Fake-Out Moves: 5 Ways to Overpower the Defense

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Whether you’re just starting out or a seasoned veteran, using deceptive fake-out moves can be a game changer

By David Franco

Finding ways to outsmart your opponents and overcome the defense is crucial to becoming a formidable hockey player. Whether you are just starting out or a seasoned veteran, the ability to execute deceptive fake-out moves can be a game changer.

This article explores five fake-out moves that hockey players can use to overpower the defense, including the ever-elusive deke.

The Art of the Deke

The deke, short for “decoy,” is a classic and essential fake-out move in a hockey player’s arsenal. It’s a skill that combines finesse and deception to leave the opposition guessing. The key to a successful deke is making your opponent believe you are going one way while actually going the other.

One of the most effective dekes is the “forehand-backhand” technique. As you approach the defense, quickly shift the puck to your backhand, tricking the defender into thinking you will go wide. Then, with a swift movement, transfer the puck back to your forehand and glide past them. This move can leave the defense flat-footed and provide an excellent opportunity to take a shot on goal.

The Toe Drag Fake-Out Move

The toe drag is a flashy move that requires precise stickhandling skills and quick wrist action. It is a terrific way to bypass defenders who are trying to poke check or block your path. To perform a toe drag, extend your reach to keep the puck away from the defender and then quickly pull it back towards your body using the toe of your stick. 

This sudden movement can leave the defender off balance, allowing you to glide past them and into the offensive zone. 

The Spin-O-Rama

The spin-o-rama is one of the fake-out moves that was made famous by legends like Bobby Orr and Denis Savard, two legendary pro hockey players who turned the NHL odds in their favor. It involves a full 360-degree spin while maintaining control of the puck. To execute the spin-o-rama, skate toward the defender, start the spin and protect the puck with your body while maintaining control. This move can confuse the defense and create an opening for a pass or shot.

While the spin-o-rama is a thrilling move, use it sparingly as it can be risky if not executed perfectly. However, when done correctly it can leave the defense and even the goaltender in awe of your skill.

The Fake Shot

The fake shot is all about deception. It involves pretending to take a shot to draw out the goalie or defense before making a different play. As you approach the net, wind up as if you are going to release a powerful shot. This will cause the goalie to react, potentially opening up an opportunity to pass the puck to a teammate or skate around the goalie for an open net.

The key to a successful fake shot is selling it convincingly. Lower your body, flex your stick and look directly at the net. Make the defender and goalie believe you’re about to unleash a rocket, only to surprise them with a different move. This element of surprise can profoundly influence a game’s outcome.

The Change of Pace

Sometimes, the most effective way to overpower the defense is not with flashy moves but by changing your pace. Hockey is a game of speed, and shifting gears can catch defenders off guard. By using this tactical approach, you can dictate the game’s flow and leave your opponents thrown out of whack.

Start by accelerating rapidly as you approach the defense, making them believe you are charging full speed ahead. Then, just as they brace for impact or prepare to challenge your attack, suddenly decelerate or come to a complete stop. 

This abrupt change in speed can cause the defender to overshoot their coverage, leaving them stranded and creating a golden opportunity for you to smoothly move around them and advance toward the net. These subtle shifts in speed and strategy can be the difference makers in outwitting the defense and affecting the game.

Conclusion

Mastering the art of overpowering the defense is key for success on the ice. While these five fake-out moves can be powerful weapons in your skill set, remember that timing, practice and precision are vital to executing them effectively. The elements of surprise and unpredictability are your allies, so use these techniques wisely to keep the defense guessing.

As you continue to refine your skills, don’t forget it’s the human touch that makes hockey such a captivating sport. Remember that the game is more than outsmarting your opponents: it’s about the joy of sharing the ice with your teammates; the thrill of scoring a goal; and the relationships you form for a lifetime.

Hockey is more than just a game; it’s a passion that brings people together, and these moves are just a small part of the beauty and excitement that the sport has to offer.

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