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Skating advice, falling while transitioning

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Old
09-13-2017, 02:49 PM
  #1
Rookie109
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Skating advice, falling while transitioning

So, I'm usually a pretty decent skater in most scenarios overall (could improve my backwards crossovers from example). However, I've fallen a few too many times the same way over and over again. I need some help.

Here's the scenario:

I'm skating out of our end with speed on the wing, I turn and transition to backwards gliding so the dman can pass me the puck while I'm still gliding backwards. Most times I do this relatively fine, but every once in awhile I somehow lose an edge and I fall very hard on my butt. Sometimes it can be quit painful because I'm usually doing this at speed. The last time I did this for some reason my collar bone hurt, which I didn't understand because I fell on my ass.

Background:
I'm about 6'4, 190-195 pounds, 11/16th sharpening on Easton Mako skates. I play quite a bit, about 2 times a week year round, and going into my 4th season (winter and summer the whole way) beer league. I have been skating since 2011 at outdoor rinks when the Winnipeg Jets came back (my city). I skated as a child, but got into hockey a few years after university and fell in love with the game since. I also took power skating last summer and my skating improved, but obviously I need some work.

Sorry for the essay, just wondering what I can do to prevent these hard falls on my butt!

Cheers

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09-13-2017, 03:35 PM
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CuriousGeorge
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How old are you?

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Old
09-13-2017, 04:14 PM
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Rookie109
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CuriousGeorge View Post
How old are you?
37 which isn't that young or old. I'm in pretty good shape though since I play so much hockey and other sports year round like Ultimate, golf, swimming, gym, running etc.

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Old
09-13-2017, 05:08 PM
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puckpilot
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Without actually seeing what's happening, I'm just guessing here. How solid are you on your edges?

Could be as you're transitioning, you're hitting a rougher patch of ice and you're just not good enough yet to adjust to the imperfect situation.. So your edge bite on the rough patch and it's down you go.

BTW your collarbone probably hurt because when you hit the ice, your arse stopped but your upper body still wanted to go, causing some sort of whiplash action with your moving bits up there.

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Old
09-13-2017, 05:43 PM
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HansonBro
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So why not just practice your pivots more? Pre game, shinny or whatever. Also bend your knees a tad more and keep your center of gravity lower

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Old
09-13-2017, 06:27 PM
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toomuchsauce
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As someone else said, make sure you are keeping your knees bent as you're gliding backwards. But, more than that, make sure you're also keeping your weight on the balls of feet and not your heels. Even with your knees bent, if you're trying to skate backwards and your weight shifts to your heels, you're likely to fall.

Generally speaking, I would also suggest not gliding backwards through the neutral zone while looking for a pass from your defense. If you're going to turn around fully and face your D for a pass, just stop. If you then catch a pass, look for a give-and-go type scenario where you can now pass to a teammate who has speed coming through the neutral zone. Otherwise, try to stay forward and catch the pass on your forehand or backhand, depending on which side you're on, so you don't have to break stride.

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Old
09-13-2017, 06:44 PM
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toomuchsauce
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Also, if the issue is actually catching your edges while in the midst of transitioning from forward to backwards, you just have to make sure you are picking your feet up off the ice enough while transitioning. Practice it by just exaggerating the motion, almost as if you're jumping, and, again, make sure your weight stays on the balls of your feet the whole time. Think feet like Matt Duchene.

Without seeing this happen it's tough to diagnose, but I suppose the issue could also involve your upper body. You want your shoulders and head to be centered over your center of gravity, too. If, while you're turning backwards, your upper body gets too upright, that could be causing it, too. This is related to "keeping your knees bent," and keeping your knees bent will generally fix this problem due to natural physiology, but if you feel like you are bending your knees but this is still happening, think about your balance through your entire body, not just in your legs. You could have bent knees and still fall backwards if your shoulders and head are too upright/too far back in your stance. For example, imagine doing a wall sit and then someone removes the wall. Your knees were bent...but you're still taking a tumble.

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09-13-2017, 09:37 PM
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Rookie109
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Thanks for all the input guys, I was definitely thinking about it tonight before my first game with a new team.

I got my skates sharpened today, switched from 11/16th to 9/16th for a little more bite. The guy who sharpened them said there was a massive chip on one skate when I described how I've been falling lately. Maybe that had something to do with it since I hadn't sharpened them for about 8-9 games.

With 9/16th, I felt like I needed to work harder for the same amount of speed but my edges felt great turning. I didn't fall once and even picked up an assist, hoping things will work out going forward.

Thanks again.

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09-13-2017, 11:29 PM
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HansonBro
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6'4? You must skate like a donkey on ice. Watch Malkin skate and how hunched over he usually is. It's all about your center of gravity

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Old
09-14-2017, 04:07 AM
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American in Paris
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Here's how you fix that:

Skate slowly on the circumference of a circle going forwards (with crossovers). Pivot to mohawk. Pivot to backwards (with crossunders). Pivot to mohawk. Pivot to forwards. Repeat 10 times. Then repeat in the opposite direction.

You can make it more difficult by 1) going faster and/or 2) reducing the radius of the circle you're skating.

Focus on technique and smoothly gliding on your edges as you pivot. It should be a cross between yoga and dance. It's all about being balanced and graceful. Speed and intensity come after technical mastery.

Do that for 10 minutes at the beginning of every skating session and your game will go up a level within 6 months.

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Old
09-14-2017, 09:30 PM
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Elias Pettersson
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Quote:
Originally Posted by American in Paris View Post
Here's how you fix that:

Skate slowly on the circumference of a circle going forwards (with crossovers). Pivot to mohawk. Pivot to backwards (with crossunders). Pivot to mohawk. Pivot to forwards. Repeat 10 times. Then repeat in the opposite direction.

You can make it more difficult by 1) going faster and/or 2) reducing the radius of the circle you're skating.

Focus on technique and smoothly gliding on your edges as you pivot. It should be a cross between yoga and dance. It's all about being balanced and graceful. Speed and intensity come after technical mastery.

Do that for 10 minutes at the beginning of every skating session and your game will go up a level within 6 months.
This. It's actually such a fun drill.

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Old
09-15-2017, 03:24 PM
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Goonzilla
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Being a 'pretty decent skater' is all relative; is that pretty decent compared to an NHL'er, pretty decent compared to everyone else at learn to skate or anywhere in between?

If you're having the described problem, then you've got quite a bit of work to do on your skating, no matter how decent you think yourself.

I've thought I'm a decent skater, then invariably six months later you realise how much better you are than you were six months ago..and how much poorer your skating was six months ago.

You've just gotta put the hours in and keep skating and you'll get there or improve. I'm always getting people come and ask me for tips and advice at public skates and you shoe them or explain something and then they get surprised or frustrated that they can't just do it; you've gotta put the work in.

Eventually you'll arrive where you want to be.

I see some guys who are poor skaters, but who play quite a lot of hockey, league and pick up; and who struggle to improve, because that's all they do. A game situation isn't the place to work on or improve your skating; that's the place where you reinforce or compound weak skating and bad habits.


Last edited by Goonzilla: 09-15-2017 at 03:35 PM.
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Old
09-16-2017, 02:08 PM
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Bladetek
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rookie109 View Post
Thanks for all the input guys, I was definitely thinking about it tonight before my first game with a new team.

I got my skates sharpened today, switched from 11/16th to 9/16th for a little more bite. The guy who sharpened them said there was a massive chip on one skate when I described how I've been falling lately. Maybe that had something to do with it since I hadn't sharpened them for about 8-9 games.

With 9/16th, I felt like I needed to work harder for the same amount of speed but my edges felt great turning. I didn't fall once and even picked up an assist, hoping things will work out going forward.

Thanks again.
Get your skate profile checked. Lots of places in the Wpg region to have that done.

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Old
09-18-2017, 01:09 PM
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Rookie109
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Awesome advice guys,
I'll try those Mohawk drills the next time I'm on the ice. Like this?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wamg41bxi0M

Yeah, I guess I am one tall ******* out on the ice - that's probably the first and last time I ever get compared to a donkey or Malkin in my life.

Fair point about about skating ability, I'm OK but am practicing to improve so I don't have to think about it while skating. That's why I took power skating level 1 and 2 last summer. Best investment in the game I've made.

I think the profile on the Mako skates is forward pitched like Grafs, personally I like it. My blades were dull with some nicks on them, I had them looked at again and got them (Pro connection @ Canlan) to a 5/8 done for free, just a little more edge than the 11/16th I was using before, but more glide than the 9/16th I felt a little slow in.

I played 2 games since getting them done, really felt good on the ice so I don't think I need a profiling. Although, I am open to the idea of it too.

Cheers,

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Old
09-18-2017, 02:59 PM
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HansonBro
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Nobody compared you to Malkin ya donkey



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Old
09-19-2017, 12:31 PM
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Rookie109
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HansonBro View Post
Nobody compared you to Malkin ya donkey


Fair enough, donkey on ice it is lol

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Old
09-20-2017, 11:49 AM
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mashedpotato
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four simple steps

Shift your body weight to one side

The side without the body weight transition your skate blade to a different direction

Shift your body wight to the blade in the different direction

Align the other blade so both are now in different direction

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Old
09-20-2017, 01:05 PM
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CornKicker
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make sure your knees are bent, bend them more to give you better balance and flexibility on the turn

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Old
09-20-2017, 01:18 PM
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TGWL
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toomuchsauce View Post
As someone else said, make sure you are keeping your knees bent as you're gliding backwards. But, more than that, make sure you're also keeping your weight on the balls of feet and not your heels. Even with your knees bent, if you're trying to skate backwards and your weight shifts to your heels, you're likely to fall.

Generally speaking, I would also suggest not gliding backwards through the neutral zone while looking for a pass from your defense. If you're going to turn around fully and face your D for a pass, just stop. If you then catch a pass, look for a give-and-go type scenario where you can now pass to a teammate who has speed coming through the neutral zone. Otherwise, try to stay forward and catch the pass on your forehand or backhand, depending on which side you're on, so you don't have to break stride.
This! While you should be able to improve your transition from forward to backwards, this is not the time to practice it. 2 things happen when you do this.

1: You get knocked down from behind.
2: A defensemen jumps in front of you and steals the puck for an odd man rush the other way. The defesemen should be able to either pass teh puck straight up to your blade, or bang it off the boards and place it in an open area for you.

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