On Ice Power Skating
For Hockey Players!

All Sports Are The Same

Hockey, baseball, football, basketball, tennis, golf, swimming, running - What Ever - all sports are the same! What I mean by this is that all sports share the same fundamental principles of force application (power).The principles are identical! The way forces are applied are different in and specific to each sport.

The Principles:

  • When force is applied correctly, powerfully and explosively, with exact timing, the result is power. When power is combined with quickness (rapid motion) the result is speed (of the self, of the puck, of the ball or other object).
  • Most athletic motions have at least three basic components.I call them the wind-up (coil or preparation), the release (push, swing, throw, etc.), the follow through (full extension or completion).

Look at a pitcher to understand the above components.A pitcher's wind-up is a perfect example of an athlete coiling to spring. The release and follow through exemplify properly timed force application.The result is a ball that travels with lightning speed.

Skating is no different. Every push in skating requires the same components:

  1. Wind-up. This means knees bent (90 degrees), pushing edge digging strongly (45 degrees) into the ice, weight totally (100%) over the pushing leg.
  2. Release. This means the pushing leg, and body weight, drive out directly against the edge which is digging into the ice.
  3. Follow through. This means the pushing leg continues to push until that leg is locked and fully extended, finishing the push with the "toe" of the blade.The body weight shifts onto the gliding leg as the pushing leg reaches its full extension.

Skating has one more requirement which may not be necessary in other sports -leg recovery or return. This means that the pushing leg must return to a position centered under the body weight to prepare for the next push.

These four basic components must be executed correctly and timed exacly in order to generate power or speed. Because skating motions are not natural they must be learned. Too many skaters just "go out there and skate" and pick up bad habits which must then be un-learned and re-learned. Not easy.

Today's hockey is all about Speed. If young players hope to eventually compete at a high level of hockey, skating technique and power (speed) generation should be their number one priority.

by Laura Stamm,