What are the Common Mistakes in Hockey Skating

There are many common mistakes, which can handicap even the best players. Skating is a one legged movement demanding balance by maintaining your center of gravity. The player who develops proper technique and strength, will improve their efficiency and save energy. The player whose skating is technically sound is in a position to skate fast, is hard to take out of the play, has more energy and tires less rapidly, and will have less difficulty in learning other agility moves. On the other hand, if you have just one technical imperfection you will be seriously handicapped.

What kind of skater are you?

The skater who moves their upper body up and down as they skate is what I call a “bobber”. They go low during the push with a 90° knee bend, but they bring their whole body upward during the recovery. When you look at their head it looks like their head is bobbing up and down.

The “stiff skater” is too tense. This kind of skater has not learned to relax. When a skater tightens every muscle in their body to skate they waste their energy and tire quickly. The result is strain and stress on your body, restricting movement instead of being loose and flexible.

The player who bangs their feet down into the ice is not surprisingly referred to as a “banger” skater. You should pick your feet up just high enough to bring your foot forward and then smoothly place it for the push. Push hard but lay your feet down without emphasizing banging your foot into the ice.

The “straightliner” skates with his knees pointed in, therefore keeping his feet also turned in. They look like they are skating in a straight line. The pushing foot does not grip the ice with the full use of his blade and pushes too straight back. This skating style is very unstable.

The “prancer” lifts their feet and knees too high. This action wastes energy, balance, and slows the skater down. Keep your skates as low as you can to the ice.

The “railroader” skater looks like they are skating down the track with a skate on each track. Their strides are short, taking far more steps to cover the same ground as the skater with a 90° knee bend and a full leg push. They have not learned to fully recover their pushing leg. They tire quickly and are often slow skaters.

The “pitchforker” sways from side to side and quite often with both hands on their stick. The arms and shoulders throw the weight side to side instead of the direction of their forward movement. The feet and hips are trying to move the body forward while the arms and shoulders are moving the opposite direction. Another waste of energy in skating.

The “weak muscle” skater is that skater for whom weak muscles limit proper skating techniques for optimum performance.

 The PowerSkater can help correct many faults and teach you the proper technique for optimum performance. The correct movements are with your knees bent, 45° pushes out to the side, full leg extension, a full recovery low to the ice, left arm to left leg, right arm to right leg movement with arms thrust forward in the push, back straight, shoulders slightly forward, and your chest and head up.