What to do with new sticks

I get this question every now and then and recently it's come up, so I thought I would quickly cover how best to handle new sticks.

When you have new sticks you haven't used before, there are a lot of things that need getting used to...  a different passing edge, different bevel, textures, thickness or weight.  So it's a good idea to feel your way into how the stick works best for you.

You can simply practice or play as you normally would and eventually you will naturally get the feel of a stick, hopefully!  But it can really speed things up to have a short routine to run through.

Here is a simple progression that I recommend be used any time you are getting used to a new stick, or in a new pool, new puck, glove, anything....   Any time your pass suddenly starts to go plop, in fact, is a good time to run through this and quickly rebuild your pass again.

Start by making lots of small flat passes without lifting your stick off the tiles...  don't allow yourself to raise the stick off the bottom at all.  Don't go for height or distance at first, but focus on rolling the puck all the way along the bevel and get it spinning.  This helps to get the starting angle of your wrist right and most importantly sets the timing right for you to build on.

Next, once you have the puck spinning smoothly, start to gradually add a little more power and build the length of your pass.  As you add more power the puck will start to sit up naturally on it's side.  Keep your stick flat on the tiles.

Once you have consistent distance, add more and more power and you should see the puck lift further and further off the bottom, still with your stick flat on the tiles.  You can get quite a lot of height without even lifting the stick off the tiles, and very good distance.

Lastly, once you are throwing good consistent flat passes, finally let yourself bring the stick off the tiles during the pass... not a lot, just let it happen naturally.  Some people throw their best passes as flat passes all the time, and they are certainly more consistent for most players.

If at any time things go wrong, just rewind to the last stage that was working or all the way to the beginning and repeat...  once you have done this progression a few times it takes only a couple of minutes and then eventually just a few passes to run through it and adjust to new conditions.


Good luck!


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