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Forwards/backwards pivot

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09-07-2010, 09:33 AM
  #1
tarheelhockey
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Forwards/backwards pivot

This is just killing me during pickup games. I'll be doing just fine going forward, then the play changes and I really need to be going backwards instead... but I can't do a pivot to save my life. I end up with my back to the play every time.

Tried to teach myself this simple move during open skate, but something doesn't seem to be working. When I turn my blades, I end up just turning in a different direction instead of pivoting. Help!

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09-07-2010, 10:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tarheelhockey View Post
This is just killing me during pickup games. I'll be doing just fine going forward, then the play changes and I really need to be going backwards instead... but I can't do a pivot to save my life. I end up with my back to the play every time.

Tried to teach myself this simple move during open skate, but something doesn't seem to be working. When I turn my blades, I end up just turning in a different direction instead of pivoting. Help!


Can you do a proper hockey stop? You know how you sort of lift yourself up a bit as you prepare to stop?I mean, as you approach the boards or whatever, you're gliding in, knees bent, and then you sort of lift yourself up as you rotate your blades 90 degrees and angle them? If you're making a stop turning to your left, can you stop only on your right skate? Like with your left in the air? If you can make a hard stop on one skate, you're halfway there. Hell, I'm a poor skater, it's easier for me to make a stop with all my weight on my outside foot (ie, turn to the left stop, all my weight in on the right foot, and vice versa) than it is with my weight on both feet equally.

So ... say you're going forward, and want to turn around skate backwards in the same direction, and you plan on making your 180 turn to the left... so you're going forward, you lift your left skate up off the ice, and turn your body around to the left, pivoting on your right skate. If you were stopping, this is where you'd bring your weight back down, when you skate is at the 90degree point of the 180degree turn. But instead, you just keep rotating your body so that you move past the 90degree point and all the way around so you're facing the opposite way.

Does this make sense?


The hard part is balance, just like it is with stopping. Keep your knees bent as you put your left skate (in this example) back on the ice, it'll lower your centre of gravity and make it easier to balance.

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09-07-2010, 10:51 AM
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tarheelhockey
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That's really helpful. I'm just now getting close to comfortable with hockey stops so it appears I have a bit of work to do on the lift/turn motion.

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09-07-2010, 05:17 PM
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It took me a while to learn them, but I did, the improvement to my game was tremendous. It made me ridiculously effective in the neutral zone and at counterattacking after a turnover.

For me, the key to learning these thing was to do them at very low speed and building up gradually. Once you're really confident with the footwork, you'll find yourself using it automatically in the game.

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09-07-2010, 06:00 PM
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Ok, the way they tought me to do it was like "Touch your heels" or some BS like that.

I do it my own way.

I do the Michael Jackson way.

I go on my toes, and spin on my toes, and my momentum carrys me backwards.
I learned how to skate by myself. No parrents tought me, no teacher. Just me, and roller skates. And roller translated to ice.

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09-07-2010, 07:51 PM
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Learning them is all about really exaggerating the motions and getting the shift from foot to foot timed right.

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09-08-2010, 05:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tarheelhockey View Post
That's really helpful. I'm just now getting close to comfortable with hockey stops so it appears I have a bit of work to do on the lift/turn motion.
Well, it's all about balance. If you can do hockey stops, you're halfway there. That video just posted is a little different from how I do them, and how I described doing them. They called it a "mohawk pivot", not sure if that means I'm doing it wrong or there's just different methods.


Watch some other people do them, ask someone who looks like they know what they're doing. If you just end up turning instead of rotating all the way around, it sounds like you're not a) "lifting" yourself enough, and b) rotating your body fast enough.

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09-08-2010, 07:40 AM
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Originally Posted by MW View Post


Learning them is all about really exaggerating the motions and getting the shift from foot to foot timed right.
I can do a 2 foot turn, sliding with both feet on the ice, but just never seem to be able to get my hips opened enough to do a Mohawk.

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09-08-2010, 09:21 AM
  #9
tarheelhockey
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhXcoyotes View Post
I do it my own way.

I do the Michael Jackson way.
That was great

Thanks for the advice everyone, this is really helpful.

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09-08-2010, 02:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Injektilo View Post
Well, it's all about balance. If you can do hockey stops, you're halfway there. That video just posted is a little different from how I do them, and how I described doing them. They called it a "mohawk pivot", not sure if that means I'm doing it wrong or there's just different methods.


Watch some other people do them, ask someone who looks like they know what they're doing. If you just end up turning instead of rotating all the way around, it sounds like you're not a) "lifting" yourself enough, and b) rotating your body fast enough.
It's obviously situational, but I was generally taught that mohawk pivots were technically the "right" way, because your blades are always travelling "straight" along the ice instead of scraping along on top of it. Because of this, you should technically lose less speed with a mohawk pivot.

That said, for the most part, just do whatever keeps you most stable on your feet and gets you turned around quickly. I have a very weak left ankle due to being born with twisted shin bones, so I find myself sometimes using the "unweighting" method if I'm not in a stable position when I turn to the left. It gets the job done, but I definitely teach the kids the mohawk method when I'm coaching.

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09-09-2010, 11:13 AM
  #11
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Best advice I got was open your hips, keep your knees bent and your rear end low. If you stand up you'll lose balance and speed. Also, I found it helpful to "walk through" it over and over off ice to at least get the feel down.

Also, don't forget to practice both sides... For some reason I still am much better when I pivot to the left then pivoting right.

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09-09-2010, 07:41 PM
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The keys to doing it are really simple: 1) BEND your knees and 2) mini jump and land on the balls of your feet. That's really all it takes. Oh by the way, try to land on your flats, not your edges.

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09-10-2010, 01:01 PM
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I'm a hockey noob also, and I've been working on pivots too. That video was very helpful! I think I've got down pivoting on one side, but need to work on the other side some more. What seemed to make the difference for me was a) finally getting to the point where when I'm skating backwards, I'm no longer thinking "hey, I'm skating backwards" - it's gotten more natural. And b) sinking really low in the knees just as I put the weight onto the foot going forward.

I think a big part of the fear I had about this transition was keeping my momentum going as I turned backwards. I mean, I knew I needed to find a way to keep the same rate of speed going as I switched, to make the pivot worthwhile. But I realize now that I had to be really comfortable with the backwards skating so that I wouldn't hesitate and mess up the pivot. So I've just been hitting the rink for a couple hours at a time and spending most of my time there doing backwards figure 8's and zig-zags.

Anyhoo, that's my first post! This place is a great source of info, and I've learned a lot so far!

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09-10-2010, 01:03 PM
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Welcome, beth!

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09-10-2010, 03:37 PM
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Thanks for the welcome! I'm hoping I'll be spending a lot more time here.

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09-10-2010, 04:17 PM
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Don't practice this without your equipment on because if you hit a rut or something you are going down hard.

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09-12-2010, 08:33 PM
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OH BOY! Two things: To learn these properly, while skating forward prior to pivoting your feet, you'll want to turn your body as much as possible in the direction you plan to pivot. In other words, your feet will still be pointing in one direction and if pivoting to the right, you'll twist your body (at the waist, chest, shoulders and head) to the right as far as you can twist and then your feet once you've gotten to that "as far as you can twist" position. Keep your knees well bent. Secondly, to prepare for this exercise, you can simply hold on to the boards (not while moving) and with your feet pointing in one direction, twist your body towards the boards and then pivot while holding onto the boards for balance. With a day or two of practice you should be able to execute this maneuver at slow speeds.

The Mohawk is a completely different skill which once learned is used to turn forward from skating backwards. As someone else mentioned, it's the task of taking one skate and completely pointing that skate in the direction you're already traveling (from skating backwards) and then placing all your weight on that skate. Once tyour weight is on that one skate, you turn the rest of yuor body in that direction now you're skating forward. Youtube has plenty of video on the Mohawk.

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09-12-2010, 08:53 PM
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WD - the mohawk is actually the most efficient way to go from forward to backwards because, as stated above, it does not affect speed near as much as the one-skate pivot.

It is also, as you mentioned, the best way to go from backwards to forwards.

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09-15-2010, 07:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tarheelhockey View Post
This is just killing me during pickup games. I'll be doing just fine going forward, then the play changes and I really need to be going backwards instead... but I can't do a pivot to save my life. I end up with my back to the play every time.

Tried to teach myself this simple move during open skate, but something doesn't seem to be working. When I turn my blades, I end up just turning in a different direction instead of pivoting. Help!
Ok, not sure if someone said this already but, this move is called a "Heel to Heel" pivot. Now, the video above show a great example. But, the minute you make that turn, you need to get right into a twin crossover in one direction, followed by a transtion of weight transfer, to a twin crossover in the other direction.

If you just skate back like in the video, you will have limited mobility moving laterally. Plus, when you move into a twin crossover after the turn, the twin crossover helps you increase your speed to control the gap distance.

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09-16-2010, 07:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Headcoach View Post
Ok, not sure if someone said this already but, this move is called a "Heel to Heel" pivot. Now, the video above show a great example. But, the minute you make that turn, you need to get right into a twin crossover in one direction, followed by a transtion of weight transfer, to a twin crossover in the other direction.

If you just skate back like in the video, you will have limited mobility moving laterally. Plus, when you move into a twin crossover after the turn, the twin crossover helps you increase your speed to control the gap distance.

Head coach
What headcoach said! As soon as I execute the pivot, I'm ready to cross in whichever direction I need to in order to cover the offensive player.

If someone is trying to learn this, get the pivot first, then learn the backwards crossovers and then put the two together. Might be a bit frustrating I'd think to try and learn it all in one maneuver.

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09-16-2010, 08:27 PM
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Mohawks are fine if you are already going in the right direction. And I suspect this is the original posters situation.

Here is a tutorial video showing a pivot when you need to quickly change directions from forward to backward.


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09-17-2010, 06:34 PM
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I was practicing these mohawk pivots today, and what seemed to really help me was using the circles. So, like, if you're going forwards, keep the outside foot on the line, put your weight on it and pick up the inside foot and turn it backwards and try to get it on the line too as you do the pivot. You'd always be opening up towards the center of the circle. I just went forwards to backwards to forwards again going around and around. The visual of the circle line helped me a lot, and it seemed to be easier to execute the pivot on a curve rather than trying to go straight. Switch directions on the circle to practice opening up the other way.

Hope this helps!!

(Now I just need to get the nerve to do these faster!)

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09-19-2010, 06:48 PM
  #23
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Originally Posted by trtaylor View Post
Mohawks are fine if you are already going in the right direction. And I suspect this is the original posters situation.

Here is a tutorial video showing a pivot when you need to quickly change directions from forward to backward.


That's what I think he meant, and that's what I have trouble with sometimes - even after playing hockey for 30 years. LOL

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09-19-2010, 09:48 PM
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Originally Posted by BlaXXXima View Post
That's what I think he meant, and that's what I have trouble with sometimes - even after playing hockey for 30 years. LOL
30 years? You got me beat - by a lot. Guess I shouldn't worry that I find them difficult to do, at least with any speed that really matters.

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03-05-2012, 08:00 AM
  #25
tarheelhockey
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I just found this old thread, and thought it might be helpful to give an update for anybody who is having trouble with pivots.

So, I am JUST now getting comfortable with pivoting front-to-back. The biggest factor -- I spent a year going to pickup and stick-and-puck where I sometimes tried to pivot but failed. Then I spent a month in an adult learn-to-play class and BOOM! Pivoting in no time.

Lesson #1 -- Go ahead and sign up for lessons. It works, and it ultimately keeps you from wasting ice time like I did for a year.

What finally got me moving in the right direction was I got comfortable skating backward. See beth's post #13 above. It was much easier to focus on the footwork when the goal was to get into a position I already found comfortable. Also, I kept working on hockey stops and especially one-footed stops. That made me more comfortable with turning my edges.

Lesson #2 -- Learn to skate backward and hockey stop comfortably, especially in terms of getting your balance and footwork down to a habit. If you're still working on those skills, it's tough to work pivoting into the equation.

Finally, and this kind of goes back to the first point, a huge part of it was just building up the confidence and getting rid of hesitation. Being involved in a group lesson put me in a position where I just had to stop thinking and DO it. The first few lessons I tended to hockey-stop completely and then begin skating backwards very slowly. Pushing myself to do it quickly was key, because I didn't want to fall behind the group. The more I pushed myself to make a smooth transition, the more confidently I would turn my skates front-to-back... until one day, BOOM, that hockey stop turned into a little swivel.

Lesson #3 -- It's not gonna happen unless you push beyond your comfort zone.


I hope that helps someone who's having trouble with this skill. It's worth the hard work.

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