Now that we are at the beginning of a new season, most players will set personal goals to attain during the season. These goals might consist of scoring 20 goals or reaching 40 points.
Setting realistic goals is an excellent way to challenge yourself to remain consistent and have something to work towards. But if your goal is to go from 10 goals to 20 goals, it won’t happen without a game plan.
Two important aspects that will significantly impact your goal-scoring ability are:
- Shot volume
- Shot selection
1. Shot Volume
The first way to increase your chances of scoring goals is by increasing the number of shots you take.
Look at these stats taken from NHL.com from the 2019-2020 regular season:
|Player||Shots||Shots Per Game|
These are the most volume shooters in the NHL from the 2019-2020 regular season. The simple breakdown of how to score more goals is to shoot more pucks on the net. These stats are shots on net and don’t consider shot attempts (shots that missed the net, or shots that were blocked).
Depending on what type of player you are—sniper, playmaker, grinder, etc.—set a realistic goal for shots per game you expect to achieve. If you usually get 2 shots on net per game, a realistic goal is to try to attain 3 shots per game.
2. Shot Selection
Just because you went from averaging 2 shots last year and are aiming to get 3 shots per game this year doesn’t mean your goal total will increase automatically; you need to prioritize your shot selection and quality of shots.
Have you ever heard your coach say, ” if you want to score a goal, go to the net”? The graph below shows the percentage of goals scored in each area in the NHL from the 2016-2019 seasons:
Now, we are talking NHL caliber players, with NHL caliber shots. I think it’s safe to assume that even a higher percentage of goals are scored closer to the net in U18 and younger age groups.
With this graphic, the more shots you can take in a game from the high percentage scoring areas will translate to the greater chance you have to score. As a player, your goal is to try to shoot as much as possible from the high scoring areas.
Take this information, implement it into your game, and enjoy a breakout season.
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