Laura is the mother of two active sports kids, a youth basketball coach, and a hockey mom.
What Is a Toe Drag?
The toe drag is a useful move in ice hockey that is usually used to deke, or fake-out, an opposing player. It is one of the most clever stick-handling skills a player can master. Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins, who was once rated the number one player in the NHL by the Bleacher Report, is a master at using the toe drag maneuver. Use the tips in this article to learn how to perform a toe drag and increase your team's scoring opportunities.
Anatomy of a Hockey Stick
How to Practice a Toe Drag
This stick-handling drill will teach you how to use the "toe," or the tip of the stick's blade, to pull the puck in towards your body, so you can outsmart your opponent on the ice. Many young skaters disregard this move because they think it is too easy. The truth is, it's not too difficult to maneuver at slow speeds, but it gets much more difficult the faster you skate. The goal is to perform this move seamlessly at high speeds.
- Using your top hand on the hockey stick, roll the stick over and grab the puck with the toe of the blade. Practice rolling your top hand to achieve this motion.
- Pull the puck in towards your body by moving the shaft of the stick.
- Make sure the center of the puck is on the toe of the stick. Continue to roll your hand over and pull the puck back toward your body.
- Try to practice this without constantly looking at the puck.
- Do many repetitions to get the feel of the puck on the toe of the blade.
- Gradually increase your distance and change directions to go back and forth and side to side allowing you to control the puck in every direction. Do not get discouraged, as this will take practice to master the skill.
Hockey Stick Handling Practice Equipment
To practice this drill, you do not need a lot of fancy equipment. You'll only need the following:
- A hockey shooting pad can be purchased at hockey pro shops or online. In addition, you can easily make one for a fraction of the cost out of white hardboard wallboard found at your local hardware store. We bought one for about $11 at Lowe's Hardware and cut it into two separate shooting pads.
- A flat surface to place your board on is ideal.
- A street hockey stick will help you practice. Even though it isn't your good stick for on the ice, it still should be sized appropriately for your body and skill level.
- Though a tennis ball can be used, an old hockey puck or a Green Biscuit is preferred. A green biscuit is a weighted, off-ice hockey puck designed for stick-handling drills.
- Wear hockey gloves so you can easily replicate the actual feel of the stick and how to turn it in with your wrist.
How to Purchase an Ice Hockey Stick
A hockey stick is an extension of a player's arms. Not just any stick will do; you must make sure you have a stick that is the right size, or else you will not have good control.
There are many factors to consider when sizing a hockey stick, but a general rule is that the very top of the shaft of the stick should come between the tip of the nose and the chin. In this range, it enables the player to maneuver the stick more easily on the ice. You also must consider how much flex you need in a stick based on your strength and skill. If you are a novice, the best recommendation is to have a trained professional at a hockey pro shop help you in selecting your stick.
When purchasing a street stick, it should be sized similarly to an ice hockey stick so you can use it when skating with rollerblades and when practicing stick-handling drills like the toe drag.
Angela Michelle Schultz from United States on October 21, 2012:
Very good directions, and great exercise to go along with this.
LauraGSpeaks (author) from Raleigh, NC on October 11, 2012:
Glimmer--its true, we will miss watching the games. The Lockout is bad for the sport of hockey--I hope they get it together soon!
Claudia Mitchell on October 11, 2012:
Interesting....too bad we won't be seeing these guys in action anytime soon! Hopefully the strike ends soon and the Penguins are back on the ice.
LauraGSpeaks (author) from Raleigh, NC on October 10, 2012:
Thanks Funom Makama. Are you a hockey fan? Looks like many of our NHL players in the US will play in Europe this year since we have a lockout.
Funom Theophilus Makama from Europe on October 10, 2012:
Wow... A lovely and engaging hub from start to finish. What an info-enriched page.