Hockey Stickhandling Basics For Beginners With Off Ice Hockey Drills & Exercises For All

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One thing every hockey player can appreciate is the cost of ice time, being in the UK the high price for training sessions is felt by all. With this article we hope to define some of the basics of stickhanlding for beginners, We would also like introduce a few drills that can be performed off the ice.

We’ll go over:

  • How to hold your hockey stick
  • Stick position
  • body position
  • Stickhandling technique
  • Drills to develop and practice


Holding the stick left or right handed ?

Deciding whether you should be left or right handed to be down to what feels the most natural, there are a lot of coaches or players that may say “strongest hand on top” but I would always recommend using personal preference.

Different in hand positioning

Its said that if you have your strongest hand on top, you’ll have better stickhandling control, but lose a little power on your shooting.

If your strongest hand is on the bottom, you’ll have more powerful shots, but lose control on your stickhandling.

Holding your hockey stick

Top hand – place the “V” of your top hand along the centre of the sticks shaft (please see image below)

Bottom hand – This should be placed around four arms distance from your top hand (depending on what your working on)

Hockey stick position

The hockey stick should be held in front of your stomach while stickhandling to allow for a full range of motion and to prevent your hockey pants from getting in the way.

Cup the puck

Be sure to cup the puck or ball to increase your control over the ball or puck. Do this by allowing the blade of the stick to cradle the puck or ball.

Cupped puck

Not cupped

Position of puck in relation to the stick blade

Puck puck should always be around the middle of the sticks blade when stickhandling for increase control.


While stickhandling or practicing, keep your head up, chest up. Your feet should also be around shoulder width apart with a slight knee bend (Athletic stance).

How should your hands be?

Always allow your bottom on to remain loose on the sticks shaft, the stick shaft needs to be able to slide through your hands for a better range of motion and proper technique.

Here are some great drills to practice while off or on the ice:

  • Toe drag drill
  • Figure of eight
  • Quickhands drill
  • Hand eye coordination drill

All of these drills are demonstrated in the video tutorial above.


Recommended ice hockey training aids for off ice practice:

  • Dangle Glove
  • Green Biscuit
  • Swedish stickhandling ball
  • Hockey Shooting Pad
  • Orange Pucks

All available at *UK BASED*

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