Monday, October 25, 2010

A Couple Beginner Dangles

These are a couple of beginner dangles for some of the newer people to deeking. This doesn't mean they aren't the most effective deeks, but that they are the easiest to learn from the beginning. So, today I'm going to teach you 3 dangles.
-First Things To Practice
-The Toe Drag

At the beginner's stage, you're learning to hit the gaps or weak spots of the defensemen, which is what we're going to learn right here. What you're going to want to do is grab a chair or skateboard or a stool or something with legs that stands off the ground enough to fit about 3 stacked pucks underneath it. For the sake of simplicity, let's say you grabbed a chair. Now find your desired area to set it down. If you're an ice player and you have access to an ice rink that will let you stick handle: Great. If you don't have access, don't worry, most people don't. What I suggest to mimic the ice is to use a golf ball and practice on a smooth surface as the golf ball will go about the same speed. Make sure to give yourself a couple of feet on each side for room.

Now for the drill. Place the golf ball on the ground and grab your stick and gloves. Now try to pass the puck through the middle of the gaps in the chairs. Just stick handle like this for a little while and try to speed it up. It should be a little more difficult getting it back through on the backhand.

   >   [  ]  <                (If the "[  ]" is the chair, try to pass from the left to the right.)

Once you feel comfortable doing this, just try to keep passing it to yourself through other gaps while trying to keep a decent rhythm. You don't have to limit yourself to just the left or right either. Try to incorporate going through the front as well, or going in the right and out the front. Again, when you can do this relatively well, and it shouldn't take long, try walking while stick handling and just pass it through the legs of the chair to yourself.

This simulates a one-on-one with a defender. The front two legs are the stick and the back two are the feet. And of course a forward skating with the puck is going faster than a defenseman skating backwards, so the walking simulates that as well. I suggest practicing this until you can start mixing other things in as well. It is very good practice to get quick hands. These are the most basic dangles in the game and are constantly used even at higher levels.

Next, let's move on to the toe drag. Again, start with your gloves, stick and golf ball. Now what the toe drag is when the puck is in front of you and you take the toe of your stick (the very front part of the blade) and pull it back behind you and stop it with a flat blade. It's a great move against forecheckers and also is just a dirty move.

To practice, just put the toe of your stick flush against the ground and lightly pull the golf ball until it is a little behind you. Then, rotate your blade back to the normal position with a small wrist movement and stop the ball. Gradually pick the speed up until you can just keep snapping it back and then hitting it back. See how many times you can do it in a row without missing. It's a very easy drill to perform, as it doesn't require you to be moving.

And that's it for the beginniners' section. Please feel free to comment and subscribe! :)

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