Will a PowerSkater replace Power Skating Clinics?

Will a PowerSkater replace power skating clinics? “Yes and No!” They can definitely complement each other. Power skating clinics focus on the same movements that are used on a PowerSkater, but on the ice. The PowerSkater allows you to practice in the comforts of your own home. The PowerSkater will improve your balance, stride length, stride power, posture, and strengthen the muscles used in skating. The lessons you learn on a PowerSkater will give you an advantage in understanding and performing the skill your Power Skating instructor is teaching you.

  

Skating is the foundation of hockey. Many books have been written on the importance of skating and proper skating technique. Some of these books are authored by power skating coaches who run successful clinics. The PowerSkater will not replace ice, but it will isolate skating mechanics and allow the player to get mind memory and muscle memory of the skating movements. What a player learns on the PowerSkater can be quickly transferred to the ice.

How can I fix a skating flaw? If a player has a skating flaw and repeats it on the ice, they will keep making the same mistake over and over again, thus never correcting their flaw. A power skating instructor and a PowerSkater can correct many flaws in a skater’s technique; however the PowerSkater will not work on edges, toe flicks, turns, and pivots. A power skating instructor is the only person who can work on such attributes on the ice.

How effective are Power Skating Clinics? The challenge of a power skating lesson is in the quality of the instructor, ratio of instructors to students, ability to get one on one, retention of what was taught weeks later, ice time, and expense. The other challenge for the instructor is in the physical attributes of the students – how old are they and are they strong enough to execute the drills. It is not uncommon for a young player (5-10 years old) to lack the physical strength to execute the instructor’s drills.

What is the most important attribute in skating – deep deep knee bends. Ideally if a skater is in full stride busting down the ice, they should make full leg extensions with a 90 degree bend in their glide leg. Achieving a deep knee bend requires tremendous strength in your quadriceps, hamstrings, knee and ankle joints. If you are a power skating instructor, how are you going to teach a deep knee bend to a young player if they cannot physically execute such a movement? The player may lack the strength to maintain a low profile or have the balance. You can talk and demonstrate all day long and they will not be able to do it?

What impact will a PowerSkater have? A PowerSkater on the other hand will isolate this movement and allow an athlete to methodically work on this movement in a controlled environment. With the use of a mirror at a safe distance in front of them, they can see the movement and over time will build up the strength to extend their leg backwards with a deep knee bend. Repetitions of the correct movement are the biggest value of using a PowerSkater. They see and hear the words of the movement and in time will get mind memory and muscle memory of the biomechanical movement.

What challenges does a Power Skating Instructor face? A power skating instructor first tries to teach the forward stride for this is the most commonly used movement by a player. Stops and starts are generally next then turns, pivots, and crossovers. The forward stride involves: a forward lean (glide leg knee 2-3” over the toe); full leg extensions; push off laterally (30-45 degrees from the hip); deep knee bends in the glide leg (90 degrees at full extension); chest up; head up and forward; arm & shoulder movement forward and back (left arm, left leg; right arm, right leg); all in a relaxed posture. The challenge is in teaching all of this in an environment of 20-30 students at one time. Depending on their age they may not fully understand what you are saying. The other challenge is that you are on ice and you are standing on a narrow blade, therefore core strength and balance are key elements to executing any movement.

What are the barriers in teaching skating? Feeling the movement and understanding the communication becomes critical to the success of the player to perform the drills made by the instructors. There is no way to slow down the process in an unstable environment, such as ice, to have the player feel and hold the movement. If you could then they would understand through muscle movement what exactly they are being taught. Fear of falling steps in and will not let the body fall and hurt themselves therefore they compensate by doing something comfortable instead. One week of classes is not long enough to retain what they are being taught.

The PowerSkater is a controlled device that will work one way and one way only. The extension of the movement is dependent on the athlete pushing to their maximum stride length. They are standing on the machine in their running shoes and they can feel every word spoken on each muscle movement. It can be done as slow and fast as they choose to make the movement. When this is transferred to the ice they quickly pick up on the lesson on requirements to proper skating. The PowerSkater does off-ice what the skating instructor wants to teach on ice – they complement each other.

What does a PowerSkater bring to the process? The PowerSkater provides the platform for feeling, seeing, and hearing the proper skating posture and technique to make forward strides, the most important movement to a player. The machine works under a load in the form of resistance bands of varying degree of loading. Many other exercises can be performed such as the push and pull of turns (crossovers and crossunders). The device allows an athlete to use their abductors and adductors under load (concentric and eccentric movements). No other device in the world can mimic the push pull of backwards skating. 

What else can a PowerSkater teach? The PowerSkater also teaches balance for each push and return is loaded forcing the athlete to control and transition from one leg to the other. Even though the player is in running shoes and on a stable footing, the loading and control of their leg movement challenges this transition thus teaching balance. 

The value in a Skating Instructor. A skating instructor on the other hand is the only person who can take an athletic player with good athleticism and good strength for their age and teach the player edges, turns, pivots, crossunders, crossovers, and toe flicks on the ice. If the player has a flaw, repeating it on the ice without specific attention to correcting it will only enhance the flaw. Depending on what the flaw is, on or off ice training may require a specific drill to correct it. If a power skating instructor uses a PowerSkater to teach and communicate skating movements, their ability to correct skating mechanics increases greatly in the process. The power skating instructor will become far more successful when they incorporate a PowerSkater in their program. Unfortunately many instructors view the device as a competitor and will even speak negatively towards the product for they are threatened by it.

Weighing the Pros and Cons. If your child (8-12 years of age) is attending a clinic with 20-30 other students with no ability for one on one attention, then we would suggest that an investment in a PowerSkater will pay for itself in a very short time. The PowerSkater requires 12 – 15 minutes of actual machine time, 3 – 4 times a week in the comfort of your own home to make a significant improvement (provided they follow the proper instructions). When your child becomes strong and solid on their feet, then a skating instructor can fine tune or teach the other skill requirements for great skating skills. 

Skating is legs, legs, legs. A strong and well conditioned lower body is the number one physical attribute to being a successful skater. The PowerSkater is used to teach skating technique, strength & conditioning and rehabilitation of the muscles used in skating. The glutes and core provide power and speed in skating. The PowerSkater is the only device on the market that fires all three gluteus muscles (maximus, minimus, and medius) at once in a skating movement. 

There are many, many great clinics. We recommend Laura Stamm, Steve Serdackny, and Robby Glantz as excellent power skating clinics to attend.