On ice power skating for hockey players
Crossovers are the maneuvers used to accelerate on curves, circles and corners. They make it possible for players to weave in and out of traffic, zigzag down the ice, change direction, turn from backward to forward, and move laterally (from side to side). Powerful, fast crossovers are essential for all hockey players.
Edges - Why. Edges are the key both for traveling a curved path and for pushing against the ice. Contrary to popular belief, skates are NOT held straight up. When held straight up the skater rides on the "flat" of the blade (rides on inside and outside edges simultaneously). The flat of the blade is designed to travel a straight line on the ice. It is not designed to curve or to grip the ice. Therefore, when on the flat it is impossible to curve or to push.
Edges - How. Skates and Body Must Coordinate to Achieve Edges. Crossovers require strong, simultaneous edging on both the pushing and gliding skates. The inside skate always glides on its outside edge; the outside skate always glides on its inside edge. The skates alone cannot achieve edges. The entire body must coordinate with the skates to produce effective edges.
Forward Crossovers (Video Clip)
Practicing Properly: Motor learning is a long-term process. With this in mind, practice slowly and in segments, then slowly as a whole, then faster and faster, then at top speed, and same while controlling a puck. The ultimate goal is to skate correctly, powerfully and quickly, with or without the puck, when in game situations and under lots of pressure.
Laura Stamm © January, 2004