Does hockey stick length affect performance?
How does it affect my stick?
If its too tall you may find that your smashing and wearing the heel out of your stick. TIP - If you play ball hockey you will be able to tell wear pattern pretty easily, if one part of the stick is wearing much quicker than the other, you need to adjust your stick height and lie.
What are the General Guidelines?
Jeremy Rupke of How to Hockey explain the guidelines. Standing strait up looking forward with stick in front of the body (tip of the stick’s toe on the ground) the stick should be between your chin and your nose. When on skates it should be up to around your chin.
What type of player would want to use a shorter/longer stick?
Hockey Stick“The Dangler” – Hockey players who are good at stickhandling tend to prefer shorter sticks. Using a short stick makes it a bit easier to move the puck around because the stick will be lighter (less material) and a shorter stick is easier to move around the body. Many players who are good at stickhandling tend to bring the puck in close to their body in order to protect the puck while pulling a deke. A short stick makes it easier to perform these moves.
Hockey Stick “The Grinder” - Grinders like to get in the corners, dig for pucks, and cause trouble in front of the net. With an average length stick you can still easily handle the puck, and also make poke checks, intercept
passes, and hammer off a slapshot.
Hockey Stick“The Defensemen” – It is common for defensemen to have the longest sticks on the team. A long hockey stick gives you a longer reach, which makes it easier for you to poke the puck away from attackers, intercept passes, and stop a puck before it leaves your end. Defensemen are also known to have hard slapshots, and a longer stick (with the right technique) will provide more power on the slapshots.
Disclaimer.....while the above points are common in hockey, that does not mean they are absolute truths. Some defensemen use short sticks, while some hockey players who are great with the puck use a longer stick (Marty St. Louis). These tips should help beginner players find a length to start at, but don’t be afraid to try something new!
Where does personal preference come into play?
Personal preference is super important! Make sure to ask the question does it feel good in my hands? That being said the typical guidelines are there for a reason, and unless you’re playing at an elite level it’s unlikely that you’re helping your game much by using an unusually short or long stick.
Experienced players know the exact length they like and are thrown off by change. Gretzky used a short stick....
What are common mistakes that people make with the length of their stick?
Until next time........keep your stick on the ice!