While figuring out your hockey stick grip is intuitive for some, for others -- especially beginners -- it may not be quite as obvious. Just because your Dad is forcing you to become a lefty sniper doesn’t mean that that’s what feels natural to you. Any player who’s just beginning his/her hockey career should start with the basics: figure out if you’re a righty or a lefty. The rest we explain below.
What We Cover:
- Which Hand Goes On top?
- How To Hold Your Stick
- What Should My Hands Do?
- Other Tips
- Related Resources
Which Hand Goes On top?
The first step to figuring out the proper way to hold a hockey stick is by actually placing both hands on the stick. While approximately 90 percent of hockey players today hold their stick in a right-hand dominant position, you shouldn’t ignore your inner southpaw callings if it feels more comfortable to you to use a left-handed stick.
Looking for an excuse for your kid to do some cleaning while figuring out his hockey stick hand posture? One good test our pros recommend is the classic broom test. Whichever hand your kid uses on top of the broom should correlate to how he or she prefers to hold a hockey stick.
How To Hold Your Stick
Your top hand should be placed on the upper end of the stick, over the top of your stick’s butt (not underneath), between your thumb and index finger.
On the bottom end, your non-dominant hand should be placed underneath the stick’s shaft, with your fingers pointing up and your thumb pointing down when clenching the shaft. Not sure how far to put your bottom hand down the shaft? One good test is to point your stick in the air using only your dominant hand. Take your elbow on your non-dominant arm, touch it to your top hand that’s gripping your stick, then grab the stick where your lower hand meets the shaft. This position, also referred to as the “neutral position,” is a good starting point for any beginner. Remember your bottom hand should slide into different distances based on what you are doing at the time -- your hand should be farther down the shaft for a slapshot for instance.
What Should My Hands Do?
If your stick sounds like an elephant stomping on the ice every time you go to move it, you’re probably relying too much on your bottom hand. Think of it this way: Your top hand is the smooth, silky machine that should control all of your stick handling and coordination on the ice. Your bottom hand is the quiet beast that sits there supporting your stick the majority of the time, but is also there to give power at a second's notice when you go for a snipe on net.
- If your butt end is sticking out more than a few inches while holding your stick, there’s a good chance your stick is too long.