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how to practice handling at home

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There are quite a few options. If you have smooth cement surface either in the garage or a drive way, you can just get yourself a green biscuit. It's a puck designed to slide on cement. Of course you'll also need a stick that you won't mind potentially scratching up. The green biscuit will run you around $15.

Other more expensive options are shooting pads and dry land training tiles. Basically they're plastic that you can stickhandle on and shoot off of. Costco had 4'x4' shooting pads for $20 Canadian last winter. To get slightly more area from training tiles, it will run around $100. Though the tiles give you the option to expand the size of your training area if you desire.

I have a similar set up to the one on this video. The difference was I made my own DIY sliding board. 

 

 

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If you have a smooth concrete area, the green biscuit (as mentioned above), some soft sided outdoor inline skates (like the k2 and remove the rear brake) with the hardest wheels you can buy, an ABS blade on a shaft or your own stick with a hockey wraparound. Now get out there and skate and puck handle to your hearts content. Nothing else, not even remotely close, is as good as this for off ice practice. 

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If you need some basic drills, Dangle Time app for iOS is pretty good. Or if you want to invest more time, there are plenty of off-ice drills available on youtube. 

Don't feel the need to buy that specialized equipment to stickhandle around, just get whatever you have available. Scraps of wood, garbage cans, etc. The goal is just to get yourself as comfortable using and moving the stick accurately so it becomes as much a part of you as possible. Anything you can do to build that muscle memory will help.

 

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