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How can I start fixing my skating (with youtube)

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05-13-2012, 08:58 PM
  #1
RandV
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How can I start fixing my skating (with youtube)

So I've been playing hockey for four years now and for the first time ever get to see myself on video. This is the fist ever HF Canucks drop-in game (if anyone's interested this is the link to all the video's in order), and I've always gotten the impression that I'm not getting the same speed for the same effort/stride that other guys get and now I see exactly why, I'm about as ramrod straight on my skates as you can get!

In the video below I'm the guy in the orange jersey, get a little bit of a rush at the 30 second mark:



Any suggestions on what I could do to start fixing this, so I start to look live everyone else out there skating? Some simple at home exercises could help as well, since technically I can't even do a proper squat on my own feet.

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05-13-2012, 09:21 PM
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qmechanic
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The easiest thing you can do is cut your stick shorter. My stick comes up to my mouth when I stand on bare feet. How long is your stick?

This will force you to bend your knees, unless you want to look like an idiot stickhandling with one hand on your stick. (I know someone who actually does this.)

Also, I like to practice my crossovers and tight turns. I find that when I aim to perform faster, tighter turns, I have to bend my knees more. It's a fantastic and rewarding feeling when I get faster and faster, so then I try to bend my knees even more. Kind of like a positive, self-reinforcing cycle.

If you're a visual person, watch higher level games. The top players all skate very low. When you skate, keep that visual image your mind. I've always done this since I was a kid. I would watch the pros play baseball or football on TV and try to imitate them.


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05-13-2012, 09:30 PM
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Jacob8hockey*
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I watched your rush a couple times to try and figure out what I was seeing that seemed weird about it and the only things I could really think of are maybe lean down a bit more? Back bent and knees bent more? It looked like a lot of guys out there had bad balance so maybe you should getting better balance, but I dont think thats it.

As I was typing that I thought of something but I am not sure if you did it or not. Try swinging your arms more it might help you out. I guess if you could also just put your head down and give it your all to get back etc...

Also I know you didn't ask but I am just trying to help and a lot of people do the same thing but your stickhandling if robotic like. Trying being a bit more smoother and softer. I was told that you shouldn't be able to hear the puck when it goes back and forth and if you can get some softer hands you will notice a lot better sucess at getting around guys regardless of your skating.

I hope you find something useful out of this, anything I say could be wrong but it is stuff i do.

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05-13-2012, 09:59 PM
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I'm no expert, but it looks like balance and knee bend to me. Your skate stride also looks very short, that may have to do with balance. There's actually two guys on my team that skate identically to you. They kind of look like a robot on the ice.

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05-13-2012, 10:07 PM
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You shouldn't ever be standing straight up like that or hunched over with straight legs. Get some knee bend and keep your feet moving.

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05-13-2012, 10:18 PM
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Thanks for the tips, I'll give some of these a try. I should also point out though, this was a 2:00-3:15 ice time with only 2 spares on the bench, and I had a league game at 4:30 (I'm playing in the top division believe it or not ). So while for my 'rush' I was going at my typical game speed much of the rest of the time I was taking it easy.

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05-13-2012, 11:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RandV View Post
Thanks for the tips, I'll give some of these a try. I should also point out though, this was a 2:00-3:15 ice time with only 2 spares on the bench, and I had a league game at 4:30 (I'm playing in the top division believe it or not ). So while for my 'rush' I was going at my typical game speed much of the rest of the time I was taking it easy.
Your skills were more than adequate, bud. The best advice I've seen given here is keeping your knees and your back bent. Staying low/keeping your body ready to spring, etc., gives you a little extra pop in your step. I also find getting my arms into it helps (swinging them side to side, pumping them back and forth, etc.) helps a bit.

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05-13-2012, 11:30 PM
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Bend your knees! Lower your stance, shorten your stick, and work on your starts and stops.

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05-14-2012, 01:29 AM
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To be fair, a lot of the guys in that video aren't bending their knees enough either!

Practice a lot of edgework focusing on keeping a deep knee bend while doing it. Also, a simple exercise for working on knee bend is just doing swizzles - without bobbing your head/upper body up and down. If you do them right, your thighs will be burning after half a lap! But it's an easy way to get those muscles used to getting low and staying low throughout the stride.

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05-14-2012, 01:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beth View Post
To be fair, a lot of the guys in that video aren't bending their knees enough either!

Practice a lot of edgework focusing on keeping a deep knee bend while doing it. Also, a simple exercise for working on knee bend is just doing swizzles - without bobbing your head/upper body up and down. If you do them right, your thighs will be burning after half a lap! But it's an easy way to get those muscles used to getting low and staying low throughout the stride.
Yes before I started in a league I took power skating lessons and got drilled a lot on the c-cut thing, inside and outside edges, but while I got relatively comfortable with it I release now I was always doing it with a mostly straight leg.

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05-14-2012, 02:03 AM
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try getting graf skates, they force you to bend your knees

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05-14-2012, 02:25 AM
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You look too upright. More knee bend and your edging looks off, that may also because you are too high.

Ya and I see it, someone else mentioned it, your stick is too long.

Looks like fun!

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05-14-2012, 03:04 AM
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definitely get a more knee bend, also keep in mind that you're actually bending your knee instead of hunching your back.

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05-14-2012, 04:27 AM
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Wilch
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RandV:



Check out this video and keep it in mind the next time you're on the ice. Try working on it at public skate.

Plenty of rinks in Vancouver with open skates.

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05-14-2012, 05:49 AM
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Let's keep this easy. You could use better balance and knee bend. To that end:

1. Work your edges and full-stride every time you skate (see vids above)
2. Complete an at-home exercise routine for your legs 1-2 times/week
a. Sqauts (do the Sumo version to initiate groin a little more)
b. Backward (hockey) Lunges (work balance more)
c. Sideways Lunges
d. 1-legged sqauts (more balance)
e. Reverse step ups.

You'll notice an improvement in 3-4 weeks. Good luck!

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05-16-2012, 01:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hank4Hart View Post
try getting graf skates, they force you to bend your knees
I actually have Graf skates. And for some talking about my stick length I've found I like it best at chin height + 1 inch, though of the two sticks I cycle through one that's a two piece seems to keep shrinking and is an inch shorter now, so I'll try sticking with that one.

But I know what I have to fix first and foremost, before I can do any of the above training suggestions, which my yogi girlfriend well help me with. I guess I don't look it but I actually am pretty well balanced on my skates, and off my skates I have exceptional balance except for one little thing... I'm completely incapable of doing a squat .

In the above video at the end there it gives the suggestion of starting out in a squat, but I can't even do that off my skates. From my girlfriend according to the experience of one of her yoga instructors this is a problem in calf flexibility, so I probably gotta work on that for a few weeks before I can get anywhere with the more routine stuff.

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05-16-2012, 02:45 AM
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I don't think the key has been said yet: Bend your knees more! Oh wait, that's everyone's response. Watch the video Wilch posted, it's money.

It might be the weirdest feeling or seemingly impossible to get comfortable with a knee bend going but stick with it and it will come. I used to skate just like you and a friend kept yelling at me every time we skated to "BEND YOUR KNEES!" I made a conscious effort to exaggerate my knee bend each time I skated (public skate or games) and now it's really improving. I tend to get lazy and go straight legged still but when I have to hustle I get really low and take long, powerful strides. (Playing D and chasing down breakaways helped a ton, ) When you're comfortable with bent knees it also improves your balance a ton since you're not upright and top-heavy anymore. Attempting maneuvers in skates while standing up vs while crouched down is a world of difference.

Also, instead of bending over and reaching so far for a puck, drop lower and move your feet to get yourself a little closer. If you reach way out for the puck, great you have it, but you're also way off balance from leaning so far forward. When you're lower you can recover your balance a whole lot easier.

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05-17-2012, 03:11 AM
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I agree with all the posters here... knee bend.
One thing that sometimes helps to develop better knee bend:
Take a puck, skate around and deke imaginary players with the bottom hand holding your stick a few inches lower than usual. Keep your legs wide and advance using C-cuts. Don't forget to keep your head up.

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05-19-2012, 10:04 PM
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TJD
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RandV View Post
I actually have Graf skates. And for some talking about my stick length I've found I like it best at chin height + 1 inch, though of the two sticks I cycle through one that's a two piece seems to keep shrinking and is an inch shorter now, so I'll try sticking with that one.

But I know what I have to fix first and foremost, before I can do any of the above training suggestions, which my yogi girlfriend well help me with. I guess I don't look it but I actually am pretty well balanced on my skates, and off my skates I have exceptional balance except for one little thing... I'm completely incapable of doing a squat .

In the above video at the end there it gives the suggestion of starting out in a squat, but I can't even do that off my skates. From my girlfriend according to the experience of one of her yoga instructors this is a problem in calf flexibility, so I probably gotta work on that for a few weeks before I can get anywhere with the more routine stuff.
With the knee bend, try exaggerating and shoot for "90 degrees".

Shorter stick will infact force you to bend your knees more (Havlat does this).

Last but not least important, KEEP YOUR STICK ON THE ICE!!! You won't bend your knee's if your stick is resting on them.

To sum it up, Knee Bend and one hand on stick.

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05-20-2012, 11:55 PM
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Knee bend. Yes. Already mentioned, but too obvious. A good knee bend that feels almost exagerated - thats what your aiming for. Once you got that, you can work on the rest, like returning your feet quickly to position and so on.

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