If you want to learn how to take a snapshot like the best in the game keep reading!
Quest Hockey co-founder and coach Matt Schwartz (who is also one of the Godfathers of the HPC) shares with us a list of tips and drills on how to take a snapshot like an NHL sharpshooter.
The snapshot has quickly become one of the most popular shots in the NHL where elite players are able to load and release their snapshots incredibly quick to elude shot-blocking defenders and the game’s best goaltenders.
Tips on how to take a snapshot
Compared to a wrist shot where the puck is in contact with the blade of your stick the entire shot, almost pushing or shoveling the puck at the net, a snapshot strikes the puck while the shaft and blade are already flexed.
But before we jump too far ahead, let’s breakdown the tips of how to take a snapshot.
Your top hand should be up and off your body, serving as an anchor for your bottom hand to flex your stick.
Your bottom hand should be gripping your stick and actively creating tension and downward pressure into the playing surface to flex the shaft of your stick, storing potential energy.
A true pro tip brought to our attention by NHL veteran Brian Rolston (owner of Rolston Hockey Academy), is flexing your blade for an added snap behind your shot.
The puck should be positioned in the middle of your blade as you initiate a snapshot and proceed to roll and ultimately snap off the toe of your blade as you follow through.
The follow-through of your snapshot should be relatively compact compared to the follow-through of your slapshot and wrist shot, where most of their power is generated via weight transfer and their follow-through, snapshots generate a vast majority of their power from the potential energy stored and released by the flexed shaft and blade of your stick.
The short and quick load up and follow-through of the snapshot is why it’s so effective as shooters often have limited time and space.
Get your head up, pick a target, and shoot with purpose! The best shooters in the game rarely throw the puck on net haphazardly, rather they aim and accurately place their shots.
Drills to improve your snapshot
- Stationary shooting. Focus on flexing the shaft and blade of your stick and finishing with a compact purposeful follow-through.
- Shoot around a defender. This is a great drill to work on finding a shooting lane, using the defender as a screen, and changing the angle of the shot. With the puck away from your body, work on pulling the puck towards your body, around a bucket or any stationary object pretending to be a defender, and snapping the puck on net.
- Practice shooting the puck from different positions around your body. In a game, you don’t always have the time and space to optimize your body positioning, requiring you to shoot in awkward positions. Coach Matt demonstrates shooting with his hips open to the net and his hips twisted away from the net.
Develop a quick and accurate snapshot in all situations by practicing while skating (or running if you play dek/ball hockey) and changing the angle of where you release the puck from.
If you want to keep working on your shooting, check out our:
How to Take a Wrist Shot – Tips and Drills for a Deadly Wrist Shot
How to Take a Slapshot – Tips and Drills for a Cannon Slapshot
Tips & Drills to Shooting In Your Stride like Phil Kessel to Score More Goals
If you enjoyed this video on how to take snapshots and would like to see more training videos and other great hockey content, please check out and subscribe to the Hockey Players Club YouTube channel.
Check out the HPC X1X hockey stick, used by coach Matt in the video.