The overhead shot or aerial pass is used in hockey to cover large areas of ground without your opponents on the field blocking your passing route. This type of shot is tricky in that it needs to be performed correctly in order for it to be effective and safe. We show you how to perform the perfect overhead shot and receive your teammate’s aerial ball confidently.
PERFORMING A SUCCESSFUL OVERHEAD SHOT
- Hold the stick in the same way you would to push the ball.
- Place your left hand at the top of the stick, in an inverted “v”, and your right hand at the bottom of the grip.
- Your feet should be shoulder width apart, with your left shoulder pointing in the direction you want to flick.
- Bend your knees slightly and make sure your back is straight.
- Step in with your left foot and lean with the right.
- The ball should be positioned further from your body than when you are positioning it for a push. Position the ball to the middle of your stance, at least a stick’s reach away from your body.
- Place your weight on your back foot and place the stick behind the ball. Drop your right shoulder and open up the face of the stick by rotating it to the right with your left wrist.
- To start the shot, roll the ball forward. You should now transfer your weight to your front foot as you push the ball into the air in a straight line.
As you become better at flicking, try to keep the ball on your stick for longer so you can flick it higher. You can also control the direction of the flick by opening up the stick face to flick right, or by twisting the stick to the left to throw the ball to the left.
RECEIVING AN AERIAL BALL
- Place your hands in the basic grip.
- Keep your arms at 15-30cm in front of your body, with your elbows bent
- Keep your right foot slightly bent behind you for support.
- Your stick should be held horizontal to your shoulders. Point the bottom of the stick to the right, with the flat side facing forward and away from you.
- The ball must be received on the shaft of your stick, while it is angled forward in your hands. This position will prevent the ball from bouncing back into the air after hitting your stick – which would result in a dangerous play penalty.
- Directly after receiving the ball, angle your stick forward further to force it to the ground.
OVERHEAD SHOT TIPS
- A player can only perform an aerial shot when all other players are five metres away from the ball.
- This technique can be used to send the ball over a crowded area, or to clear the ball up the field.
- For offense players, an overhead shot can be used to send the ball to a forward for a breakaway.
- It can be used to lift the ball into the goal in the shooting area. Remember – using an aerial or overhead pass on free hits is not allowed, unless the ball has first moved one metre.
- The ball cannot be played in the air, so players must wait until it has reached the ground. If the umpire decides that the receiver has made the ball dangerous, the team will be penalised.
- Coaches – the priority should be getting the players to lift the ball. Once they are comfortable, the distance will come easier.