Over the past week, the Alexander Ovechkin video below—showcasing some slick skills and a few Russian dolls—has spread faster than Ovi's shot trajectory. But what can an avid hockey player who wants to step up his game learn from "The Great Eight's" incredible performance?
If you pay close attention to Ovechkin's pinpoint accuracy, he performs five simple steps. Howtohockey.com explains them in detail—helping any shooter become more accurate when ripping a wrist shoot.
Look at the Target
This is the most obvious tip, but skaters often forget to look at their target, instead focusing too much on the puck. Ovi's eyes barely leave the target area as he zones in on each doll. Scan the net and find an open spot to aim at. If you're worried about puck placement on your stick, work on getting a better feel for the puck by stick handling while keeping your eyes forward.
Point the Feet
Watch Ovechkin's lower body during the video. His feet are pointed in the direction he's shooting. The feet guide players not only in the direction they're skating but also in the direction they're shooting. By aligning the body properly, shooters can easily transfer weight from the the back leg to the front leg—and then in the direction of the shot.
Track the Trajectory of the Stick's Blade
The quickest path to the net is a straight line, and creating one with the stick will automatically increase accuracy. The best way to trace a stick's trajectory is to take several practice shots and note the direction the stick is moving. "The Great Eight's" stick travels in a straight line from the back of his shot all the way toward the targeted doll. If the stick trails to the right or left, the puck will veer off in that direction once it's released. After shooters get a feel for the blade's trajectory, they'll be able to improve their accuracy by pointing the puck in the right location.
Following through when shooting increases accuracy as well as power. With each follow through, the captain of the Capitals raises his stick to the level of his targeted doll. The concept is fairly easy to understand, but hard to master. Follow through high to shoot high; follow through low to shoot low.
Point the Puck
The last thing "Alexander The Great" does before the puck leaves his stick is point the puck in the direction of the target. To point the blade of the stick at the target, shooters must roll their wrists over properly. This adds power and accuracy as the puck leaves the stick. If it's done correctly, the puck will end up where the tip of the stick is pointing.
These tips can help improve a shooter's overall accuracy, but they won't be mastered overnight. Shoot, shoot and shoot some more—daily—to increase your accuracy to the level of "Alexander the Great."
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Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock