Why Power Skating?
Power Skating is a type of skating style that has been determined to be biomechanically the most efficient—in common terms, it applies the energy of the skater directly to the motion using a minimal amount of effort.
In every sport, there are fundamentals that must be mastered in order to advance to more sophisticated levels of play. In the sport of hockey, skating is the foundation. You may be able to knock a slapshot in the net at 90 mph, but if you can't skate the length of the rink at lightning fast speed in order to position yourself to take the shot in the first place, you won't be much use to your teammates.
Power skating improves players' speed, mobility, and overall technique. Through a combination of precise training, repetitive movement, and off-ice conditioning, professional, amateur, and recreational hockey players learn how to improve their bodies' efficiency. Choppy strides and flailing arms waste energy and drain stamina, making it nearly impossible to endure the rigors of a two-minute shift. In fact, some of the National Hockey League's fastest skaters, players like brothers Scott and Rob Neidermayer of the 2007 NHL Stanley Cup Champions, the Anaheim Ducks, have spent many hours on the ice honing their power skating skills.
With much discussion about the need for speed in "the new NHL," professional teams are beginning to recognize the value of creating a coaching position dedicated exclusively to improving players' skating. The Chicago Blackhawks hired Olympic champion speed skater Dan Jansen in 2005 to spearhead their skating conditioning program. "Speed has become more of a factor in the game since the rule changes," Dan says. "The sooner that young players can start to develop good habits, the better. Good skating requires power, speed, and efficiency all together, not just one or two of those things."
There are several key components of power skating:
- Good posture, with knees bent at approximately 90°.
- Follow-through with the push.
- Use of the outside and inside edges of the skates.
- Eyes looking straight ahead, not down at the skates.