How To Hockey

Off Ice Speed Drills – Summer Skills Session: Episode 7

Speed kills in the new NHL. One of the (many) reasons that Connor McDavid took the NHL by storm is his blinding speed. No matter where he is on the ice, he can seemingly out skate anyone to any location. In this week’s video, I’m going to show you some drills that you can do off ice to actually improve your one ice speed. I can’t guarantee that you’ll get McDavid-like speed, but we can certainly do our best to try. This video comes to you from the LA Kings practice facility in California.

These are going to be very basic ways to improve your speed, so I’d actually suggest for you to continue your research after you’ve gotten the hang of these drills. Keep looking into ways to improve your overall on ice speed.

Cardio Isn’t The Whole Deal

Lots of people will tell you that all you need to do to improve your speed is to run, or hit the bike. Those exercises are cardiovascular, meaning they work on exerting energy over long periods of time. Those kinds of exercises are great for improving your conditioning, and making sure you can play an entire game of hockey. They are helpful, but not for building speed. Hockey shifts are different than a full 60 minute game, however. In a shift, you want to go all out for 60 seconds, and then rest, so, we want to do some exercises that reflect that desire. We’re going to try and engage the fast twitch muscles, rather than the slow twitch muscles.

3 Things to Consider While Building Speed

  1. Coordination
  2. Balance
  3. Speed

They are important, in that order. Without coordination, your body won’t be moving in one fluid motion, therefore, you’ll be losing speed, and balance. Without balance, you’ll be skating, and fall over. That’s no way to be fast. After you nail the first two, you can move onto actually building your speed. Let’s look at the drills that do just that.

  1. Sprint
    Not your average sprint; you’re going to place your foot angled, like you would in a skate, and sprint as fast as you can for 10 seconds, then, jog back to where you started. Repeat.
  2. Keeling Sprint
    Start on both your knees, jump to one knee, and go. This trains you to get speed from a deep knee-bend position, much like you would on the ice.
  3. Backwards Kneeling Sprint
    Same drill, but you start facing the other direction, spin around, and go.
  4. Falling Sprint
    Start from a standing position, feet less than shoulder width apart. Lean forward, until it feels like you’re about to fall on your face, and then sprint.
  5. Lateral Sprint
    Starting from a slightly sideways position, sprint to a marker, bend over, touch the marker, run back. Feels like a beep test.
  6. High Knee Skip
    A slow run, but with every step, you’re driving your knees into the air, and jumping.

 
You can watch me demonstrate all these drills in the video above. Once you’ve got these ones down, contact a strength coach, or a skating coach, to more completely develop your speed.

Spencer

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