An “Attack triangle” is a popular stickhandling training aid for hockey that simulates the position of a defender’s stick and feet. Players can perform a wide variety of drills (both on-ice and off-ice) using an attack triangle to improve their ability to control the puck in tight spaces and place it around/through a defending player. Many factory-produced attack triangles are available in stores and online, but they can also be easily produced at home with cheap and easy to come by materials. Producing them does not require any great technical expertise and can be done for much cheaper than the cost of buying a factory-produced model.
This tutorial will show you the step-by-step procedure for how to make your own attack triangle at home.
Note on conventions: When a piece of equipment is named in the instructions it will be in ALL CAPS. When a piece of raw material is mentioned it will be printed in italics.
Materials & Equipment
To build your own attack triangle at home, you will need to head to a hardware store and look in the plumbing section for the PVC pipe materials listed below. The materials required for one attack triangle cost me $12.57 at Home Depot.
In addition, you may need to pick up a Ratcheting PVC cutter in a nearby aisle (if you don’t have one already). They will have expensive ones on the shelf for professional plumbers, but you should be able to get by with one in the $15-$20 range. Mine is made by Superior Tool and cost me $18.99.
Finally, you should have a locking tape measure and a black sharpie marker lying around the house somewhere.
- 1 – Ratcheting PVC Cutter
- Remember, the PVC cutter needs to be used by an adult or used with close adult supervision. This device can be dangerous when used improperly.
- 1 – Locking Tape Measure
- 1 – Black Sharpie Marker
- 1 – Ratcheting PVC Cutter
- 4 – Straight Pieces of PVC Pipe (3/4” diameter; 2 ft. long)
- 2 – 45 Degree PVC Elbows (3/4” diameter)
- 3 – 90 Degree PVC Elbows (3/4” diameter)
- 2 – Straight PVC Pipe Couplers (1 inch diameter)
- 1 – T-Shaped PVC Elbow (3/4” diameter)
Step 1: The Stick
Start by attaching the 45 degree PVC elbows to a 2 foot length of PVC pipe. Be sure that the elbows are rotated in opposite directions. Next, use your TAPE MEASURE and SHARPIE to mark the halfway point on another 2 foot length of PVC pipe. Use the RATCHETING PVC CUTTER to cut the PVC pipe in half.
Take these 1 foot lengths of PVC pipe and attach one at each 45 degree PVC elbow. Rotate the elbows as necessary to make a shape that resembles a hockey stick and blade at each end.
Step 2: The Feet
Use your TAPE MEASURE and SHARPIE to mark the halfway point on another 2-foot length of PVC pipe. Use the RATCHETING PVC CUTTER to cut the PVC pipe in half. Take these 1-foot lengths of PVC pipe and attach one at each of the bottom openings of a T-shaped-PVC-elbow.
Next, attach a 90-degree PVC elbow to the end of each 1-foot length of PVC pipe. Then add a straight PVC pipe coupler (1 inch) to the elbows to help raise them off the ground (these couplers must be bigger than the elbows or they will not attach).
You now have a PVC hockey stick and a pair of PVC feet. Next, we’ll go over how to join them by creating the “body” portion of the attack triangle.
Step 3: The Body
This was the trickiest part when I was making these for the first time, because the upright body portion has to be a very specific length or the stick portion will not lie flat on the ground. If it is too tall, the heel of the blade will come off the ground. If it is too short, the toe of the blade will point up in the air.
We can skip any complicated calculations about how I arrived at the following number. Suffice to say, you need to cut a length of PVC that is 13.5” in length. Simply measure and cut another 2-foot length of PVC pipe using your SHARPIE, MEASURING TAPE and RATCHETING PVC CUTTER so that you end up with the 13.5” length you need. There will be another 10.5” piece of PVC left-over after you do this. You can either discard it, put it on your mantle to remind you of your great accomplishment or use it as a relay baton if your track-and-field team is on a budget.
Attach your 13.5” length of PVC to your last remaining 90-degree PVC elbow so that you have something that looks like the top half of a periscope.
Step 4: Final Assembly
You’ve done all the hard work and now you just have to put the pieces together. Attach your periscope-looking body portion to the upper opening of your t-shaped-PVC-elbow (which should already be attached to the feet). Next, attach the stick portion to the opening on the 90-degree PVC elbow at the top of your body portion. Rotate the pieces as necessary to get the feet and stick blade to lie flat.
That’s it! You are now the proud new owner of a stickhandling training aid and it only cost you about half of what it would cost to buy one at a store ($13 for materials and $20 for a piece of specialty equipment). In addition, now that you know what you’re doing and have a ratcheting PVC cutter in your possession, you can make an endless supply of training aids for yourself, your teammates and whoever else wants one.
Remember, though, it only works if you use it!
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