Whether it’s the off-season, or you’re simply stuck at home as many of us are now because of the COVID pandemic, training at home is the best thing you can do for your game. With a ton of products to choose from, it’s difficult to know which will help you the most. So we’ve dug into some of the most popular hockey training equipment out there and categorized and whittled down your options into a short list of the best products for training at home.
The Best Stickhandling Trainers
Wherever you are in your hockey career, and whatever your age, you can always improve those dangles. The SuperDeker not only pushes you to work on your puck control, but also includes an electronic light and audio “beep” system to add another layer of reaction and reflexes. Stick handle or pass off the oversized rubber band edges with the regulation-weight puck. Cross over the random pattern of lights with the puck to score a point (you’ll hear a beep). Want to track your progress and add to your regimen? Download the 21-day hockey training app to track your progress performance over time. Check out the video on our product page for a full demo.
Looking for a tried-and-true, simple stickhandling system you can use at home or on the ice? HockeyShot’s most versatile stickhandling trainer can be anchored (or left unanchored) in a variety of patterns, allowing you to practice an almost infinite number of custom stickhandling drills at home. With adjustable height and sturdy, lightweight aluminum construction, the Speed Deke trainer allows you to get creative, challenge yourself, and improve your skills, plus it holds up to heavy use.
Similar to the Speed Deke, CCM’s Snipers Edge Sweet Hands trainer takes a simple training aid and gives it a ton of versatility. On or off the ice, anchor the sections as a long 8-footer or two 4-foot sections side by side to vastly improve your speed, timing, eye-hand-stick coordination, and consistency with a puck or stickhandling ball. The Sweet Hands trainer is perfect for your garage, driveway, basement, or anywhere you have enough space for a shooting pad, for easy training access 24/7. We love the simplicity of this classic trainer and the results we see in our in-game stickhandling.
The first fixed-shape stickhandling tool on the market, Fast Hands’ angles and dimensions are set at the ideal measurements for height, length, and weight to develop the finest stickhandling skills. Puck or ball, shooting pad or ice, it gives you the versatility to train the way you want, or need to. And because it’s paired with its own training video featuring 25 different stickhandling drills, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better standard for stickhandling practice at home or on the ice. Better yet, you’re probably already quite familiar with this timeless training aid and can jump right into training as soon as you unbox it.
The Best Hockey Passer Training Aid
Some training should be difficult. Some training should be fun. The Sauce Toss Supreme is the latter, though if you add house rules it can certainly be really difficult. Kudos to the cornhole (bean bag toss) players who looked at the classic lawn game and said, “this would be better with sticks and pucks.” The game consists of two double-nets (a small one inside a bigger one) attached to two shooting pads. It’s played like cornhole, trading tosses (passes/shots) with one to three other players, and trying to score on one of the two nets—the large net is one point and the small net is three points. While the game developers may have had fun on their minds, it’s actually more than just a good passing drill—it’s one of the best you can do at home. If you approach it the right way, Sauce Toss will help improve your saucer pass technique and accuracy over time. Just because you’re laughing while playing, doesn’t mean you can’t develop your passing skills.
The Best Puck and Ball Trainers
Sometimes street hockey balls and lightweight training balls can create bad habits, but with its puck-like qualities, the Smart Hockey Training Ball has the feel and movement of an ice hockey puck. Weight, bounce height, stick contact height, slide and feel—all of these mimic the qualities of a regulation puck, but in ball form. When you don’t have an ice-like, slick shooting pad to train on, a training ball like this one is a fantastic option.
No shooting pad? No problem. Designed an ounce lighter than a puck to account for added friction on concrete or asphalt, the Green Biscuit moves exactly like a puck on ice. It’s the go-to training puck for anyone practicing on rough surfaces at home like their garage floor or driveway, and makes a handy trainer for when you’re traveling and can’t rely on a slick training surface. While the friction accounts for its differences from a real puck, and can make it a great stickhandling or even passing trainer, it’s not recommended for shooting drills at home.
The Best Shooting Trainers
When it is time to let some shots rip, the Super Sniper Magnetic Targets are a hard-to-beat hockey target for full-sized goals, and might be the best way to practice a hockey shot at home. Easily attach these six- and eight-inch bright green and orange targets to any metal goal with the targets’ powerful magnets. Adjust them to any position along the edge of the goal. Start with the bigger orange targets and work your way up to the smaller green ones to improve accuracy and be able to hit the open spot when it counts.
The corners and the five hole are reliable for a reason, and this screen target forces you to work on nailing those spots without thinking about it. If you don’t have a metal goal, the Bauer Pro Sharpshooter is a great option, as it securely attaches with ten bungee cords to a 6×4 foot net and remains taut enough for rebound shots. And with its metal-weighted bottom bar, this screen won’t allow any lazy rollers into the net.
The Best Shooting Pad
Pretty much all hockey drills at home and all of the training aids above are made better with a good shooting pad. We love the versatility of EZPuck’s Ultimate Shooting Board, as it allows players to work on their shooting, stickhandling, and passing on an ice-like surface from the comfort of home. The board is pre-drilled to fit the included Puck Pylons securely so that a player can work on their stickhandling skills and accuracy, or clear the board for shooting and passing drills.
Hockey training aids are fun and incredibly helpful in improving and developing new stickhandling, passing, and shooting skills while you’re at home. But even with all the training equipment in the world, you still need to use it. If your training product doesn’t come with its own drill guide, follow your favorite drills from on-ice practice, call your coach for ideas, or check out some of our favorite drills. Whatever it takes, get out there (wherever that may be in your home) and play!