Being built like Mr. Olympia may prevent your teammates from stuffing you into a locker if you miss the game-winning goal, but it won't guarantee you a wicked slap shot. Much like a softball swing, an effective slap shot relies just as much if not more on mechanics than on the size of your guns. To help you add power to your shot, we asked hockey coach Tim Coghlin, the 2011 Division III Men's Hockey Coach of the Year at St. Norbert College in Wisconsin, to tell us about exercises and drills that'll help turn you into an offensive menace.

"Strengthening muscle in the right places is a must for a strong slap shot," Coghlin says. His exercises will strengthen your legs, shoulders, arms, and most importantly, core muscles -- and then his technique suggestions will help you utilize your newfound power.

Woodchoppers are an excellent way to elevate your slap shot power because "they target the core muscles, which are vital to the transfer of power from the lower body to the upper body and into the puck," Coghlin notes. Use a medicine ball, dumbbell, or cable attachment to execute the exercise.
How to do it:
• Stand upright holding the weight above and beside your ear with both hands
• Make a swift but controlled chopping motion by moving the weight from the starting position across your body diagonally, ending near the opposite knee
• Finish the repetition by returning the weight to the starting position by reversing the motion
• Do 3 sets of 10 on each side.

"This is another efficient exercise to strengthen the core muscles responsible for providing a strong slap shot," Coghlin says. Translation: Goalies are screwed.
How to do it:
• Hold a medicine ball with both hands in front of your chest with your arms straight
• Without dropping your arms, pivot on your right foot and rotate the ball and your torso as far as you can to the left
• Reverse direction and pivot on your left foot, rotating all the way to the right. That's one repetition.
• Do 3 sets of 12.

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"Since you can get a lot more power by driving into the shot and utilizing your shoulders, it’s imperative to strengthen the rotator cuff muscles," Coghlin tells us. When doing so, don't try to go all Hulk Hogan to show off how strong you are. The rotator cuff muscles are small and can be tweaked pretty easily, so use light weight.
How to do it:
• Stand or sit on a bench or Swiss ball and hold a dumbbell or cable attachment at shoulder height with your palms facing the floor.
• Bend your elbows to 90 degrees.
• Slowly rotate your arms so they are perpendicular to floor.
• Lower the dumbbells and repeat.
• Do 3 sets of 10.

Practice makes perfect, right? So practice. Drop a bunch of pucks onto the ice and rocket them at a block you set up as a target. This will improve both your shooting accuracy and power. The farther back you drive the block with the puck, the harder your shot is.
How to do it:
• Find a block of wood that's approximately 12 inches square
• Place the block on the blue line — or at a distance you feel comfortable shooting.
• Stand about six feet back and shoot at the target.
• Try to drive the block back as far as possible with the puck
• Do this not just a few times, but a few hundred times.

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