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Balance Issues, Any Tips?

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Old
05-22-2009, 04:09 PM
  #1
EndlessNameless9319
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Balance Issues, Any Tips?

I've been having a lot of problems with my balance, while either getting checked or checking someone else. I'm 16 now,and I play RW. I played from age 4 to age 8, then had to stop playing. I just started playing again last year, and the game was totally different, because we could check each other(last time I played at age 8, we still couldn't check). I was one of the worst players on my team last year, because I hadn't played in so long. I like to hit at any opprotunity, but whenever I hit someone, they get knocked down, and so do I. As soon as I make contact, I fall, but get right back up. I'm not exactly big for my age(5'8", 135lbs) but when I get checked, no matter how hard or not, I fall. My balance and all my hockey skills are way sub-par, obviously, because I haven't played in so long. Any tips on workouts or anything that can help me improve my balance? Or any tips on how I should take a hit? Thanks...


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05-22-2009, 04:11 PM
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cptjeff
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Keep your legs wider when giving/ taking hits. Make sure your skates are sharp.

And sounds like you need to just get a lot of general practice in. Including skating.

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05-22-2009, 04:13 PM
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Gunnar Stahl 30
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first thing is keep your knees bent. the deeper the knee bend, the lower your center of gravity is. balance and skating is all about weight distribution. if you put too much weight in the wrong spot you are going to fall.

you have to absorb hits. if you ever watch NHL games you see players as they are getting hit into the boards, almost jump into the glass to help absorb the hit. if you are in a good position, you can hit them back which will also help absorb the hit.

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05-22-2009, 04:15 PM
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Don't stop skating to absorb a hit, generally.

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05-22-2009, 05:12 PM
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Thanks guys. I get on the ice as often as I can, I don't know, maybe I was just away from the game for too long, but I'll definetley keep those things in mind. I probably seem like a hockey noob, but I'm not.

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05-22-2009, 05:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gunnar Stahl 30 View Post
first thing is keep your knees bent. the deeper the knee bend, the lower your center of gravity is. balance and skating is all about weight distribution. if you put too much weight in the wrong spot you are going to fall.

you have to absorb hits. if you ever watch NHL games you see players as they are getting hit into the boards, almost jump into the glass to help absorb the hit. if you are in a good position, you can hit them back which will also help absorb the hit.

Will do. Thanks for the help. Nice avatar too, that was from SNL, wasn't it?

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05-22-2009, 05:19 PM
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Gunnar Stahl 30
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Originally Posted by SabresKings2611 View Post
Will do. Thanks for the help. Nice avatar too, that was from SNL, wasn't it?
yupp

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qRdXa6-8HMs

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05-22-2009, 06:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gunnar Stahl 30 View Post
Hah, I've seen that a bunch of times. Lmao @ Grohl's and Cobain's facial expressions.

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05-22-2009, 06:39 PM
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Originally Posted by SabresKings2611 View Post
Hah, I've seen that a bunch of times. Lmao @ Grohl's and Cobain's facial expressions.
ha yea i tried to capture them in my avatar. i used print screen

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05-22-2009, 10:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gunnar Stahl 30 View Post
ha yea i tried to capture them in my avatar. i used print screen
Ah, it turned out good, and you got it at pretty much the right moment. It sucks that Nirvana isn't around anymore, because I'm sure they would've brought more lulz and made more great music. Also, I had a game tonight, and I kept my balance on 5 out of my 6 hits, and hit a lot more solidly, and only got knocked down once from a hit. Thanks again for the tips.

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05-22-2009, 11:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SabresKings2611 View Post
Ah, it turned out good, and you got it at pretty much the right moment. It sucks that Nirvana isn't around anymore, because I'm sure they would've brought more lulz and made more great music. Also, I had a game tonight, and I kept my balance on 5 out of my 6 hits, and hit a lot more solidly, and only got knocked down once from a hit. Thanks again for the tips.
yea it sucks. im stuck listening to the same 50 or so awesome songs. its fun everyonce in a while though finding a cool live version or demo or something. i just downloaded the reading festival show in 92, its awesome. its on youtube too but i have it all now without any breaks

yea once your skating improves every other part of your game gets easier


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05-23-2009, 11:31 PM
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Just to add in: Try to get more comfortable on your skates. Go for a skate and really see the extremes you can lean/bend to, skate one leg, etc. Just try to get a feel of what it's like to almost fall, and recovery will be easier. Most inexperienced or rusty skaters tend to over compensate or over react when their balance is compromised. Don't be so tight, loosen up, get a wide base and a nice deep knee bend, and you'll surprise even yourself.

You mention your size, I'm about the same height as you, but I have about 50lbs on you. Just remember, the bigger they are, the harder they go down. Don't go head to head on checks, you'll get buried. get nimble/balanced on your skates and you'll skate circles around the bigger guys, but also when the opportunity arrise you can surprise them with a well timed hit too.

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05-24-2009, 08:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NYRSinceBirth View Post
Just to add in: Try to get more comfortable on your skates. Go for a skate and really see the extremes you can lean/bend to, skate one leg, etc. Just try to get a feel of what it's like to almost fall, and recovery will be easier. Most inexperienced or rusty skaters tend to over compensate or over react when their balance is compromised. Don't be so tight, loosen up, get a wide base and a nice deep knee bend, and you'll surprise even yourself.

You mention your size, I'm about the same height as you, but I have about 50lbs on you. Just remember, the bigger they are, the harder they go down. Don't go head to head on checks, you'll get buried. get nimble/balanced on your skates and you'll skate circles around the bigger guys, but also when the opportunity arrise you can surprise them with a well timed hit too.

Thanks for the suggestions.

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05-26-2009, 09:04 PM
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I've never played contact ice hockey so I really can't say for sure, but out of curiosity how tight do you do up your skates around the ankles? This could go either way. Maybe you have them too tight (or even worse, wrap sock tape around your ankle & skate), and can't get the mobility required to keep your balance. Or maybe you do keep them loose but don't have the ankle strength to maintain balance.

Ideally you want some flex in your ankles, as lets you get deeper into your turns which makes for optimum skating. But if you're not there yet doing your ankles tight or using tape gives you a crutch, though it should never be permanent.

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05-26-2009, 10:29 PM
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Which way do you fall? Do you bounce off 'em and go backwards/sideways? Or fall over them?

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05-27-2009, 10:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SabresKings2611 View Post
I've been having a lot of problems with my balance, while either getting checked or checking someone else. I'm 16 now,and I play RW. I played from age 4 to age 8, then had to stop playing. I just started playing again last year, and the game was totally different, because we could check each other(last time I played at age 8, we still couldn't check). I was one of the worst players on my team last year, because I hadn't played in so long. I like to hit at any opprotunity, but whenever I hit someone, they get knocked down, and so do I. As soon as I make contact, I fall, but get right back up. I'm not exactly big for my age(5'8", 135lbs) but when I get checked, no matter how hard or not, I fall. My balance and all my hockey skills are way sub-par, obviously, because I haven't played in so long. Any tips on workouts or anything that can help me improve my balance? Or any tips on how I should take a hit? Thanks...
You need to work on core strength. A strong mid section will do wonders for keeping you upright during contact.

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05-27-2009, 10:53 AM
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Use a wide stance, get a good knee bend, and dig in with your edges.

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05-27-2009, 11:11 AM
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To go along with the excellent suggestions above, work on your peripheral vision so that you can anticipate contact sooner and thus be ready for it sooner. Doing some simple exercises and practice in this area will help you in all sports.

Several times a day try and conciously use your peripheral vision. For instance if you are watching a game on tv, without looking at the subject think about what the person out of the corner of your eye is doing. Gee, the dog is licking himself, my sister is going to pick up her cell phone etc. this might seem kind of goofy at 1st but if you do this a few times a day each day you will find that your awareness of what is going on around you outside of your central view will be more acute. You will notice the guy coming up beside you getting ready to paste you sooner, even though you are looking at the puck.

Visualization is also another great technique to practice. For a few minutes each night just think how you should be reacting to various scenarios and run through your mind how you want your stance to be and such. After a while your mind will translate this into subconcious action rather than concious action.

Both of those things, if practiced on a regular basis will make you better in every aspect of the game.

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05-27-2009, 02:20 PM
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Powerskating.

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05-27-2009, 11:10 PM
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All the suggestions thus far are great, but don't forget to train for balance off the ice too!

Get a swissball and use it often. It'll train your core muscles and really impact your balance. There are plenty of great exercises you can do from beginner to advanced that will do great things for your balance.

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05-29-2009, 06:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RandV View Post
I've never played contact ice hockey so I really can't say for sure, but out of curiosity how tight do you do up your skates around the ankles? This could go either way. Maybe you have them too tight (or even worse, wrap sock tape around your ankle & skate), and can't get the mobility required to keep your balance. Or maybe you do keep them loose but don't have the ankle strength to maintain balance.

Ideally you want some flex in your ankles, as lets you get deeper into your turns which makes for optimum skating. But if you're not there yet doing your ankles tight or using tape gives you a crutch, though it should never be permanent.

I think you've discovered the other half of my problem. I lace them as tight as possible around the ankles.

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05-29-2009, 06:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beerfish View Post
To go along with the excellent suggestions above, work on your peripheral vision so that you can anticipate contact sooner and thus be ready for it sooner. Doing some simple exercises and practice in this area will help you in all sports.

Several times a day try and conciously use your peripheral vision. For instance if you are watching a game on tv, without looking at the subject think about what the person out of the corner of your eye is doing. Gee, the dog is licking himself, my sister is going to pick up her cell phone etc. this might seem kind of goofy at 1st but if you do this a few times a day each day you will find that your awareness of what is going on around you outside of your central view will be more acute. You will notice the guy coming up beside you getting ready to paste you sooner, even though you are looking at the puck.

Visualization is also another great technique to practice. For a few minutes each night just think how you should be reacting to various scenarios and run through your mind how you want your stance to be and such. After a while your mind will translate this into subconcious action rather than concious action.

Both of those things, if practiced on a regular basis will make you better in every aspect of the game.
I will do so. Thanks for the help.

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05-29-2009, 06:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ragss View Post
Which way do you fall? Do you bounce off 'em and go backwards/sideways? Or fall over them?
Usually sideways.

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05-29-2009, 07:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SabresKings2611 View Post
Usually sideways.
You need a tight jersey made out of velcro

Just kidding obviously ... the other suggestions in this thread are all good ones. Just remember it is possible for even a big guy to have a hard time delivering hits when he doesn't do it right.

You just need balance and leverage from your legs being further apart. Plant yourself and drive the guy.

The skate thing mentioned above about having mobility at the ankle is preference really. I tighten my skates on the ankles as tight as possible and tuck the tongue under my shinguards. I do not use tape though as that would be TOO constrictive so I suppose I have just every eyelet with a lace in it and nothing unused.

I guess maybe it leaves some flex but I like a stiff ankle. Some guys I have played with who are very excellent by the way tape their ankles and prefer the ankle to not be flexible. The point being however that my job on the highschool team was to hit people as i was the biggest guy and on a checking type line. That was many moons ago but hitting hasn't changed.


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05-30-2009, 10:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SabresKings2611 View Post
I've been having a lot of problems with my balance, while either getting checked or checking someone else. I'm 16 now,and I play RW. I played from age 4 to age 8, then had to stop playing. I just started playing again last year, and the game was totally different, because we could check each other(last time I played at age 8, we still couldn't check). I was one of the worst players on my team last year, because I hadn't played in so long. I like to hit at any opprotunity, but whenever I hit someone, they get knocked down, and so do I. As soon as I make contact, I fall, but get right back up. I'm not exactly big for my age(5'8", 135lbs) but when I get checked, no matter how hard or not, I fall. My balance and all my hockey skills are way sub-par, obviously, because I haven't played in so long. Any tips on workouts or anything that can help me improve my balance? Or any tips on how I should take a hit? Thanks...
Ok, so we need to work on your balance from the beginning...Like starting over!

I posted this before and I tried to find it but...no luck, So I will write it again.

80% of hockey is skating...80% of skating is Balance! So let see if we can help you with this. It going to take some work on your part and you will probably fall on your a** with these drills, but after you have mastered these drills, you can get bumped / checked and still hold your balance.

First Drill: Start at one end at the goalie line. Place your feet in a "V", heels together, toes out. Now been your knees which will cause the skates to go in the direction of the "V". Now, just when your skates are maxed out before they start turning straight, I want you to jump off the ice about three inches high. When you jump, I want you to land back on the ice with your skates back in a "V". Now, I want you to do this down the full lenght of the ice to the other end. When you jump and bring the skates back into a "V" this is one cycle. I want you to do any many cycles down the ice as you can. The faster you bring the skates back to square one ("V") the faster you will go. Once you are fly down the ice, just using the inside edges, you have completed the first phase.

Second Drill: Now you do the same thing as drill # 1...but Backwards. This time you are going to put your toes together and your heels apart. Bend your knees and you will start to move backwards. Right when your feet are about a 1 1/2 feet apart, jump and bring you toes back together when you land. Yes, you are right...down the ice and back again.

Third Drill: Here's where it starts get fun. You are going to start at one end of the ice, at the goal line. Now, you are going to do two forward (Drill #1) on the third, you are going to jump in the air and turn 180 and land facing backwards. Then you do two backwards (Drill #2) and then...you got it, jump in the air 180 and land forward. This is one cycle! Your going to do as many cycles from one end of the ice down the other end. Now when you turn, if you turn clockwise from front to back, you turn clockwise from back to front. Always turn in the same direction. Now when you get down to one end, the you come back doing it counter-clockwise...get it!

Fourth Drill: Ok, now this drill is very similar to Drill #3. This time you single up the turn. So when you start off, you jump right away 180 backwards land, do one cycle backwards and jump 180 forwards. Always turning in the same direction. yes, you guessed it, all the way down the ice and then come back turning in the other direction.

Fifth Drill: Then you do five forward "V" cycles and on the sixth cycle, you do a 360 in the air and land back in the "V". Do 5 more forward "V" cycles and on the sixth cycle you do another 360 in the air and land in a "V".

Once you can do this, get ahold of me and we will show you the next step.

Here's a video to give you kind of an idea.
http://http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M0gHv4MXY7E


If you follow this link below. I wrote some dryland tips for you to do off ice.

http://hfboards.com/showthread.php?t=514248

Hope this helps
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