and progress.

Conclusion:
QuickStickz is a great tool to help any player develop his or her stickhandling abilities. It’s a lot of fun, and it’s a product that I think connects with kids on their level. The one weakness of QuickSticks is that it’s fairly sensitive to the ambient lighting in the room you’re using it in. Sunlight badly interferes with the infrared signal put out by the camera, and makes the ball just jump around on the screen. So make sure you close the blinds, and rely on your “artificial lighting” (regular lightbulbs), and you should be just fine!

Passing: Extreme Passing Kit




The Extreme Passing Kit is a Great Way to Incorporate Passing into your Off-Ice Workouts

Passing is a skill that most players don’t think about working on away from the rink. The main reason they don’t think to work on passing is pretty obvious: because you need a partner to pass to, and to receive passes from… Unless, of course, you have the Extreme Passing Kit.

Overview:
The Extreme Passing Kit is a really cool skill pad & passing rebounder combo, that will let you work on multiple skills such as regular passes, touch passes, and one-time shots.

The Extreme Passing Kit comes in two different models, the One-Timer Model (which you see in this video), and the Bungee Cord Model. The only difference between the two is that the rebounder is removable in the One-Timer Model, and can be mounted onto another shooting pad, or even your dryland flooring tiles. This feature gives you a little more flexibility than you have with the Bungee Cord Model.

On the Bungee Cord Model, the rebounding bungee is mounted right onto the skill pad, making the unit completely self contained (which has it’s benefits as well, in my opinion).

Both models use the 4×8′ roll-up shooting pad (huge!), which is light weight, durable, and portable. You can easily roll it up for storage when you aren’t using it, or pack it in the car to bring it to a new dryland training location.

My Experience:
The Extreme Passing Kit comes already rolled up for you. When I first unboxed mine, it had retained the shape of being rolled up (which is to be expected), and I had to sort of “pry” it open and “reverse roll” it a bit on the ends to keep it from rolling back up on me. I let it sit out on my driveway in the hot sun for about an hour, and it flattened right out.

Once the shooting pad had flattened out, I mounted the rebounder to one end (it just clamps on), and went to town!

One thing you’ll notice about the Extreme Passing Kit is that it works really well with pretty much any type of puck. I’ve used mine with regular black pucks, FlyPucks, and Green Biscuits, all of which slide really well, and stay flat off the rebounder. In fact, the pucks stayed flat enough that I was actually able to work some one-touch passes as well (which actually surprised me a little).

Conclusion:
In conclusion, the Extreme Passing Kit is definitely a worthwhile product to add to your Home Hockey Training Center. It is well built, versatile, portable, and the surface area of the skill pad is big enough to use it for shooting, stickhandling, or passing.

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