Kelly McCrimmon’s Hockey Stick Secrets: The Importance of Flexibility

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When it comes to performance on the ice, having the right hockey stick is key. But what many don’t know is that the flexibility of the stick is just as important. The legendary Kelly McCrimmon knows this well, having been an owner in the Western Hockey League and current GM of the Las Vegas Golden Knights. I was lucky enough to experience his hockey stick secrets firsthand when I went shopping for a stick with him in Dauphin Manitoba during a youth hockey tournament. His knowledge and expertise on hockey sticks showed me how it can impact performance. In this blog post, I’ll discuss my experience with Kelly and why flexibility in a hockey stick is essential.

The Importance of Flexibility in Hockey Sticks

When it comes to hockey sticks, flexibility is a crucial factor to consider. But why is it so important?

Flexible hockey sticks can enhance a player’s performance on the ice in numerous ways. Firstly, they allow for a more accurate shot. The increased flexibility allows for the stick to bend and store more energy, resulting in a harder and faster shot. Secondly, flexibility can also provide greater control over the puck. A more flexible stick allows for a player to easily cradle and handle the puck with ease, increasing stickhandling abilities. Lastly, flexible sticks also reduce the amount of vibration that is felt in the hands, making for a more comfortable experience during play.

When it comes to selecting the correct stick, the flexibility level should match the player’s weight and strength. Generally, the rule of thumb is that the more a player weighs, the stiffer the stick should be. Conversely, lighter players will benefit from a more flexible stick. It’s important to also consider the player’s position and playing style. For example, a defenseman may benefit from a stiffer stick to aid in blocking shots, while a forward may prefer a more flexible stick to increase shot speed and accuracy.

What are the best hockey sticks? There are countless brands and models available on the market, making it difficult to determine the best one. However, many professional players and coaches suggest trying out various brands and models to determine what works best for the individual. It’s also important to consider the cost of the stick. Are hockey sticks worth the price? The answer is ultimately subjective and depends on the individual’s level of play and commitment to the sport. However, investing in a high-quality stick can certainly improve one’s performance on the ice.

The Clueless Parent Syndrome: My Experience before Meeting Kelly McCrimmon

Before my encounter with Kelly McCrimmon, hockey stick shopping was a daunting task for me and my parents. We would walk into a sporting goods store, overwhelmed by the array of options in front of us. As clueless parents, we had no idea what to look for in a hockey stick, let alone understand the importance of flexibility. Believe it or not, my first ever hockey stick was a straight-handed stick.

We would often rely on recommendations from friends or teammates, leading us to buy sticks that were not suitable for our playing style. The lack of knowledge resulted in frustration on the ice, as we struggled to control the puck and generate power in our shots.

Our ignorance was not entirely our fault. The world of hockey sticks is complex and constantly evolving. There are countless brands, models, and variations available, each claiming to be the best. With a limited budget, it was difficult for us to justify spending a significant amount on a single stick. Are hockey sticks worth the price? We had no clue.

The lack of understanding around stick flex was another major obstacle. We mistakenly believed that a stiff stick would be more durable and powerful. Little did we know that flexibility is crucial for performance, allowing players to generate more power, accuracy, and control in their shots. We were completely unaware of the impact a stick’s flex can have on our game.

The Clueless Parent Syndrome was a recurring issue not just for my parents and me, but for many others in the hockey community. It highlighted the need for education and guidance when it comes to selecting the correct stick. Thankfully, my encounter with Kelly McCrimmon opened my eyes to the importance of flexibility and sparked my interest in understanding the intricacies of hockey sticks.

In the following sections, I will share the invaluable lessons I learned from that memorable shopping trip and delve deeper into the benefits of flexible hockey sticks. Join me as we explore the world of stick flex and discover how it can elevate your game to new heights.

A Memorable Shopping Trip with Kelly McCrimmon

I’ll never forget my first hockey stick shopping experience with former WHL owner Kelly McCrimmon. At that time, I had been playing hockey for a few years, and I knew that my stick was an essential tool that could either enhance or hinder my performance on the ice. However, my parents, who had never played hockey before, had a clueless approach when it came to buying hockey sticks.

Luckily, Kelly McCrimmon was more than happy to take me under his wing and guide me through the process of choosing the right stick. As we entered the store, Kelly immediately went to the stick rack and started flexing sticks with different curves and lengths. I watched in awe as he put so much flex on the stick that I thought it was going to snap in half right there in the store.

Kelly explained to me the importance of flexibility in hockey sticks, how to select the correct stick and the benefits of using a stick with the appropriate level of flex. He showed me how a stick with too much or too little flexibility can impact my shot accuracy, speed, and overall performance.

We spent what felt like hours in that store, testing different sticks, finding the right curve, and discussing the various options. Kelly made sure that I was comfortable with my choice, and he even encouraged me to push the limits and test the stick’s maximum flexibility without fear of breaking it.

Thanks to Kelly, I was able to find the perfect stick that helped me excel on the ice. My first ever time touching the puck with that stick, was a one-timer shot that ended up in the back of the net. I remember this vividly as I smiled and pointed to Kelly in the stands with pure joy. I learned that the right hockey stick is worth the price and can make all the difference in a player’s performance. It’s all about finding the balance between the correct flexibility, curve, and length to match your playing style.

Overall, that shopping trip with Kelly was not only memorable but also transformative for my hockey game. Thanks to his expertise, I gained the knowledge and confidence needed to select the best hockey sticks for my needs and abilities.

Exploring the Benefits of Flexible Hockey Sticks

Hockey sticks flexibility can make all the difference in your performance on the ice. But what are the best hockey sticks for flex? And how do you select the correct stick for your playing style?

First, let’s talk about the benefits of flexible hockey sticks. A flexible stick can help players generate more power and speed in their shots, as it allows for a longer and smoother release. Additionally, a flexible stick can improve accuracy, as it can better accommodate the player’s hand positioning and shooting style.

But not all flexible hockey sticks are created equal. It’s important to choose a stick with the appropriate level of flex for your body weight, strength, and playing style. A stick with too little flex can feel stiff and unresponsive, while a stick with too much flex can be difficult to control and can lead to fatigue and injury.

To find the right level of flexibility, consider your body weight and strength. A lighter player may benefit from a stick with a lower flex rating, while a stronger player may need a stiffer stick. Additionally, think about your playing style. If you take a lot of wrist shots, you may want a stick with a lower flex rating to help with quick release. If you take more slap shots, a stiffer stick may be better to help with power and accuracy.

When selecting a stick, don’t be afraid to test it out in the store. Give it a few flexes to get a feel for how it responds. And remember, a stick with more flex may take some getting used to, so don’t give up on it right away.

In summary, flexible hockey sticks can improve power, speed, and accuracy in your shots, but it’s important to choose the right level of flexibility for your body weight, strength, and playing style. Don’t be afraid to test out different sticks in the store to find the perfect fit.

How Flexibility Can Enhance Performance on the Ice

When it comes to hockey sticks, flexibility is a crucial factor that can greatly enhance your performance on the ice. The right amount of flex can have a significant impact on your shot power, accuracy, and overall puck control. But why is flexibility so important and how does it affect your game?

One of the main benefits of a flexible hockey stick is its ability to store and release energy. When you take a shot, the stick bends and stores energy during the loading phase. This energy is then released when the stick snaps back into its original position, propelling the puck forward with greater force. This extra power can make a huge difference in the speed and velocity of your shots, giving you an advantage over your opponents.

Furthermore, a flexible stick can also improve your puck feel and control. The increased flex allows the stick to better absorb vibrations from the puck, resulting in a softer feel in your hands. This improved feedback can help you maintain better control over the puck, allowing for quicker and more precise stickhandling maneuvers.

When selecting a hockey stick, it is important to consider your playing style and preferences. Players who rely more on finesse and accuracy may prefer a stick with a lower flex, as it allows for more precise control over the puck. On the other hand, players who rely on powerful shots may benefit from a stick with a higher flex, as it provides more power and speed.

So, how do you select the correct stick flexibility for your needs? It ultimately comes down to personal preference and experimentation. It is important to test out different flex levels and find the one that feels most comfortable and effective for your style of play. This may involve trying out different sticks and consulting with knowledgeable hockey professionals.

Choosing the Right Flexibility Level for Your Playing Style

When it comes to selecting the best hockey sticks, flexibility plays a crucial role in determining performance on the ice. However, finding the right level of flexibility can be a daunting task, especially for novice players. In this section, we’ll discuss how to select the correct stick based on your playing style.

Firstly, it’s essential to understand that the flexibility of a hockey stick is measured by its “flex rating.” Flex rating indicates how much force is required to bend the stick one inch, usually tested by placing a weight on the blade of the stick. A lower flex rating means that less force is required to bend the stick, resulting in a more flexible stick.

When choosing the right flex rating for your playing style, consider factors such as your weight, strength, and position on the ice. Generally, forwards and players who take a lot of wrist shots and snap shots prefer sticks with lower flex ratings, while defensemen and players who take more slap shots opt for higher flex ratings.

Another aspect to consider is the player’s experience level. Newer players or those with less upper body strength may benefit from a more flexible stick, as it can help generate more power and accuracy with their shots. On the other hand, experienced players with developed skills may prefer a stiffer stick for greater control and precision.

Finally, don’t be afraid to experiment with different flex ratings in the store. Most retailers allow players to test the stick’s flexibility before purchasing, and this can help you get a feel for what works best for you.

Tips for Testing and Assessing Stick Flexibility in the Store

When it comes to buying a hockey stick, testing and assessing its flexibility in the store is crucial to finding the perfect fit for your playing style. Here are some tips to help you make an informed decision:

1. Look for the Flex Rating: Most hockey sticks come with a flex rating number, usually ranging from 30 to 120. This number indicates how much force in pounds is required to bend the stick one inch. Generally, forwards and players who take more shots prefer sticks with a lower flex rating, while defensemen and players who rely on slap shots may opt for higher flex ratings. Consider your position and style of play when selecting the correct stick.

2. Assess Your Strength: Your own strength will also play a role in determining the ideal stick flex for you. If you’re a beginner or not particularly strong, you may benefit from a stick with a lower flex rating, as it will provide more power to your shots. On the other hand, if you have strong wrists and arms, a higher flex rating may be suitable for you.

3. Feel the Kick Point: The kick point on a hockey stick is where it bends when you shoot or pass the puck. It can greatly affect the stick’s performance and your shot accuracy. For players who take quick snapshots, a low kick point will offer a quick release. Players who prefer slap shots or longer wind-ups may benefit from a higher kick point. Experiment with different kick points to see which feels the most comfortable for you.

4. Test the Flex in-store: Take the stick and press it against the ground, applying pressure with your weight. Observe how much the stick flexes and how quickly it returns to its original position. This will give you an idea of the stick’s responsiveness and whether it suits your needs.

Remember, finding the right stick is a personal preference, and what works for one player may not work for another. It’s always a good idea to try out different sticks and get a feel for them before making a final decision. So don’t be afraid to spend some time in the store testing and assessing stick flexibility – it can make a significant difference in your on-ice performance.

Don’t Be Afraid to Push the Limits: Avoiding the Fear of Breaking Sticks

Some players may be hesitant to push the limits of their stick’s flexibility, fearing that it will break during a game.

While this fear is understandable, it is important to remember that high-quality hockey sticks are designed to withstand the demands of the sport. In fact, many professional players intentionally push the limits of their stick’s flexibility in order to maximize their performance on the ice.

So how can you avoid the fear of breaking your stick while still pushing its limits? One option is to gradually increase the amount of flex in your stick over time. Start with a slightly more flexible stick than what you’re used to, and work your way up to a higher flex rating as you become more comfortable.

Another option is to test your stick’s limits during practice or non-competitive games, rather than risking a break during a high-stakes match. By slowly increasing the amount of pressure you put on the stick during these lower-stakes situations, you can build confidence in its ability to withstand the demands of competitive play.

Of course, it’s important to remember that there are limits to every stick’s flexibility. If you find yourself consistently breaking sticks, it may be time to reassess your playing style or consider switching to a different type of stick.

In summary, don’t be afraid to push the limits of your hockey stick’s flexibility, but do so in a safe and gradual manner. With the right approach, you can maximize your on-ice performance without sacrificing the durability of your equipment.

Finding the Balance: Other Factors to Consider when Buying a Hockey Stick

While flexibility is a key factor to consider when purchasing a hockey stick, there are other factors to consider in order to find the right balance for your game. Here are some tips on how to select the correct stick for your playing style:

1. Length – The length of the stick can greatly impact your ability to handle the puck and take shots. A stick that is too short can cause you to hunch over and limit your reach, while a stick that is too long can be difficult to control. When standing upright with your skates on, the stick should come up to your nose or chin.

2. Curve – The curve of the blade can also affect your stickhandling and shooting abilities. A more curved blade is ideal for stickhandling and deking, while a flatter blade is better for shooting. Experiment with different curves to find the one that works best for you.

3. Weight – A lighter stick can improve your stickhandling and wrist shots, but a heavier stick can provide more power for slap shots. Consider your strength and the position you play when selecting a stick weight.

4. Grip – Many sticks now come with a textured grip or coating to improve control. However, some players prefer the feel of a smooth stick. Try out different types of grip to see what works best for you.

5. Price – Higher-end sticks can be quite expensive, but they often provide better performance and durability. Consider your budget and playing level when selecting a stick.

By taking all of these factors into account, you can find a stick that is flexible enough to suit your needs while also providing the other qualities necessary for your playing style. Don’t be afraid to try out different sticks and experiment to find the perfect balance.

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