Speed in today's hockey is almost blinding. Players seem to move at the speed of light. When we think of skating speed, we seem to focus on straight ahead speed. But in hockey, there are numerous skating maneuvers. All have to be performed at top speed, and while controlling the puck. Forward skating, backward skating, circling and cornering, moving from side to side (lateral mobility), instantaneous stops, quick turns, explosive starts, changing gear while in motion, and of course, balance and agility.
Put together, the above maneuvers constitute complete speed. Now consider that each maneuver has numerous elements, (each of which must be performed as if second nature - without having to think about the "how's" and "why's") and you start to appreciate the complexities of hockey skating.
Skating is not a natural motion of the body! In fact, it is probably the furthest thing from natural. Very few players are able to perform all skating maneuvers perfectly; even fewer are naturally perfect skaters. Most have to be taught correct technique, and then practice over many years to perfect their technique.
Although every skating maneuver is specific in technique and differs in execution, there are several common elements that link them. Some of these common elements are listed below. You can find more detailed information in my book, Laura Stamm's Power Skating.
Laura Stamm Power Skating teaches every hockey skating move. Our philosophy is to teach each element of each move correctly. We then combine the elements and have players practice executing the total maneuver correctly, then powerfully, then explosively, and quickly. Finally we teach players to execute the maneuver correctly, powerfully, explosively, and quickly with the puck.
This building block approach is not immediately mastered. It takes a long time to learn and then takes years of practice, but it is worth the process because the end result is - Fast! Ask the pros who've gone through this process if it was worth the effort, and they’ll tell you they couldn't have made it without those years of hard work and dedication.
As I always say, "Power Skating may not be the most fun part of hockey, but it is the part of hockey that makes hockey more fun!"
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