If you play hockey, there’s a good chance that you’re always looking for ways to improve your skills. Beginners, pros, and everyone in between has room for improvement, which means that finding new and exciting ways to hone your skills is essential. Especially considering your opponents are very unlikely to be spending a lot of their time slacking off. One great way to improve some of the most important skills you use in hockey is by using a hockey rebounder. But what exactly is that and how can it improve your game?
These rebounders go by many names. The one we already mentioned, hockey passer, and puck rebounder are all what this tool is commonly referred to as. If you’re looking for a way to add a little something to your training, look no further than a good hockey passer. You’ll be able to develop skills that will make you even more dangerous on the ice, and that could very well result in your team bringing home more victories than you had in the last season. Your teammates and coach will thank you for using this piece of training equipment for years to come.
Puck Rebounders: A Brief Explanation
There are a lot of different things that you can get to help you with your hockey training. Hockey flooring that is designed to emulate the feeling of hitting a puck on the ice, synthetic ice that you can actually practice your footwork on, pucks that are meant to be used on the sidewalk, stick weights to help you build up some strength. The list goes on and on, meaning that you have no shortage of options when it comes to training. There are even machines that shoot pucks to help goalies train without needing outside assistance.
Puck rebounders are more than a little different than everything that we’ve just listed but can be used in tandem with most of them. These tools are small triangles that are made up of steel and rubber, and they emulate the experience of passing the puck to another player while also allowing you to get practice with responding to being passed the puck. It provides a good level of challenge because it’s relatively small, but most of the time they’re built in such a way that they won’t even move if they’re put on the ice.
Because it’s triangular, up to three people can train on a single hockey passer at once, meaning that it can be great for group training sessions. It can be especially effective in the warmer months when combined with an all-terrain puck or even with stickhandling balls, but be warned that stickhandling balls provide even more of a challenge. People of all skill levels use these so they can be sure that they’re as proficient as possible at both passing the puck and receiving passes. Many people that use a puck rebounder even go so far as to say that they’re a lot of fun to use.
How Hockey Passers Help You
Many astute hockey players do enjoy investing in any training equipment they have the means to but they also always want to be absolutely sure they know exactly what kind of benefits said piece of equipment provides for them. It only makes sense, these things cost money, sometimes a lot of money, and money doesn’t grow on trees. Fortunately, there are a lot of ways that a puck rebounder can help you improve your game and there are even a number of drills that can be performed using this piece of equipment.
The biggest thing that these hockey passers help with is your passing skills. When you use this piece of equipment, you’re simulating what it’s like to pass the puck back and forth with another player. Of course, passing to another player is a little different because in real games both of you are typically moving around rather than just one of you, but it helps you cement down the basics to the point that you don’t really have to think about what you’re doing in the heat of the moment. That kind of muscle memory is critical for any hockey game.
Puck rebounders also help quite a bit with accuracy quite a lot. They’re typically very small, meaning that you have to be incredibly precise if you want to land the hit without missing it entirely. Because they’re designed not to move on the ice, you can easily practice without moving and slowly move to more and more movement. If you have a training buddy, you could even have them pick it up and move it so you can learn to stay on your toes and be better about assessing your environment before passing the puck.
Why Not Just Use a Wall?
Some people may look over how a puck rebounder helps you and wonder why you wouldn’t just use a wall for that kind of training. After all, you don’t need to pay anything to hit a puck against a wall for a few hours and call it good enough. You could even set up markers to mark exactly where on the wall you’re allowed to hit and simply train like that. You could even make sure that you have multiple places on the wall you’re allowed to hit so you can be sure that you’re constantly switching things up.
Which, if you were thinking that, that is a great idea in a pinch. If you don’t have the money for a puck rebounder and still want to get the same kind of training, using a wall to help you can work. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to expect the same level of training from using a wall as you would using a puck rebounder unless you’ve gone through great lengths that would probably end up costing a lot more than just purchasing the tool. The key difference here is the quality of training that you can expect.
Puck rebounders are made out of steel and rubber. That rubber makes it a lot easier for the puck rebounder to bounce the puck back to you. Walls are usually made of harder materials that don’t provide the same level of bounce, meaning that you won’t get the same experience of having a puck passed back to you. Considering that’s one of the biggest things that a hockey passer helps with, that’s a huge disadvantage for just using a wall. With that lessened quality of training, you wouldn’t be able to expect your skills to improve as quickly by using that method.
Then there’s the accuracy training. Puck rebounders are small, which means that you absolutely have to be accurate unless you want the puck to careen far off course and somewhere you didn’t want it to go. Walls are comparatively much larger objects than hockey passers, meaning that you need much more accuracy to hit them. Even if you do mark out specific spots that you can hit, the consequences of missing aren’t anywhere near as great. If you miss the mark you set up on the wall, you still hit the wall. It doesn’t quite connect in your brain the same way as watching the puck fly off.
It’s also not as easy to train for the unexpected by using a wall unless you’ve spent a great deal of money to get it set up to keep you on your toes. If training with a puck passer becomes too mundane, you can just have a friend move it for you while you’re skating around. That ensures that you’ll have to stay on your toes without much effort from anyone involved. Even having multiple targets set up on the wall isn’t quite as effective for that kind of training because you know where all of the targets are before you even get started.
Now, with all of that in mind, using a wall can be good in a pinch. You can get some of the same soft skills using that method that you do as using a puck rebounder, even if the training isn’t quite as high in quality. It’s still worth doing if you feel you need practice with this kind of thing but a hockey passer is unobtainable to you, but if you can get a puck rebounder it would be a worthwhile investment to help you step up your game.
Improve Your Hockey Skills
There is not a single hockey player that isn’t looking to improve their skills. Hockey is a game that even the tiniest advantage can have big results. Winning by a single point is still winning, even if your team just won by the skin of its teeth. Implementing tools to help you make the basics into muscle memory will help you become a better and more well-rounded hockey player, which means that your opposing team is more likely to fear and respect you. Even if you’re 0.05% better than the other team, that can result in incredible game-winning plays.