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Improve Your Footwork to Change Direction Quickly

By Mark Fitzgerald, Elite Training Systems, 01/26/18, 12:15PM EST


How to get a step ahead of your opponent

Being able to change direction in an instant on the ice is very important for a hockey player. With the puck moving in all ways from passes, shots and bounces, getting a step ahead of your opponent is key for finding open ice.

The 60-Yard Shuttle takes the footwork used in the Lateral Bound and Crossover drills and applies it to this exercise. It teaches quick pivots while expensing the same amount of energy used in a shift.

The Drill: 60-Yard Shuttle

A good conditioning drill that mimics a game shift in effort and energy.

What You’ll Need: A flat surface, running shoes, three pylons in a vertical line 5 yards apart.

Body Position: Begin in an athletic stance with knees bent, ready to run.

The Movement:

  • Sprint from the start line to the first pylon 5 yards away. Once you reach it, shift, lateral pivot and run back to the start line. Stay low in your direction transitions, giving full effort each way you run.
  • Repeat the same action, this time running to the second pylon and back. Do the same to the third pylon 15 yards away.

The Breakdown:

This drill should take 15-20 seconds of work with about 40 seconds of rest. It should be done in three sets, with a rest of two to three minutes afterwards. Rest is important for recovery and mimics what would happen to a player on the bench after their shift on the ice.

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Mark Fitzgerald is the owner and founder of Elite Training Systems as well, as the ETS Athlete Development App. In addition, Fitzgerald is head of Performance Training for the Anaheim Ducks, Lead Training Advisor for Under Armour and a member of the Under Armour Global Team.

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