In just a few years, hockey training aids have multiplied at an increasing rate. And choosing between the ones you need and the expensive gimmicks is no easy task.
Luckily this article does it for you! Here you’ll find the most common hockey training aids on the market, separated into the ones that will help you and the ones that you should avoid.
But before we dive in – don’t miss out on the whole host of digital options available, like online hockey training developed by an NHL pro.
Now, read on for full descriptions of the products and a breakdown of their uses!
Amazing Stickhandling Aids
1. Synthetic Ice
Synthetic ice is one of the most helpful hockey training aids out there.
Hockey requires very intricate and detailed movements. If you don’t have something that can fully replicate the on-ice experience, you risk training your muscles to learn the wrong moves. This is why a low-maintenance rink in your own home is such a game changer.
With synthetic ice, you’ll never have to worry about pucks not gliding the right way or your stick movements becoming choppy.
Especially with Polyglide. Their tiles are going to give you the best setup possible. And you can use our lifeinminnesota promo code for 15% off any purchase!
To really practice your stick handling, you need an obstacle that can teach you the kind of skills you need to defeat an opponent head-on.
Unlike a simple cone, danglers give both the puck and your stick an obstacle to maneuver around. They train your puck control while enhancing your natural awareness of your stick. Making it feel like a second appendage!
But it’s important to choose the right one. You want something that can adapt and evolve with you as you train. Something like the Hockey Shot Dangler, which can be reconfigured into multiple different courses.
3. SuperDeker Advanced Training System
Games are always the best way to train new skills. When something is fun, it’s easy to motivate yourself to train longer and harder.
And the SuperDeker Advanced Training System is one of the most versatile training games out there! This electronic hockey training aid comes with ten different game training modes and a compatible app to track your improvement on your phone.
The custom ePuck glides effortlessly on its three panels while you aim for the changing targets displayed on its surface and avoid the blue defenders. Or you can use the rebound bands on either end to practice passing to changing targets endlessly.
Besides that, there are also games specifically designed to improve your toe drags, dangles, speed, wide dekes, puck control while reversing, and close-body stick handling!
4. Balance Boards
Balance boards are amazing because they can be used with every other stickhandling hockey training aid to enhance every exercise that you do.
When your stick-handling exercises are done while standing on a balance board, you multiply the muscles activated at any given moment as your body works to keep you balanced. Improving your coordination, agility, and strength while the constant movement makes your stick handling training that much more effective.
And, if you’re having trouble choosing the right product for you, check out our article on The Best Hockey Balance Boards to find all the information you need to make the right choice!
Amazing Shooting Aids
5. Goalie Tarps
Despite their simple design, goalie tarps are an extremely effective hockey training aid for improving your shooting.
Having targets of any kind can improve your aim. But getting a goalie tarp will train your muscle memory to shoot for the spots in a hockey goal that are more likely to be open.
When you have the right tarp, like Hockey Shot’s Extreme Shooter Tutor, its openings have been chosen to reflect every soft spot in a goalie’s defense. And once you train your brain to automatically aim for those spots, the likelihood of your shots going in will double in no time!
6. Stick Weights
It’s common to underestimate the importance of wrist strength in hockey. Most assume a shot’s power comes from your arms. But that last-minute flick of the wrist is what really does it.
This is why stick weights are such an amazing hockey training aid.
Spending 30 minutes a day completing shots with a stick weight will make your slapshot harder and faster than ever before.
To prevent injury, make sure you have the right size. Generally, youths should start with 2 ounces and work their way up to 6 ounces. While adults should start with 4 ounces and work their way up to 16 ounces.
7. Reactive Sniper
The one-of-a-kind Reactive Sniper by Hockey Shot is a small electronic device that comes with four circular mats of different colors. The face of the device displays five lights in the shape of directional arrows and a small indicator light at the top that can change color.
This versatile hockey training aid can be set up however you want. And has five different speed levels of random light sequencing to improve your reaction time and cognitive abilities.
You can use each colored mat to indicate a hockey maneuver and the directional arrows to indicate where you aim in the net. Or the mats can indicate different types of shots. Or the arrows can indicate where you pass.
The sheer number of training possibilities from this one device makes it a necessary hockey training aid!
Amazing Passing Aids
8. Hockey Sauce Kits
Here’s yet another game that is also the perfect hockey training aid! Saucer passes are necessary for getting the puck past your opponents on the crowded ice. And Hockey Sauce Kits will quickly improve that skill.
A standard kit comes with two synthetic ice boards to shoot from, two mini hockey sauce nets, eight lightweight pucks, four pegs to secure the nets, and a game booklet. The goal is to make an arching shot from the shooting pad, across whatever distance you decide, straight into the net.
This game trains your aim with soft, lob-like shots. Making it easy for you to get a pass over an opponent’s stick.
Before buying a kit, be sure to check out our article on the Best Hockey Sauce Kit to learn more about the product!
Passers may not be a hockey training aid with a full-proof design, but they are definitely still worth having. In fact, the risk that your puck might be swallowed by the device will put even more emphasis on the precision of each pass.
They can also be set up both on and off the ice. And the different designs make them extremely versatile.
The Triangle Passer is the best one for multiple-player drills or creating a single-player obstacle course. But the Extreme Passer is better for shooting drills. Its larger size makes it easier to get a harder pass off. And the harder the pass, the more your slapshot timing will improve.
3 Training Aids to Avoid
1. Shooting Radars
For their price, shooting radars are not a hockey training aid worth buying.
Some people think that the ability to see the speed of your shots will motivate you to shoot faster. But there are much better motivators out there that also actually work to improve your skills.
2. Slider Boards
Slide Boards are meant to build your agility, strengthen your core, and improve your hockey stance. And they do, but so do skater exercises. And those don’t require any equipment.
Slider boards can also be detrimental to your stance if they are not the proper length. And it’s hard to find a board that is long enough for people above six feet.
3. Weighted Puck
In your hockey training aid collection, you don’t need both a stick weight and a weighted puck. And, between the two, the stick weight is much better.
A weighted puck doesn’t guarantee that you’ll build the muscle in your wrist the way a stick weight does. So your shots may get harder, but only up to a certain degree.
Wrapping up Hockey Training Aids
The next time you’re looking to add a new hockey training aid to your collection, be sure to check out this article to figure out the ones you need and the ones you can go without!
And for more information on the sport, check out our Hockey page!
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Liv covers everything hockey for Life in Minnesota (the State of Hockey!)
With a childhood filled with hockey at various levels – in nearly every position – she has a deep passion for the sport.
Liv has a Bachelor’s of Communication Studies, loves to travel, and of course… hockey.
Liv can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org