4 Drills to Improve Backhand Shots in Hockey

Improve Shooting Accuracy on Backhand Shots

The backhand shot used to be a secondary shot, used mostly on breakaways or in tight until players like Paul Kariya started using it from greater distances to deceive goalies and defenders.  Lately, not a week goes by where Sidney Crosby doesn’t leave us all in awe with powerful, accurate backhanders from seemingly impossible angles.

How to Take a Backhand Shot in Hockey

Developing your backhand shot will increase your shooting options, but you need to hit the net; even if your shot isn’t hard to start, accuracy is key.  The following drills are meant to work on accuracy. Speed will come with time.

Off-Ice Drills for Improving Your Backhand

We had our coach Trevor Lindros go over the techniques that need to be perfected to develop a top-notch backhander. Like most technique driven skills, these require frequent practice and repetition.  We filmed this series on Xtraice Home synthetic ice but of course you can practice it in whatever space you have available.


Drill 1: 25 reps from the slot (stationary)

Again, the focus here is on mechanics and accuracy. Power will come with practice. Remember to change your target and include low shots. Feel the puck move along your stick blade and follow its path with your eyes and arms.

Drill 2: 25 stationary shots around the crease

Here, we’re practicing digging out rebounds. You want to pull the puck from where it is to a better shooting position and quickly elevate it. How many times have you seen a powerplay goal scored in a similar situation?

Drill 3: 25 reps out of the corner

This simulates a common game situation- skate out of the corner, protecting the puck, and release a backhand shot.  Remember again to change targets and include low shots, which produce rebounds.

Drill 4:. 20 reps fake shot to backhand shot

Skate towards the net, fake a shot, go to the backhand and shoot immediately. Even if your backhand shot isn’t hard yet, just the angle change and surprise factor will make it challenging for goalies to stop.

Any hockey skills training session should pay considerable attention to the backhand shot.  It’s one of the most concrete skills that increases your chances of scoring goals. Remember to work on accuracy and let the power come naturally.

Good luck practicing and enjoy every minute of your skills training!