How To Hockey

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?

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