New to skating or just looking to improve? These are 10 tips to review next time you lace up and hit the ice. View below for the tips and techniques to help you improve your game.
1 - Knee Bend
Always bend you knees deeply in front of your toes (90 degrees). A good knee bend will give you more powerful strides and help you attain better balance. You will also be a lot more solid on the ice. Remember that you can never have enough knee bend while skating.
2 - Head Up, Eyes Forward
Always keep your head up and eyes pointing forward. This will greatly improve your hockey skills, as you will always be aware of what is going on around you. Applying this tip will be difficult when stick handling the puck, but practice it until you are very comfortable. It will greatly improve your stick handling skills and you will be a much better player for it.
3 - Full Extension
Fully extend your leg and ankle on each stride. This will help you attain more speed and become much more explosive on the ice. Keep on reminding yourself to take long strides until it becomes automatic.
4 - Fast Leg Recovery
Develop a fast leg recovery after executing your strides. Keep in mind that the faster the leg recovery, the more speed you will gain. This is an area that is often forgotten by many skaters, keep reminding yourself to do it and gain an edge on the competition.
5 - Balance
Always have your weight directly over your skates as much as possible for stability and balance (when your knees are bent, your always sitting in the middle of your skates). Proper balance is crucial, especially when turning, stopping and during contact. Focus on your balance and you will spend a lot more time on your skates, rather than falling on the ice.
6 - Lightness on skates
Try to feel light on your skates, especially when you are gliding on the ice. You will become a much more graceful skater and use a lot less energy. The more energy you save, the less tired you will become, and the more stamina you will have in the late stages of a game.
7 - Wide Strides
Focus on having fast wide strides. When you are in motion and have already attained good speed, your strides should be a lot wider than when you take off. Again, focus on fully extending to the side, while having quick leg recovery, and you are on your way to improving your overall speed
8 - Feet hip Width Apart
Always have your skates at least hip width apart when skating (they will often be wider). Having your skates to close together will result in a loss of balance. Your skates should be in a position where you feel comfortable, and where it feels natural.
9 - Skate Maintenance
Always keep your skates properly sharpened at the level you feel the most comfortable. Get to know the person who sharpens your skate and always get them done with the same sharpness. When you know what works for you, keep your skates in that state as much as possible. This will greatly benefit your skating skills.
10 - Off Ice Training
Engage in an off-ice-training program that combines power, flexibility and endurance. A perfect skating technique without strong powerful legs will not let you attain your full potential in terms of speed and explosion. Focus on a program that will build power, endurance and flexibility.