I'm new to playing hockey, and even though I've spent average amount of time in my childhood "family skating" - I've very quickly learned that the skating skill requirements for hockey are light years higher.
Playing hockey REALLY emphasized the fact that I had a strong turning direction. I didn't realize there was such a massive difference in feel and ability between the right and left turning/stopping directions. Wow. As a result, I end up playing a heavily "one-direction-biased" hockey game! LOL
It's like trying to throw a baseball with my "wrong" hand, trying to write with my wrong hand - it just feels plain awkward and wrong...
I'd like to know (for those of you who've trecked this road before) - is this simply a matter of doing it more? Turning and stopping more in the "bad" direction? Does it eventually get away from the "wierd" sensation?
It's funny, my whole body mechanics and sense of balance completely get distorted when I start turning in my "weak" direction, which in my case is to the Right.
I'm thinking that nothing will solve this other than doing lots and lots of practice in the weak direction?
Any specific tips from anyone who've been there and done that to alleviate some of this?
BTW- I really appreciate all of the experience, knowledge and expertise on this board. I find it very insightful and inspiring.
You just have to know how to shift your weight. Practice facing the same way and stopping. Most times people just have a dominate side, both for cross-overs and stopping. As long as you can pivot either way, I don't think that stopping on a specific side is a big deal. It's just all about feel. If you practice it enough, your mind will just know how to shift your body weight to that side.
(2) think about what makes you dominant on one side vs. the other.
(3) try these simple, yet effective exercises to balance you out...
- skate in circles the defensive zone faceoff circles. use your stick on the inside to help you balance and make you feel comfortable. just keep doing these over and over. you may look like an idiot, but you should be thinking about IMPROVING not what others think
- do figure eights around the faceoff dots (east-west) in the neutral zone w/tight turns. you may fall or go wide in the beginning, but remember to lower your 'weak' shoulder as you turn INTO the turn.
- skate in an "x" pattern all 4 faceoff dots in the neutral zone at a higher rate of speed. this will force you to 'edge' into the turning radius.