It's Hockey Not Lacrosse:
Don't get me wrong... Lacrosse is a great
But in hockey there is no value in keeping
your stick in the air!
Have your players practice with their stick
blades on the ice. There is very little
reason during a game to have a players
stick blade anywhere but on the ice.
Once they have mastered the art of balance
and skating... Unless they are stick handling
with the puck or expecting a pass they
should skate with one hand (top hand) on
the stick (for skating both: forward and
backwards) and the stick blade on the ice.
Skating with the stick blade on the ice is
most important as they 'crash' the net
looking for a rebound or waiting for a pass.
While they wait for a pass they need to
present a target to the passer to aim at.
This target needs to be on the ice and not
being waived around in the air.