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Powerfull Stride Question

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12-08-2006, 06:24 AM
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Powerfull Stride Question

I have a team of youth hockey players Under 12. 50% of the team use very strong and powerful strides. They understand that your stride needs to have strength and explosiveness and not to just go through the motions.

The other 50% of the team strides with not much power at all. There are three very big and strong kids who seem to not grasp that when you stride you must extend stride leg with force.

One of our lightest kids on our team has amazing strides. It sounds like he is ripping the ice as he strides. Our biggest, strongest, most athletic kid doesn't stride strong enough to make a mark in the ice.

Does anyone have any drills to teach this?

Any help would be appreciated

Thanks in advance

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12-09-2006, 09:09 AM
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drills can be as simple as having them take fast short strides during circle drills or any other drills where your taking them out of their comfort zone. Kids have a tendancy to stay inside it so you have to draw them out. During these drills, those who rarely fall and are not your best skaters would indicate a non-skill or physical reason for poor game performance.

How many of the team have had real power skate instruction? Its one thing to demonstrate what you want done in a drill but its another to get specifically into the how. DO your skaters understand why allowing ankle bend to gain edge bite helps. Do they understand that knee bend should extend the knee ahead of the toe a few inches? Do they understand that knee bend also allows for the full extention of the drive leg while maintaining balance and edge control?

Slowing something down and passing the step by step knowledge can be very powerfull in just a few sessions. Fundamentals and basic body mechanics is always a good place to start when looking to correct.

I am sure these other guys can help provide specific drills that will take the skater out of the comfort zone and onto their edges. They dont even have to be hard skating drills. Many are at a slow pace. Balance becomes even more important and is a great development tool for the U12 age bracket.

Off ice ladder and other agility type drills can also help improve the skate performance and endurance for the U12 since plyos are least affective below age 12. "games" play is a great way to bring some of the best out of the u12 age bracket. Relays, obstacle course and other individual competitions during practice ice is a boost for team as a whole as well as individual improvement. It also provides a basis for the competitive nature of the players to set goals. Beating a fastest time at any particular drill/course, etc etc etc.

Having watched a young team in Olean whos Coaches were very much into a "different" approach. Using "games" type play as well as many traditional work, took a team with the smallest possible draw to states and won The championships two years in a row. Olean Arrows "A" . Watching some practices was almost like watching a football team with play such as obstacle courses with hurdles, cones, bag against board to rebound puck over..etc etc etc. Never saw a group of that age put so much concentration into something while having such a blast doing it....except maybe their video games...lol

Last edited by MikeD: 12-09-2006 at 09:20 AM.
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12-09-2006, 12:29 PM
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Originally Posted by MikeD View Post
I am sure these other guys can help provide specific drills that will take the skater out of the comfort zone
Usually a kid who can't keep up with his peers is more willing to play outside his comfort zone. It wouldn't surprise me if the smaller kids learned to skate more effectively just to keep up with the bigger kids. IDK if the kids who now need instruction are slower than the others or if you just think they could be faster than they are now. If they're slower you could stage races between skaters to prove your point. Draw attention to technique as they are skating so your players see WHY one is faster than the other. Just be careful they don't walk away from the lesson thinking "Kid A is fat and slow". Reassure them that everybody can be a better skater by taking slower, more explosive strides than many short, ineffective strides. Dan Bylsma covers the topic fairly well. Hopefully it will help: http://www.danbylsma.com/askDanAnswer.asp?q=17

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12-10-2006, 03:07 PM
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tell the big guys to get in a "squat/crouch" more. bending the knees more will force them to put more weight on their skates and also improve lateral movements as well....watch crosby....

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