Often, when I meet a player for the first time, I question how he thinks he could improve his skating. Almost always the player answers “I need to lengthen my stride” and/or “I need to bend my knees more”. My response is ‘If you know that, why don’t you do that?’ The answer can’t be that simple or everyone would do it!
There are as many different skating styles as there are players. By the time a player is 15-years old, he has to be taken as he is presented. His style can’t be changed, but his skating can be made less labor intense. Some hockey players are naturally faster than others, just as some are naturally better skaters, but speed development is possible for all players.
Improving skating technique will improve your speed.
My skating program has been extremely well received everywhere I have taught it across North America. Players appreciate that I don’t believe that there is a right or wrong way to skate – all styles can work but some styles are very hard work.
Players from each of the 30 NHL teams, all 22 WHL teams, various OHL, QMJHL, NCAA, European teams and every and every Junior A league in North America have participated in my program.
Hockey is the sport with the most variables to it – defence providing offence and forwards providing defence all within a 45 second shift at a high speed. The speed of the game has increased dramatically over the past few years. Weak, or even average, skaters are becoming more rare with each passing season.
Although many players see dramatic results from this program in just 5 days, long-term improvement can only result from long-term commitment. Consider the time a player spends off-ice training to build strength and speed: No matter how great the improvement is in the gym, it will not transfer to the motion of skating without conscious effort.
You will see dramatic improvements to your skating, too.