I really enjoy Jeremy’s blog even though my experience and opinion with this product differs from his.
I didn’t purchase the QuickStickz system with the intention of writing a review. However, after using the product I felt it was necessary.
I was reminded earlier, by a reader of my review of the Hockey Intelligym system, that what truly matters is whether or not the program, system, or instruction works.
Does it work?
First, let’s define what “Does it work?” actually means, at least my opinion of what it means…
The bottom line for me is will this stick handling program:
- Perform as advertised and expected,
- Will it help train you to keep your head up while stick handling,
- Will it help you improve your stick handling skills (pattern memory, control, quickness), and
- Is it worth $290 the first year and $120 per year after (If you choose to remain a VIP member)?
How did it perform?
Did the Technology Perform As Expected?
Setting up the QuickStickz system appears to be straightforward. Before you purchase it though, make sure you read the manual. Tracking of the ball is accomplished through the use of infrared light. Unfortunately, natural light (light coming through windows), incandescent lighting in your home, and halogen lights can interfere with the operation of the camera. This light interference is a significant issue and causes problems when you use the system and is observed by the virtual puck moving very erratically and spontaneously while ignoring the movement of the actual ball.
Within the first 15 minutes of using the system, I admit, I was completely frustrated and felt I had just been had. I set the system up in every room of the house, and in the garage with complete darkness and still did not get good results. To be fair, I will say that the customer service person at QuickStickz responded almost immediately to my email request for assistance. He helped get the system working temporarily, but even with his help, the system sporadically goes out of whack with light interference and then…there’s the lag.
Jeremy, attributed the lag to his lightning fast hands, but believe me…I don’t have lightning fast hands. The lag is significant, unless you are able to completely disregard reality. The lag interferes with training, but I’ll get into that in the next section…
While the concept is great, the product in its current form doesn’t function as expected or in my opinion as advertised. D minus
Will it Help You Keep Your Head Up While Stick Handling?
I find that stick handling in front of a television, a computer screen, or a wall full of tools in the garage helps me keep my head up. So, yes I think using the computer and playing a game provides enough interest to keep you engaged and focused on not staring at the puck. But, that’s what makes it difficult to get too excited about this program specifically addressing the issue of “keeping yer head up while handling the puck.” You can accomplish the same objective by starring at a wall full of tools in the garage while performing the same moves. Plus, in the garage your not limited to the 15+ drills and patterns provided with this program.
So yes, QuickStickz can help you keep your head up while stick handling. But, in my opinion, not anymore than stick handling without the program in front of a television, or other object that provides some mental/visual distraction at eye level.
Will QuickStickz Help You Improve Your Stick Handling Skills (Pattern Memory, Control, and Quickness)?
What I liked most about QuickStickz was it’s ability to get you to really focus on going faster. It’s like top speed, or over speed, training for your hands. Doing the patterns, even the simple front dribble patterns, with a clock and someone keeping score really drives you to step it up a notch. In my opinion, this was the best thing about the program. At the same time, as stick handling experts like Sean Skinner say in their instruction…when you are learning, it’s not about speed. When you are learning, you need to take the time to develop the pattern memory and perfect the execution of each movement. One of the biggest challenges Lance Pitlick says is to get kids (and I think it applies to adults who are learning too) is getting them to slow down. That’s one of the reasons we purchase weighted pucks is it forces us to slow down our movements and focus in on perfecting the execution of the move and the muscle memory. Once you get the pattern, the speed comes.
The lag issue is also a significant nuisance when it comes to speed and the control aspect of the program. There are “boundaries” or limits to how far you should move the puck in the QuickStickz drills, and you’ll be what seems like two to three moves ahead of where it beeps to tell you you went past the limits.
Is it Worth the Money?
No, in my opinion it is not. For less money, you can get better instruction with a number of different programs on the market. One program I reviewed previously and continue to use just about everyday is the Sweet Hockey Online Stick Handling Program. It continues to impress and is far less expensive than QuickStickz. Unlike so many hockey training aids, the advertising for Sweet Hockey is not that great but the product is. You’ll be able to train outside on nice days, still train indoors on bad days, and be able to use different types of training pucks and balls, and be able to pay for additional ice time, coaching etc with the money saved.
Last, another big question mark with QuickStickz is their return policy. I’ve emailed the company requesting information on exactly what thier return policy is, but have not yet received a response. I’ll update this review when I hear back from QuickStickz.