By Lisa Brown

I’m on a bit of a rant right now…

I recently watched the aa Ringette Tournament put on by Zone 5 Ringette, and there were moments when I was disappointed by what I saw.

I saw many ringette players with great talent making mistakes they could have easily avoided.

One play that really bothered me was when I watched an offensive line set up a beautiful free pass play that ended in a shot. It was perfect, except for one thing: nobody bothered to screen the goalie.My sister had the most powerful wrist shot in the world for 10 years, and even she couldn’t score off the free pass without a screen. It made me realize that the best ringette players have a powerful secret weapon: their brain!

My sister had the most powerful wrist shot in the world for 10 years, and even she couldn’t score off the free pass without a screen. It made me realize that the best ringette players have a powerful secret weapon: their brain!

Being a great ringette player isn’t just about wrist shots and skating. It’s about being smart. Playing smart is the difference between scoring and not scoring, getting burned or not, and winning and losing

The best thing any player can do to improve is watch ringette with a quiet mind–starting with National Ringette League games and continuing with your own opponents.

Let me be specific… Here are some things to watch for:

GOALIES:

Anticipate shots by learning to recognize certain parts of a player’s shot. Watch the other team’s players carefully.

  • What do their shoulders do before they shoot?
  • What do their hands do?
  • Where do they like to shoot from on the ice?
  • Where do they like to aim their shots?

A wind up for a low shot looks a lot different than a high shot (at any level). Shooters give away where they are going to shoot by their body direction and momentum.

FORWARDS:

Score more goals by analyzing the other team’s defence and goalie.

  • What kind of triangle do they play – aggressive or passive?
  • What are the goalie’s weaknesses? Five hole? Glove hand?
  • Is there a defender on the other team who gets out of position easily?

DEFENDERS:

Stonewall forwards by knowing their favorite moves, skating patterns, and shooting spots.

  • What kind of break-out does the other team use?
  • Which players crash the triangle, which players shoot from the outside?
  • How do they like to move the ring in the offensive end?

If you pay attention to these things during games, you’ll not only be smarter, you’ll be more focused… that’s a promise. 🙂

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