Straight Shooters: Clamp-Down Cram Session
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© Joe Rogate
My name is Mason Aguilar and I am a middie. I was
wondering if you know of any ways that I could work on getting
quicker at clamping down on faceoffs, or if you can give me
any tips on what style you use for your faceoff that
allows for a quicker clamp. Also, how do I work on my own to
improve the speed of my faceoff without having to have another
person there with me?
-- Mason Aguilar, Middletown, Ohio
Quickness on the draw is mainly a function of reaction time. However, if your center of gravity is over your hands, you won’t be able to clamp as quickly and as effectively.
The test: when you’re in the set position, lift your stick and gloves off the ground. If you fall forward, too much weight is on your hands.
Second, an effective quick clamper does not use his head as a hinge; the bottom/grounded sidewall fixed to the turf as the top rail closes over the ball. In a simultaneous action, the bottom rail should slide out/back as the top rail clamps down and grabs the ball. This cannot be done if you failed the aforementioned test.
Here’s how you get better on your own:
1. Use a tape or digital recorder to record two different series of whistles. The first should have a consistent, one-second pause in between each whistle. For the second series, make a recording of varying rest-times, anywhere from two to six seconds.
2. Use the first audio as a warm-up. On the whistle, jump your head over the ball, tap the ground, and then jump back over the ball, returning to the start position. Try to get as close to the ball as possible without touching it. This exercise will help improve your hand-eye coordination. After a few dozen reps, repeat the same drill, but using the second audio. This will challenge your reaction time.
3. Using both audios, one then two, practice your clamp.
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