Stickhandling: SweetHands




SweetHands is a Really Useful Hockey Stickhandling Aid that Can Be Utilized in Many Different Ways!

If you’ve been following along with our Home Hockey Training Center course, you probably know by now that versatility is one of the biggest selling points for me when it comes to selecting hockey training products. I like products that will give me multiple uses, and that can be combined with other products to make an even more creative “work space.” SweetHands definitely fits that criteria!

Features and Benefits
Here are a few of the SweetHands features I thought were noteworthy:

  1. Durable product that can be used on or off the ice.
  2. Comes with two end pieces and six middle pieces, so you can use it as one 8′ set-up, two 4′ set-ups, or any combo in between.
  3. Lightweight (less than 9 lbs), and since the pieces come apart, it’s really easy to bring it to the rink with you.
  4. Comes with a drill book and a 29 min DVD, which gives you plenty of ideas on different ways to use the product.
  5. Can be used in a wide variety of ways, in combination with lots of other products… just be creative!

My Experience
Setting up your SweetHands is easy. The pieces just snap together, and you’re up and running in seconds. I liked being able to choose how many pieces to include in my set-up. As you see in the video, I messed around with a few different combinations to work on different aspects of stickhandling.

I also like how durable this product is. I had seen some durability demos on other videos (kids stepping on the SweetHands “crossbars” with skates), but I wasn’t planning on actually putting hat to the test… However, my rambunctious 4-year-old thought otherwise. I caught him walking tightrope style across the SweetHands unit, AND jumping up onto the crossbars like plyo jumps, and trying to land and balance on them! I’m happy to report, the SweetHands held up to the abuse just fine.

Sweethands is a pleasure to use. It works really well, and does exactly what it was designed to do. As I was making the video, I kept thinking how much better a stickhandler I would be if I would have had some of these tools available to me as a kid!

Conclusion

I had a lot of fun putting this post together. SweetHands is a great product, with lots of versatility, and the capability of making you a better hockey player if you use it consistently. It’s lightweight, portable, and easy to put together and take a part.

The drill book and DVD are two added bonuses that are VERY worthwhile! In fact, if it were sold separately (which it’s not), I’d recommend picking up the DVD even if you didn’t get the SweetHands unit itself, it’s that good! I definitely recommend this product to anyone looking to improve their stickhandling off the ice!

Stickhandling: Swedish Wooden Ball Review




The Swedish Wooden Ball is the “Speed Bag” of Hockey Stickhandling

In most areas of athletic development there are drills and products to work on raw strength, and there are drills and products designed to work on speed and agility. Think of the difference between a boxer punching the heavy bag vs. the speed bag, or the difference between squats and sprints. Well, stickhandling is no different.

We use different pucks, balls, and other training tools to work on different aspects of stickhandling skill requirements, in an attempt to put together a “complete development package” that will help the athlete to perform at an optimal level. Heavier pucks and balls will develop wrist and forearm strength, while lighter balls will develop faster hands, and quicker reaction speed. Both types of training are important.

Why it Works:
The Swedish Wooden Ball was designed help you work on your quick hands. This ball is substantially lighter than a puck, and since its made out of wood, it gives you a real dead bounce, which is what we’re looking for in a hockey training puck or ball.

Since it’s a ball, you’ll be able to use it in more places than with a puck (think rubber flooring at the rink, carpet inside your house, pavement, concrete, etc.) This is a very versatile product.

Conclusion:
This is a great, inexpensive tool that will give you some variety in your stickhandling training. I recommend picking up two or three of these balls. One for your hockey bag, and a couple to keep around the house. Then all that’s left is to get creative with it!

Enjoy!

Stickhandling: Dryland Flooring Tiles




Dryland Flooring Tiles are one of the Most Versatile Hockey Products on the Market Today

In this post, I wanted to introduce an extremely effective and versatile product, HockeyShot’s Dryland Flooring Tiles. The reason I say this is such a versatile product is that you can literally design your “floor plan” to fit your training objectives. This might mean using six or eight tiles as a shooting pad, or it might mean going wall to wall with them in your basement for a fully functional stickhandling, passing, and shooting facility.

Not only are the flooring tiles versatile in how they can be used, but you also get a lot of flexibility when it comes to timeline. You don’t have to outfit your whole room all at once… These tiles are kind of like legos, you can keep adding to them and expanding your training square footage as you see fit!

Pricing
Many people consider Dryland Flooring Tiles to be an unaffordable “luxury item” rather than a necessity for their Home Hockey Training Center. The truth is, price per square foot on these hockey dryland flooring tiles is right in line with most of the other shooting & skill pad options on the market, and it’s an easy way to build a fantastic, multi-purpose training facility in your own home!

Here’s some quick math if you’re interested:

Now, obviously each of these products fits a certain purpose. But if you’re looking for a semi-permanent, HUGE surface, on which you can stickhandle, shoot, OR pass, the Dryland Flooring Tiles are definitely the best option for you.

Durability
HockeyShot’s Dryland Flooring Tiles are among the most durable hockey flooring tiles on the market. The underside of the tiles has a special ribbing system that keeps them light-weight, but super tough. In fact, these tiles are so durable, you can even park a car on them! I know this comes across as a little “infomercial-ish,” but this is actually a really important feature if you want to set up your training center in your garage, but still need to be able to park there.

Slickness
I’ve had a few questions about the “feel” of these tiles, and how well the pucks slide compared to real ice. Regular black pucks slide pretty well, definitely well enough for shooting practice, and some slower stickhandling but they do pop up a bit when trying to work on quick stickhandling. However, specialty pucks, like the Flypuck or Green Biscuit, that were designed SPECIFICALLY for off-ice stickhandling practice, slide REALLY well, and feel almost exactly like real ice!

Versatility
As I mentioned above, one of the features I like most about these tiles is how many different ways there are to use them. There are literally dozens of different combinations you can set up with other hockey training products. Some of the ones I’ve been messing around with are the Extreme Passer, SweetHands, and the Attack Triangle. With my 48 tile set-up, the square footage is big enough that I can do just about anything I want to do!