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Getting more confidence when skating and trusting edges

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Old
08-02-2012, 10:44 AM
  #1
TickleMeYandle
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Getting more confidence when skating and trusting edges

Yeah, it's a long title!

I've been skating for about 4 years total - 3+ years speedskating, and now about 6 months of hockey.

I've never taken skating lessons, although I have gone to camp for speedskating lessons and I do go to instructional leagues for hockey 3X per week.

My stickhandling is progressing really well - I can pass pretty well, catch passes somewhat, and I can skate with the puck. I'm not great, but I can see the progress.

My shooting is still weak but getting better - my wrister is more and more accurate, and my slapshot as well. I was finally starting to get a bit more lift and power behind my shot when I pulled a muscle in my shoulder. It doesn't hurt any more, but I do notice the strength isn't there quite the same. Still, it's getting better.

My weak point (I feel) is my skating. I can get going pretty fast - but since I don't trust being able to stop on a dime, I always hold back a bit.

I don't trust my outside edges. That was always an issue with speedskating as well. Inside edges? No problem. But getting that outside edge and doing crossovers took me FOREVER to learn. And I never felt 100% that I could trust that edge. Even when I was doing my best speedskating (right before I had to stop due to pregnancy) I always had that mental block: will the edge hold me up? Or will I end up sliding out of control?

My coach has said a zillion times - trust your edges. They'll never let you down, they'll always be there, etc. And yet, I lack confidence in both myself AND my edges.

I've been told by about 4 different coaches that I skate much better than I think, but that I lack confidence in my skating. And it's totally true.

I'm ready to get better - I really want to be able to do forward crossovers in both directions, and I really want to be able to stop quickly. I've watched Youtube videos, and I've practiced a bit - but still can only kind of do a crossover going counter-clockwise, and not at all going the other way. I try to practice on the circles, just going around and doing a crossover every few strokes. I have to really focus when I do those and take a leap of faith that it's going to hold me up on that outside edge when I do that, and usually it ends up being stroke-stroke-crossover, never just continuous crossovers to get around the circle.

When I did speedskating, one thing that helped was using an upside-down bucket, under the left hand. You could lean on it to get into the low position, it helped with support, and as you started to trust the edges more eventually you didn't put much weight on it at all - and finally, the bucket could be removed. That really got me to be able to function on the feeling and position and forget the fear of losing the edge.

Are there drills I can do that will help me with this? Any tricks to getting that confidence in my edges? Or is it just a matter of going out there, skating circles until I get dizzy, and planning to fall a ton of times?

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08-02-2012, 11:05 AM
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Canadiens1958
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Speed Skating

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Originally Posted by Clownquestion View Post
Yeah, it's a long title!

I've been skating for about 4 years total - 3+ years speedskating, and now about 6 months of hockey.

I've never taken skating lessons, although I have gone to camp for speedskating lessons and I do go to instructional leagues for hockey 3X per week.

My stickhandling is progressing really well - I can pass pretty well, catch passes somewhat, and I can skate with the puck. I'm not great, but I can see the progress.

My shooting is still weak but getting better - my wrister is more and more accurate, and my slapshot as well. I was finally starting to get a bit more lift and power behind my shot when I pulled a muscle in my shoulder. It doesn't hurt any more, but I do notice the strength isn't there quite the same. Still, it's getting better.

My weak point (I feel) is my skating. I can get going pretty fast - but since I don't trust being able to stop on a dime, I always hold back a bit.

I don't trust my outside edges. That was always an issue with speedskating as well. Inside edges? No problem. But getting that outside edge and doing crossovers took me FOREVER to learn. And I never felt 100% that I could trust that edge. Even when I was doing my best speedskating (right before I had to stop due to pregnancy) I always had that mental block: will the edge hold me up? Or will I end up sliding out of control?

My coach has said a zillion times - trust your edges. They'll never let you down, they'll always be there, etc. And yet, I lack confidence in both myself AND my edges.

I've been told by about 4 different coaches that I skate much better than I think, but that I lack confidence in my skating. And it's totally true.

I'm ready to get better - I really want to be able to do forward crossovers in both directions, and I really want to be able to stop quickly. I've watched Youtube videos, and I've practiced a bit - but still can only kind of do a crossover going counter-clockwise, and not at all going the other way. I try to practice on the circles, just going around and doing a crossover every few strokes. I have to really focus when I do those and take a leap of faith that it's going to hold me up on that outside edge when I do that, and usually it ends up being stroke-stroke-crossover, never just continuous crossovers to get around the circle.

When I did speedskating, one thing that helped was using an upside-down bucket, under the left hand. You could lean on it to get into the low position, it helped with support, and as you started to trust the edges more eventually you didn't put much weight on it at all - and finally, the bucket could be removed. That really got me to be able to function on the feeling and position and forget the fear of losing the edge.

Are there drills I can do that will help me with this? Any tricks to getting that confidence in my edges? Or is it just a matter of going out there, skating circles until I get dizzy, and planning to fall a ton of times?
What type of speed skating?

Are right turns a problem?

Is balance a problem since hockey requires a more upright position which changes weight distribution?

Skating backwards must be a problem since speed skating of any type does not require skating backwards?


Last edited by Canadiens1958: 08-02-2012 at 11:07 AM. Reason: addition
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08-02-2012, 11:10 AM
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Short track.

I can turn right when skating, but not doing a crossover - just the usual put your skate a bit out in front and lean into it. It's definitely my weaker side, though.

Balance is fine, I hardly ever fall - but I think that's not a good thing, because it means I'm not really pushing myself to see exactly where that boundary is between control and too far.

One issue I have is ankles that collapse a bit inwards. That was an issue on speedskates too - my feet just tend to go that way. Standing still, I can get both outside edges by exaggerating a bit of a bow-legged stance, but not while moving. It was easily fixed on the speedskates - I moved my blade just a little more towards the inside of my foot and that was enough to give me more control of my edges.

Backwards was a problem at first. I can skate backwards now, not too fast, nothing fancy - but I've got the C-cut thing down just fine. I'll admit, the first time we did a circle drill going backwards - I barely moved. We were supposed to keep inside foot on ice while using outside foot to do c-cuts around the circle. I went nowhere. Now I can do that without problem, and I can certainly go straight backwards.

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08-02-2012, 12:04 PM
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all i can say is to do edge drills 100% with a stick and puck and push yourself until you fall. Then do it again and try to go just as hard and not fall. I am not even close to experienced as you but i am progressing incredibly fast ( 1month of skating every day after a 3 month break and 2 months of liesure skating) because i am not afraid of falling. I can do sharp turns and hockey stop on both sides at full speed after 1 month because i fell like 6 times a practice. when i was more lax with my practices, i felt i got nowhere at all despite putting in so much time.

game situation is different, but you still have to let go of your fears and accept that you will fall, perhaps a lot. But each time you fall you learn what not to do, which is just as important as what to do.

its all about the intensity and confidence, practice builds confidence and practicing at 100% builds confidence when you go 100% in games. Oh and this includes falling, practice falling at 100% so that in game you can fall without fearing being hurt.

for cross overs, just go in a wavy line forwards and backwards. Take two right crossovers, then two left crossovers etc. don't go in a circle, thats just to get used to the motions. practice alternating crossovers, and then once you get good at that, practice mixing sharp turns with crossovers to build up speed.

also, how tight do you tie your skates? i tie mine pretty loose and i find that it helps strengthen my ankles. I use to pronate a lot like you but after loosening my skates and practicing gliding on one leg i find i don't do it as often as i used to.


Last edited by SexyJoffreyLupul: 08-02-2012 at 12:11 PM.
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08-02-2012, 12:47 PM
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Transition

Quote:
Originally Posted by Clownquestion View Post
Short track.

I can turn right when skating, but not doing a crossover - just the usual put your skate a bit out in front and lean into it. It's definitely my weaker side, though.

Balance is fine, I hardly ever fall - but I think that's not a good thing, because it means I'm not really pushing myself to see exactly where that boundary is between control and too far.

One issue I have is ankles that collapse a bit inwards. That was an issue on speedskates too - my feet just tend to go that way. Standing still, I can get both outside edges by exaggerating a bit of a bow-legged stance, but not while moving. It was easily fixed on the speedskates - I moved my blade just a little more towards the inside of my foot and that was enough to give me more control of my edges.

Backwards was a problem at first. I can skate backwards now, not too fast, nothing fancy - but I've got the C-cut thing down just fine. I'll admit, the first time we did a circle drill going backwards - I barely moved. We were supposed to keep inside foot on ice while using outside foot to do c-cuts around the circle. I went nowhere. Now I can do that without problem, and I can certainly go straight backwards.
You exhibit all the problems that youngsters have when changing from short track to hockey. At one time the hockey organization I was with shared an arena with short track organizations.

Track your efforts. Do circles clockwise and counter clockwise to see if the gap between right and left turns is narrowing.

Balance may be fine, falling is not the best criteria. Check your lateral movement with cones. Weight shift is a balance attribute and it is needed for lateral movement. Establish a course and time your efforts. Align 10 cones. First start left then repeat starting right. Gradually widen the cones from a straight line. Track and compare your times.

Good luck.

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08-02-2012, 12:59 PM
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TickleMeYandle
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Would you say it's better to practice this at stick & puck, or public session?

I find that public session I focus on my skating more just because I have no stick or puck to distract me. But I also think that the balance etc. is quite different when skating with a stick, so I do want to be able to skate well with the stick!

A couple of months ago I was messing around at public session (wearing full gear, and the ice was pretty much empty) and I decided to do a few laps short-track style. I was able to get going at a nice clip so that one of my teammates remarked that I was amazingly fast - but why so much slower with the stick? I told her all of those things - stick, puck, changing directions, stopping suddenly, people getting in the way - slowed me down, so I really need to be fast in THOSE situations, not just on an empty rink!

I will be doing public session on Saturday, as well as instructional league Friday and Sunday, followed by a couple of games. I think I will work a lot on the crossovers this weekend and maybe that will help my confidence.

Also - I've noticed that when I go right over left, no problem. But when I try to bring my left leg over my right, it almost feels as if there's too much padding there, and it keeps me from bringing the leg over? I don't feel that the other direction. It feels almost like I'm wearing a big puffy snowsuit, and the thickness of the pants/padding/shinguards gets in the way of lifting that leg over the other. I think part of it is I may need to bend my knees more.

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08-02-2012, 01:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clownquestion View Post
Would you say it's better to practice this at stick & puck, or public session?

I find that public session I focus on my skating more just because I have no stick or puck to distract me. But I also think that the balance etc. is quite different when skating with a stick, so I do want to be able to skate well with the stick!

A couple of months ago I was messing around at public session (wearing full gear, and the ice was pretty much empty) and I decided to do a few laps short-track style. I was able to get going at a nice clip so that one of my teammates remarked that I was amazingly fast - but why so much slower with the stick? I told her all of those things - stick, puck, changing directions, stopping suddenly, people getting in the way - slowed me down, so I really need to be fast in THOSE situations, not just on an empty rink!

I will be doing public session on Saturday, as well as instructional league Friday and Sunday, followed by a couple of games. I think I will work a lot on the crossovers this weekend and maybe that will help my confidence.

Also - I've noticed that when I go right over left, no problem. But when I try to bring my left leg over my right, it almost feels as if there's too much padding there, and it keeps me from bringing the leg over? I don't feel that the other direction. It feels almost like I'm wearing a big puffy snowsuit, and the thickness of the pants/padding/shinguards gets in the way of lifting that leg over the other. I think part of it is I may need to bend my knees more.
No expert skater here, but a couple of things to mention.

[1] I have a friend who is quite a speedy skater and can zip around at public skating sessions. Move to hockey, he can speed around equally as well, but once he gets the puck........SLOW..... I mean unbearably SLOW, doesn't skate and panics with the puck/stickhandling. Team-mates always laugh at him, but he hasn't devoted more time in trying to get over that by practising more with a puck. Stick & puck sessions with short bursts like game situations would be better....at least that is how I practise when I can.

[2] Crossovers left - I learned to crossover to the right just like you but had extreme difficulty with left crossovers. I can only offer my unprofessional experience, but I took it really slow in trying to "feel" (balance, weight shift, where my skates were, how much knee bend) and make mental notes of how I was doing crossovers going right. I then tried to apply the same to the left. Slowly but surely, at least for me, I am actually better on my left crossovers now.

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08-02-2012, 08:48 PM
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Not an expert here either as I've only been playing hockey for about a year and a half, but, take it for what it's worth:

You just have to keep on repeating the motions, which for you would be tight right-turns using cross-overs. Make sure you get a decent knee-bend going when you're doing them, and really push through on that outside edge with your bottom leg. Focus on the pushing motion with your bottom leg. The more you do it, the more comfortable you will get.

Public session isn't ideal for this because you're pretty much stuck going in a circle one way. You can't go fast one way, stop, and then go hard the other way, which you CAN do at sticks & pucks. Every skating motion you practice should be done with at least full equipment and your stick, if not with the puck. I know that in our Adult Beginner Hockey clinic at my rink, the instructor will make us do a drill at first without the puck a couple of times, and then with the puck a couple of times... so you could try doing it that way.

But really, the only thing that is going to make you more comfortable in doing these uncomfortable things is repetition. It's all about building that muscle memory so that eventually, these muscle movements become second nature to you. In my case, I've progressed extremely fast because of two things: 1. Getting on the ice as much as I possibly could and 2. Doing the things that I was uncomfortable with and pushing myself HARD. I've taken many a spill into the boards either feet first, knees first, head first... and all of this falling was done during clinics and practice sessions! But I'll tell you one thing... when a game situation comes up where I have to make that hard turn to the right/left or I have to stop on my (previously) weak foot and go the other way, I'm ready for it.

So just do whatever you're uncomfortable with the most, and you'll see progress in that area. And always push yourself further than you think you can go... I think that's pretty key in all sports.

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08-03-2012, 05:25 AM
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Practice

Quote:
Originally Posted by Clownquestion View Post
Would you say it's better to practice this at stick & puck, or public session?

I find that public session I focus on my skating more just because I have no stick or puck to distract me. But I also think that the balance etc. is quite different when skating with a stick, so I do want to be able to skate well with the stick!

A couple of months ago I was messing around at public session (wearing full gear, and the ice was pretty much empty) and I decided to do a few laps short-track style. I was able to get going at a nice clip so that one of my teammates remarked that I was amazingly fast - but why so much slower with the stick? I told her all of those things - stick, puck, changing directions, stopping suddenly, people getting in the way - slowed me down, so I really need to be fast in THOSE situations, not just on an empty rink!

I will be doing public session on Saturday, as well as instructional league Friday and Sunday, followed by a couple of games. I think I will work a lot on the crossovers this weekend and maybe that will help my confidence.

Also - I've noticed that when I go right over left, no problem. But when I try to bring my left leg over my right, it almost feels as if there's too much padding there, and it keeps me from bringing the leg over? I don't feel that the other direction. It feels almost like I'm wearing a big puffy snowsuit, and the thickness of the pants/padding/shinguards gets in the way of lifting that leg over the other. I think part of it is I may need to bend my knees more.
Depends on the rink rules governing each.Your instructional classes may have time at the end for working on individual objectives, so this could be an alternative.

You seem to have an issue with the apparel worn for skating. Speed skating apparel is lite, designed for speed. Hockey equipment is heavy, designed for protection plus you have a stick with a puck that requires feel. Work off ice, handle a ball with a stick with little movement. Pass , shoot against a wall to get a better feel. Wear hockey gloves while doing so.

Btw - how old are you?

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08-03-2012, 07:50 AM
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TickleMeYandle
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I'm 41.

I am used to the feel of the equipment now, but it's just that one area that still feels so bulky. I do think much of that is muscle memory - I've never had to do left over right crossovers, so the motion itself feels odd. Right over left, at least I'm used to making that motion and the whole idea of the knee bend and lean to the left is something that feels "right" to me. Leaning the right and pushing with the right skate towards the center just feels so absolutely WRONG. So I'm not really getting low enough to get my skate over the other one without bumping into the padding.

My Sunday night class is pretty structured, we don't have a lot of time to work on individual stuff other than during warm-ups. My Tuesday night, we usually have 15-20 minutes to warm up and skate around before starting the drills. Friday night - this is only the second time I've attended that one so I don't know what normal is, but it seems to be pretty structured, then at the end we get 10-15 minutes to just play around. There were only 5 skaters last week plus a goalie, and 2 coaches. So it may be possible for me to ask one of the coaches if they can work on that with me if the others are doing a drill I'm not really able to do yet - everyone else was obviously more advanced than me last week.

I will be doing public session tomorrow with my daughter, I always wear full gear whenever I skate just b/c I don't want to take a bad fall without it and b/c if I'm going to practice it, I want to practice it the way I'll have to do it in a game. No sense learning to do something without the extra weight/padding if I'm going to have to do it with the padding in a game situation. If it's not too busy, I can sometimes find a corner to myself and practice both directions. Otherwise, I can work on the one direction at public skates and work only on the other direction at practices/stick & puck.

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08-03-2012, 08:09 AM
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Okay

Quote:
Originally Posted by Clownquestion View Post
I'm 41.

I am used to the feel of the equipment now, but it's just that one area that still feels so bulky. I do think much of that is muscle memory - I've never had to do left over right crossovers, so the motion itself feels odd. Right over left, at least I'm used to making that motion and the whole idea of the knee bend and lean to the left is something that feels "right" to me. Leaning the right and pushing with the right skate towards the center just feels so absolutely WRONG. So I'm not really getting low enough to get my skate over the other one without bumping into the padding.

My Sunday night class is pretty structured, we don't have a lot of time to work on individual stuff other than during warm-ups. My Tuesday night, we usually have 15-20 minutes to warm up and skate around before starting the drills. Friday night - this is only the second time I've attended that one so I don't know what normal is, but it seems to be pretty structured, then at the end we get 10-15 minutes to just play around. There were only 5 skaters last week plus a goalie, and 2 coaches. So it may be possible for me to ask one of the coaches if they can work on that with me if the others are doing a drill I'm not really able to do yet - everyone else was obviously more advanced than me last week.

I will be doing public session tomorrow with my daughter, I always wear full gear whenever I skate just b/c I don't want to take a bad fall without it and b/c if I'm going to practice it, I want to practice it the way I'll have to do it in a game. No sense learning to do something without the extra weight/padding if I'm going to have to do it with the padding in a game situation. If it's not too busy, I can sometimes find a corner to myself and practice both directions. Otherwise, I can work on the one direction at public skates and work only on the other direction at practices/stick & puck.
Okay. Some of the time for individual time with instructors available to kids making the transition is not available nor is the evaluation equipment. No problem. Adapt, time yourself, estimate.

Weight. The equipment weight issue.Add two compact weights total 5 pounds,8-10 if you can manage it, balanced. Once you are used to the weights remove them and your equipment will feel lighter.

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08-05-2012, 09:01 AM
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I had class Friday night but we worked almost exclusively on shooting as we had two goalies.

Yesterday I went to public session with my daughter and son and was able to work on crossovers. I warned them both - I'm probably going to fall a lot today because I'm really trying to see how far I can push before I lose control, so no laughing or pointing!

At first I had trouble because I felt unstable. I had watched a youtube video on crossovers Friday that emphasized that there should be two sounds when doing the crossover - the push from the foot before you lift it, and then the push from the foot as it goes under the body. I realized that rather than really trying to push the foot under the body, I was more just gliding on it and trying to stay upright long enough to bring the other foot over. I started to make a real effort to push it under and through and as soon as I did that, it started to click. I could actually feel the edge going against the ice and felt 1000% more stable. Rather than that foot just being there as support until the other foot came back onto the ice, that foot turned into a means of pushing and going somewhere. I would say that my speed just about doubled on the corners doing that (which it should, two feet pushing is twice as many as just one foot pushing!).

So my counter-clockwise crossovers are now much better. I don't feel 100% confident - but maybe 80% confident in them. I tried a few clockwise, but it's hard to do when everyone is skating the other direction. I did manage to bring the left foot over right, so that's some progress. I will need to be able to skate at a stick time to work on it, so that I can really get that pushing feeling going the opposite direction.

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08-05-2012, 11:12 AM
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This link has terrific edgework drills:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=27Vyw_X04Y8

The only thing I don't like about it is the order they're presented in, they have the 1-footed skating drill early on, when it's the toughest skill to master. My suggestion would be:

1) Start with the 1-footed figure 8s, on both your inside and outside edges, do these until you're very comfortable on all edges
2) Progress to scissor skating, again until you're very comfortable, doing it both slowly and quickly, and getting lot's of pressure/power out of all 4 edges
3) Progress to crossovers (slow crossovers, really focusing on form). Lateral step drills can help here too (walking along the blueline by crossing your legs over each other, facing the end boards)
4) Progress to 2-footed turns (with basically equal pressure on your inside and outside edges). Start coming into the turn slowly, then practice coming in with more and more speed
5) Try the 1-footed skating drill to really perfect your technique

Ideally you will do this whole progression going both forward and backward, but obviously it's much tougher going backward. One last tip is to keep a nice deep knee/ankle bend, too many newer skaters skate really upright, which hurts your balance and ability to generate power.

By just practising crossovers, you'll eventually get decent at them, but I think to become TRULY comfortable on all 4 edges, so you can really generate a tonne of power on those outside edges, you need other drills to (like the ones listed above).

As for becoming more confident stopping quickly, practice makes perfect. I don't really know any stopping drills, you just have to practice stopping more and more quickly with more and more speed, in a variety of situations.

Re: pads getting in the way, a lot of that is probably mental, but nothing wrong with buying slimmer pads if you can afford new ones. For low profile shins, you can look at something like Bauer Vapour shins. For low profile pants, just try them on in store, see what fits well with minimal bulk. You could even try an ice hockey girdle, some are a bit bulky themselves, but some are VERY streamlines, while still providing decent protection (the Warrior Projekt girdle is the nicest fitting, lowest bulk girdle I've ever tried on, at least for me, but not many stores carry it).


Last edited by ponder: 08-05-2012 at 11:19 AM.
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08-06-2012, 01:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ponder View Post
This link has terrific edgework drills:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=27Vyw_X04Y8

The only thing I don't like about it is the order they're presented in, they have the 1-footed skating drill early on, when it's the toughest skill to master. My suggestion would be:

1) Start with the 1-footed figure 8s, on both your inside and outside edges, do these until you're very comfortable on all edges
2) Progress to scissor skating, again until you're very comfortable, doing it both slowly and quickly, and getting lot's of pressure/power out of all 4 edges
3) Progress to crossovers (slow crossovers, really focusing on form). Lateral step drills can help here too (walking along the blueline by crossing your legs over each other, facing the end boards)
4) Progress to 2-footed turns (with basically equal pressure on your inside and outside edges). Start coming into the turn slowly, then practice coming in with more and more speed
5) Try the 1-footed skating drill to really perfect your technique

Ideally you will do this whole progression going both forward and backward, but obviously it's much tougher going backward. One last tip is to keep a nice deep knee/ankle bend, too many newer skaters skate really upright, which hurts your balance and ability to generate power.

By just practising crossovers, you'll eventually get decent at them, but I think to become TRULY comfortable on all 4 edges, so you can really generate a tonne of power on those outside edges, you need other drills to (like the ones listed above).

As for becoming more confident stopping quickly, practice makes perfect. I don't really know any stopping drills, you just have to practice stopping more and more quickly with more and more speed, in a variety of situations.

Re: pads getting in the way, a lot of that is probably mental, but nothing wrong with buying slimmer pads if you can afford new ones. For low profile shins, you can look at something like Bauer Vapour shins. For low profile pants, just try them on in store, see what fits well with minimal bulk. You could even try an ice hockey girdle, some are a bit bulky themselves, but some are VERY streamlines, while still providing decent protection (the Warrior Projekt girdle is the nicest fitting, lowest bulk girdle I've ever tried on, at least for me, but not many stores carry it).
I would think that the 1-footed figure 8's are harder to do than cross-overs themselves, no? At least for me they are... if we're thinking about the same thing. You're talking about the "1 footed S drill", right? Where you spell out an S with your one foot using both edges?

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08-06-2012, 10:51 AM
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ponder
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Originally Posted by Fanned On It View Post
I would think that the 1-footed figure 8's are harder to do than cross-overs themselves, no? At least for me they are... if we're thinking about the same thing. You're talking about the "1 footed S drill", right? Where you spell out an S with your one foot using both edges?
No, different drill, in this one you basically just go in a circle on one edge/foot (i.e. outside edge of your right foot), then switch feet and go in a circle (in this case it would be the outside edge of your left foot). You can see it in the video I linked to, it's a very easy drill.

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