Speed training drills are something that are often ignored during hockey practices. Skating drills will be done, but without any emphasis on speed, which will simply be left up to the players. A lot of people seem to think that speed is something only nature can produce, and if you aren’t born fast, then you’re doomed to be slow. This is completely incorrect. Here are some great tips on how to take your skating speed up a notch or two.
1) Form is everything in skating.
It’s surprising how many players have never taken a power skating course to learn correct skating form. Form is of the utmost important in skating, and very small changes to form can make huge differences in the speed a player can reach. If you’ve never taken power skating, I highly recommend it. Another great option is to find an indoor training centre in your area. Many have skate treadmills and systems to analyze your stride. If your form is poor, very small corrections could make all the difference.
2) Do what the pros do.Have you ever seen a player head down the ice on a break or chasing a puck, taking short, choppy strides all the way, almost like they’re running? What they’re actually doing is wasting energy. Once you’ve hit your current top speed, taking more quick strides won’t do anything but tire you. When the pros skate, they take a few quick strides to get up to speed, and then they switch to long, smooth strides, conserving energy and allowing them to maintain top speed.
3) Train in the gym as hard as you train on the ice.If you want to be fast on the ice, it takes more than just working on it during practice. You have to train for speed off the ice as well, whether it be in the gym or outdoors. One of the best ways to train for speed off-ice is to run intervals. Intervals will help you get faster and also improve your endurance. Always remember to time yourself so that you have a goal to beat for next time!
Following these three tips will take you a long way in developing your speed, but these are only a few of the things you can do to become a faster skater. For the best results, get a good hockey specific training manual, or consult with a coach or trainer to help develop a plan for you. Whatever you do, remember, speed is king in hockey, so don’t settle for anything less than your fastest.