Improve Your Skating

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This page is a resource for anyone who wants to learn how to skate and become a better hockey player. We also have resource pages for shooting and stickhandling. The videos and links are a collection of over 5 years of work to help anyone, anywhere learn to play hockey.

The basics

The first thing you want to learn is balance, and the hockey stance. We cover those topics in the videos below.

The Hockey Stance

Staying Low

The biggest problems with new players is they don’t bend their knees enough

Edges

Your skate blades have edges, when you skate you glide on the hollow between the edges. When you turn, accelerate, or stop you are using the edges. We explain more in this video

Balance

Balance is one of the most important things a new player can learn. Here are some drills you can do to improve your balance.

Forward Stride, Stops, Starts, and more

The forward stride

This is the first real skill you should work on. What is really important here is being comfortable on that glide leg, and balance. If you don’t have balance you wont be able to have a nice fluid stride

The Hockey Stop

This is a popular topic so I’ve included a few videos. My advice here is just keep throwing yourself into the stop. It feels unnatural and you WILL fall, get up, try again. You need to overcome that mental barrier and fear of messing up, just eat it and keep practicing.

Skating Backwards

This might be scary for some. To start just get that feeling of moving backwards, push off the boards and glide backwards a bit. Skating takes a lot of time on the ice, so get out there as much as you can

Turning

Transitioning from forwards to backwards, and backwards to forwards

Crossovers

Start your crossover standing still, then moving, then while turning.

How to stop while skating backwards

Acceleration

Acceleration is very important in hockey as you are always stopping, starting, slowing down and speeding up

More resources for improving your acceleration can be found here

Spread Eagle / Mohawk Turn / Heel to Heel

You can see Crosby use this move a number of times in this epic shift

Your Game Plan!

  1. Make sure you have some decent protective equipment, you will fall! These articles and these equipment guides should help.
  2. Get on the ice as much as you can. Public skating, stick and puck, outdoor ice, whatever, even roller blades, just practice!
  3. Look for skating lessons, you think you’re doing it right, but you probably aren’t. Power skating lessons help a lot, they will whip your butt into shape faster than you can on your own
  4. Continue to improve. I played hockey and was coached for 10+ years, but continue to improve my skating by hitting the ice with a specific set of skills to work on. You can always get better!

Want to be a better skater and player?

Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter and join our Newsletter to stay up to date on more Stickhandling training ideas. Subscribe to our Youtube Channel for new videos every week!

7 Comments
  1. Reply James April 2, 2017 at 9:28 am

    I want to improve my skating, yet I live in Florida. The nearest rink is 40 miles away. How do I improve off of the ice?

    Thanks!

  2. Reply Ted March 17, 2017 at 4:57 pm

    I don’t really see a how to drill about how to improve your skating, i.e., how to go from one level to next. It seems to me a good idea is to skate circles so fast that you slide out and down. How do you get better if you are not constantly pushing yourself to your limit and beyond? Make any sense?

  3. Reply Trevor Hayes December 6, 2016 at 9:28 pm

    Hi I’m 14 and new to skating, I used to be able to about six years ago but forgot over time. I went to an ice rink with my friend recently who is a veteran hockey player for his age (15) and he taught me how to skate but I’m slow and incompetent. I fell about three times which is way less than I expected and I think the skates were a size too big as well. Do you have any tips for a rookie like me? Thanks.

  4. Reply Xander Crane August 18, 2016 at 6:40 am

    Hi Jeremy. Up coming hockey season is coming. I’m planning on playing High school hockey (AA Midget) i look up to your videos and you. You keep me motivated, i’ve watched you since 2012. My goal is to improve my stick-handling and power skating. I’m wondering what you can do for me to complete my goal, Thank you.

  5. Reply Ben Watson November 23, 2015 at 3:30 pm

    I feel I work really hard in practices and games and I’m always back checking and forechecking as hard as I can but I still have trouble catching up to the guy and I don’t have that much speed can you make a video about excercises and skating technique to help improve my game?

  6. Reply Anthony March 31, 2015 at 5:05 pm

    Hey Jeremy, I have been playing hockey now for 4 years i believe, Anyways the only thing that is really holding me back is my skating, I have been complemented on my hands and told that i was very good with dekes, passing and shooting, i have been told that i need to improve speed because the guys in my league are much faster and i can never really catch a breakaway chance, i dont score many goals i usually finish the season with 8-10 points out of 20-25 games, can you tell me how i can improve my skating maybe exercises and techniques to go faster?
    Thank you

    ~ Anthony Mercier
    Montreal Quebec.

  7. Reply Nicholas March 22, 2015 at 3:25 pm

    My goal as a hockey is to play AAA hockey within the next year or so. I have watched many games at this level and have noticed that these kids make their decisions much quicker and are extremely explosive in their skating. I was wondering how I can improve on these areas and what else I can do to complete my goal
    Thank You

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