When it comes to choosing a hockey stick, whether it should be right or left-handed is an important decision. Here are five supporting facts to help you make the right choice:
1. Dominant Hand: The first factor to consider is your dominant hand. If you are right-handed, you will generally find it more comfortable to hold the stick with your right hand on top, making you a left-handed shooter. Conversely, if you are left-handed, you will likely prefer holding the stick with your left hand on top, making you a right-handed shooter.
2. Stick Handling: Stick handling refers to how well you control the puck with your stick. It is typically easier to handle the puck with your dominant hand on top, as it provides better control and coordination. Therefore, consider your stick handling abilities when choosing between right or left-handed.
3. Passing and Shooting: Similarly, passing and shooting are essential skills in hockey. Your dominant hand on top can significantly impact your accuracy and power when passing and shooting the puck. Experiment with both left and right-handed sticks to see which feels more comfortable and allows for better passing and shooting accuracy.
4. Stick Flexibility: Hockey sticks come in various flex ratings, which determine how stiff or flexible the shaft is. Right or left-handedness can impact the flex choice as well. For instance, if you are right-handed, a right-handed stick will have the flex concentrated on the bottom hand, likely providing a more effective flex and power transfer during shooting.
5. Try It Out: Ultimately, the best way to determine whether a right or left-handed stick suits you is to try them out. Borrow a stick from a friend or use a rental stick to test various options and see which feels more natural and comfortable for you.
Now let’s address some frequently asked questions regarding choosing the right or left-handed hockey stick:
Q1. Can I use a different hand for stick handling and shooting?
A1. While it is possible to use a different hand for stick handling and shooting, it is generally more challenging to develop the necessary coordination. It is recommended to use the same hand positioning for both skills.
Q2. Does my height or weight affect the choice between right or left-handed stick?
A2. No, your height or weight does not play a significant role in determining whether you should use a right or left-handed stick. Stick choice primarily depends on your dominant hand and personal preference.
Q3. Should I follow the dominant hand of my favorite hockey player?
A3. Following the dominant hand of your favorite player is not necessary. Stick choice is an individual preference, and it is crucial to find what works best for you and your style of play.
Q4. Can I switch from a right to left-handed stick or vice versa?
A4. Yes, it is possible to switch between right and left-handed sticks, although it may take some time to adjust to the change. If you feel like your current stick is hindering your performance, it might be worth trying the opposite hand position.
Q5. Is it common for players to use a different hand for skating and stick handling?
A5. No, it is not common for players to use a different hand for skating and stick handling. The majority of players maintain the same hand positioning for both skills to ensure better coordination and control.
Q6. Are there any advantages to using a right-handed stick as a right-handed player?
A6. Some right-handed players may prefer a right-handed stick for the following reasons: stronger bottom hand for flex, improved puck control while stick handling, and a more comfortable backhand shot.
Q7. Can I seek guidance from a coach or a professional to choose the right stick?
A7. Absolutely! Seeking guidance from a coach or a professional can be highly beneficial when choosing the right hockey stick. They can offer personalized advice based on your playing style and help you make an informed decision.
BOTTOM LINE: Choosing between a right or left-handed hockey stick depends on your dominant hand, stick handling, passing and shooting preferences, and personal comfort. Experiment with different options and seek guidance if needed to find the stick that suits you best.