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Thinking about learning hockey? Here are a few of the fundamental skills that I recommend learning fairly well before trying to join a rec hockey team. Hockey is an incredibly dynamic sport that requires players to be able to more around in different directions suddenly and confidently.

Forward Stride

The forward stride is how hockey players move forward on the ice. This is one of the most important and first fundamental skills you should learn. You can generate a lot of power and speed using the forward stride technique, it’s why all hockey players are taught this from the beginning.

This skill involves:

  • Being in an athletic stance
  • Knees bent
  • Chest up
  • Using your inside edge to push to the side (Not backwards)
  • Toe of the blade should be the last part of the skate to leave the ice
  • Recover your extended leg in the same direction you pushed it out

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Remember that the quickest route between to places is a straight line, keep this in mind while skating. Don’t allow your legs to take long unnecessary extensions.

Video tutorial

[embedyt]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zAi5p3_gvZU[/embedyt]

Forward Crossover 

For power turning to quick starts, all of these skills use crossovers in some way, so its an important skill to learn and develop properly. although some may think that crossovers are a basic skill, it is still important to learn how to perform them correctly as they are so widely used on the ice.

Crossing over allows you to build up an incredible amount of speed while turning, its an effective skill to use in many aspects of hockey and leisure skating.

Main points to keep in mind

  • Head up looking where you are going, shoulders square to the ice not dipped. (stick leads if with stick)
  • Hips turn with your body to give you the  leverage to lift one skate over the next, if your hips don’t turn you wont be able to crossover.
  • Do not allow your shoulders to dip, keep shoulders parallel to the ice
  • When lifting your skate up to crossover, your skates blade needs to be the last part of the blade to come off the ice (flick motion described in video tutorial above)
  • When you perform a crossover, the front portion of the blade needs to be the first part of the skates blade to contact the ice.
  • Remember to maintain the same level while skating and crossing over.

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Video tutorial

[youtube height=338 width=600]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TeeCpzXOIJU[/youtube]

Backwards Skating & Crossovers

Regardless of what position you want to play, all hockey players at some point need to skate backwards. This is another key skill to learn. There are a few different techniques that are useful in different scenarios on the ice, its worthwhile learning all of them.

C-Cut

[youtube height=338 width=600]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hDD20XGrKik[/youtube]

Backwards Crossovers

[youtube height=338 width=600]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CXK4inLOSlU[/youtube]

Backwards Crossover Drill

[youtube height=338 width=600]http://youtu.be/qOmJpayKX0M[/youtube]

Tight Hockey Turns 

Tight turns or Hockey turns are an essential skill to develop on the ice, they allow the player to quickly change direction while still maintaining full control over the puck. There are numerous situations where a player will benefit from being able to quickly change direction, either to avoid obstacles or even shake off the opposition. Practising and eventually mastering this skill will add a totally new diminution to your game.

Tight turn

[youtube height=338 width=600]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EPMy4aKf6Tk[/youtube]

Tight Turn with stick and puck

[youtube height=338 width=600]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pFJOyT4HSRA[/youtube]

Hockey Stop

Hockey stopping is an essential skill, hockey is a very fast and powerful sport so being able to stop is a must! Here are a few different videos tutorials on hockey stopping.

How to hockey stop

[youtube height=338 width=600]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aac7_MpvUTU[/youtube]

[youtube height=338 width=600]http://youtu.be/jeHs4Wst9Fs[/youtube]

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