Another balmy summer day in suburban “Ringetteville.” But, the rink was cool and refreshing.
Ringette players were skating the traditional oval pattern around the ice.
Some players skated with two hands on the stick; others with one.
Some players grasped their stick in one hand, yet in the middle of the shaft.
One player used the stick to keep her balance – the end of the stick was in constant contact with the ice.
On tight turns around the poor old pylon, one ringette skater held her stick in the palm of her hand – as one would hold an apple.
Should you hold a ringette stick like you would an apple?
Why do we see so many different ways of holding a stick?
This may be one of those teaching things coaches thought was taught in “Bunnies School.”
Guidance for Ringette Coaches:
- Teach players how to hold a ringette stick;
- Watch their grip behaviour and make corrections early in the season;
- Use two hands when carrying the ring or checking;
- Use one hand when skating without the ring, in pursuit of another player, permitting faster skating and fuller leg extension;
- For a left-handed shooter:
- place the right hand over the end of the shaft, with the palm facing down;
- place the right hand down the middle of the shaft, palm facing up;
- the distance between the hands should be one forearm length;
- Put some non-slippery tape around the end of the stick to improve grip;
- Players can work in pairs and try to pull the stick out the hands of their partners – this will improve the focus on holding on to the stick and develop grip strength;
- Get a stick with ridges on the bottom tip (I like Ring Jet) which helps to raise the ring while shooting;
- Shorten the stick from the legal limit (at the armpits) – to the base of the sternum;
- Avoid putting the hands too close together on the stick – makes it easy for checkers to stick check the ring carrier;
- Try a home made wrist roller with rope and weight to increase forearm strength and mental focus on grip technique;