In a game situation one of the biggest advantages that you can have over your opponent is quick acceleration. Your ability to quickly go from coasting to full speed will help you win foot races, out-skate your opponent, get more loose pucks and get more opportunities to shoot and score. Speed is one of the most important factors in today’s game and acceleration is a huge part of speed.
We have our players start by turning their feet outwards and walking on their toes, then jogging and then eventually running up on their toes on the ice. If you can’t learn to turn your feet you will never get full power. In order to get all the power from each stride you need to turn your blades to a 45 angle. This ensures your blades don’t slip on the ice, if you don’t turn your feet you are basically just spinning your tires.
This point is VERY important for acceleration, but not quite as important once you get to full speed. When you accelerate your first three steps are basically all toes, you are essentially sprinting on the ice. You want three quick steps and try to dig the toe in, push hard, and then get the next toe dug in. You don’t want to coast at all. When you get to full speed you are using more of the blades and coasting with each stride, but the acceleration needs to be all power, all thrust and no coasting!
Remember to EXPLODE with power from both legs. Some players push hard with the first leg to get themselves going and then go half power for the next few steps. Push hard with both legs, and practice using the right technique with both legs.
This is very important, if you don’t bend your knees enough you won’t get 100% of the power you could be getting. The less you bend your knees the less power you will get, imagine riding a bike without bending your knees, you wouldn’t get anywhere. We always tell our skater that they need to learn to bend their knees and not their backs.
Extend your leg powerfully, and then quickly get it back underneath you to take another stride.
You want to keep that energy moving forwards, so lean forwards. Some players extend their legs, but stand up while they are doing it. Make sure you are leaning forwards so all your energy pushes you forwards, you don’t want to lose power by pushing UP instead of out.
Until next time Scary Mary says see you at the rink ...