In some places across the country, playing hockey is a rite of passage.
Kids start as early as five years old with a stick and ball in the driveway.
Then, it moves onto the ice.
Learning hockey is not limited to preschoolers.
Teens and adults also try hockey as a new sport or hobby.
Practice Your Hockey Skating Drills At Home With POLYGLIDE SYNTHETIC ICE
Beginners can struggle with hockey as it combines ice skating, stickhandling, passing, shooting, and agility.
The foundation of your hockey abilities lies in ensuring you can learn the basics.
How do you do that?
With some hockey skating drills for beginners.
Here are some exercises and tips designed to enhance your skills (or your little one's skills) and pave the way for success on the ice.
Practice Forward and Backward Skating
Hockey skating drills should start with the basics, such as mastering forward skating with a stick in your hand.
Practice gliding in a straight line, pushing off with one foot, then gradually building speed.
Reverse the process by going backward, pushing off with one foot.
Over time, you can increase your strides and speed or focus on quick starts to improve agility while transition in both directions.
Add forward and backward turns, especially through tight spaces.
Get into Crossover Training
Crossovers use the edges of skates for quick navigation on curves and corners.
It's also essential for changes of direction and lateral movement.
As the name implies, crossovers involve pushing off with one leg, crossing the other leg over, and then using the outside edge of the back leg to generate more speed.
You can do forward and backward crossovers.
Start with wide crossovers, gradually making them tighter as skills improve.
You can also line up cones to perform forward and backward crossovers in a smaller space.
Figure Eight Edgework Drills
A figure eight routine helps with speed, agility, and close control.
Start by setting up some cones in the shape of an 8.
Practice skating around the cones with a focus on using the inside and outside edges of the skates.
Place the cones wide apart to give beginners enough space to complete the drill.
Over time, bring the cones closer to help with agility and close control in tight spaces.
Turning and Stopping Drills
Turning and stopping are essential parts of hockey, especially for beginners.
Turning requires effective use of the outside and inside edges.
Set up hockey skating drills with cones that require you to quickly turn on the inside or outside of the cones.
You can set the cones up in different shapes, covering the entire length of the rink.
Hockey players must also quickly stop to intercept a puck or change direction if the play moves from offense to defense.
The hockey stop and snowplow stop are the primary stopping techniques beginners will use in games.
Practice these by sprinting towards a marker (like a cone) and then stopping without touching or passing the marker.
You can also practice skating a short distance, stopping on one foot, then turning and skating quickly back to the starting point.
Superman Ice Skating Drills
Falling is an inevitable part of hockey.
In comparison, you'll learn to get up from falls when ice skating.
Hockey players need to get up faster to get back in the game.
Practice your recovery with a Superman drill.
This hockey skating drill starts with the player flat on the ice in a Superman pose.
Get up as quickly as possible and skate to the other end of the rink.
Repeat the drill as many times as advised by your coach.
The Power of Obstacle Courses
You'll need to navigate sticks and avoid other players while on the ice, and an obstacle course is one of the best hockey skating drills to achieve this skill.
Set up a course using pucks, cones, and sticks.
Begin slowly, navigating the course without touching any of the obstacles.
You can even set sticks up to encourage jumping over them.
You can also time the obstacle course to improve your speed.
Skating backward is an essential hockey skill.
The puck and play move quickly and in different directions.
The ability to smoothly transition backward and turn to sprint back into position can give you a competitive advantage.
Set up 3-4 rows of cones.
Start from one side and practice forward and backward skating or transitions along each row of cones.
You can combine crossovers with this drill to increase the difficulty.
Some of the best hockey players are fast on the ice.
It's all about getting up and down the ice as quickly as possible.
Set cones or markers at various distances.
Skate as quickly as possible to one marker, then return to the start.
Quickly restart, skating to the second marker, then back to the starting point.
Repeat the drill until you've touched all the markers.
This is one of the best hockey skating drills to improve endurance, speed, and acceleration.
Tips To Perfect Your Hockey Skating Drills
Along with shooting and puck control, hockey skating drills are an important part of development tha will improve your speed, strength, and agility.
Here are some additional tips to help you get the best out of your drills:
- Keep a low center of gravity by bending your knees and engaging your core. It helps with stability, power, balance, and coordination.
- Get your ice skates sharpened for the best performance on the ice.
- Combine your drills with shooting or puck handling, which will help you with concentration, agility, and power.
- Get help from a coach or professional to correct any issues with your form or technique. They can help you kick bad habits and become more efficient in your movement.
- Consider synthetic ice rinks at home to practice hockey skating drills anytime, especially during the summer.
Great Hockey Play Starts With Great Skating
Hockey is an exciting sport for all ages.
Young kids, in particular, will find joy and excitement in learning and developing the sport.
As you join a skating team or train at home, hockey skating drills are the best way to improve your performance.
The more you practice, the faster and better you'll get when it's time to play a game.
Focus on these hockey skating drills first, as becoming a strong, agile skater will translate well to the game.