This is a fantastic drill that can be performed off and on the ice (for both ice and inline hockey players) extreme and general skaters should also use this drill to improve quick starts. This drill gives the skater a chance to focus on an element of skating that would benefit anyone on the ice. Great acceleration can be difficult to develop and practice, by creating a drill that turns this task into a game, the thought of practice and “work” flys out the window.
This drill simply utilises a tennis ball for building your reaction speed and acceleration. 2 people at minimum to perform this drill. You simply have the skater stand at the boards while the other skater or coach stands around 10 feet away holds 2 tennis balls in each hand, the coach/skater (without giving an indication which ball will be the one to drop) will then drop one of the balls, the skater must react, accelerate and catch the tennis ball before it bounces a second time. This drill works on explosive starts, reaction time and quick starting ability all in one go.
Remember there are 2 main way of performing the quick starts on the ice
1. Facing forwards “V” quick start position
2. Standing to the side quick start
- Players need to stand in an athletic position.
- ready to accelerate and catch the ball before it bounces a second time.
- Remember to use both quick start methods, facing forward and also standing to the side.