How to do a Toe Drag with a Hockey Stick
The toe drag is a useful move in ice hockey to deke, or fake out your opponent. It is one of the most clever stick handling skills a player can master. Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins, recently rated the number one player in the NHL by the Bleacher Report, is a master at using the toe drag maneuver.
Using these tips to perform the toe drag will increase your team's scoring opportunities.
Crosby: NHL's Prime Stick Handler
How to Practice a Toe Drag
This stick handling drill will teach you how to use the "toe" or the tip of the blade to pull the puck in towards your body, so you can outsmart your opponent on the ice.
- 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, pull puck back towards 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.
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.
Video of Practicing a Toe Drag
Hockey Stick Handling Practice Equipment
To practice this drill, you do not need a lot of fancy equipment, only the following:
- A hockey shooting pad can be purchased at hockey pro shops or on-line. 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. 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.
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How to Purchase an Ice Hockey Stick
The hockey stick is an extension of the players' 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 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 similar to an ice hockey stick so you can use it when skating with roller blades in addition to practicing stick handling drills like the toe drag.
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