Hockey Skating Drills
Hockey skating is the most important skill when playing at higher levels during your career. You’ll see more players miss out on higher leagues due to skating ability over any other hockey skill. It’s the one aspect that can’t be learned away from the rink and requires lots of time and effort to become excellent.
So how does a skater improve their hockey skating abilities? How do they improve their skating stride to increase power and decrease energy being used? We’ll explain a few simple drills that can help increase leg power and help conserve energy on the ice.
The first skating drill gets us back to the basics of using our edges properly. As a player it’s important not to waste energy with skating and to ensure that we’re getting the most power out of our strides. To do this the player needs to be sure to turn their skate blades outwards so they aren’t pushing back with the flat of their blade, but the inside edge of their blade.
A good drill for this is lining the player up near the boards so they’re able to grab on to the dasher. Have them drive one knee up towards the boards while their other skate remains on the ice. If they slide backwards their skate edge is not turned out enough to give them maximum power during their push. A picture below illustrates the proper technique.
Another skating drill to develop power is pushing a hockey net with resistance being added. This drill increases leg power and creates a scenario in which the player is forced to get low to the ground. You’ll want to tip the net down so the hockey player is pushing on the top of the net against the coach, who is applying pressure against the bottom of the net. The player will use their newly trained edges to push the net across the ice as fast as they can. The coach can add resistance by applying pressure against the skater depending on the skill level. Be sure the hockey player is being explosive when skating. They should be taking at least 5 hard strides before resting.
These drills are a token of Diane Ness, a skating instructor that works with NHL, College, & High School athletes. She has trained the likes of Zach Parise and other professional skaters.
The difference between a good player and great player is attention to detail. The focus required to be a great skater is very important and not easy to do. When performing hockey training drills remember that every repetition counts. If you don’t have access to ice, you can try using a slide board to help train you legs. Hockey slide boards can help a player increase their balance, leg power, and form away from the rink.
Hope these hockey drills are helpful,