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01-31-2013, 01:47 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2010
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Originally Posted by Cujomi View Post
Just out of this a no-no? I will be playing recreational level hockey (the lowest level) starting this Saturday and it runs all the way through until the end of August (lucky me). I really want to learn to be a defenceman, but I'm wondering if I should really be proficient in skating backwards before doing so? Or at this level should it not matter?

I'm a pretty fast skater going forwards...I can stop, do crossovers, and I can skate backwards with c-cuts, but I'm very hesitant to do backwards crossovers as I'm not good at them (borderline not being able to do them).

Don't do it. Defense is a difficult enough position for experienced players. It's not just about backwards skating, but also about having good transitions from front to back, and also being able to stay a step ahead of turnovers.

Start at the wing, where you can make mistakes without burning your goalie, then work your way up to center where you'll have some defensive responsibility in front of the net. Move back to defense when you feel like your backwards skating is solid AND you feel like you have a grasp on the transition game. From time to time you can always drop back to play D if the team is short on players, and start familiarizing yourself with how it feels to play against opposing rushes.

I'd say give it at least a year before moving back full time.

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