Since we are off our skates in the summer, the next best alternative is kicking it old-school and tying up a pair of rollerblades. While the mechanics of skating may be different, the movements still provide a similar enough simulation to what it feels like to be on the ice.
Rollerblading is a great way for players to stay in game shape and take advantage of the warm summer weather. It improves balance as well as single leg control and develop confidence in their skating and movement abilities. It is an easy way to build up leg power as well. While the edgework and stops and turns may not be the same it still offers the same conditioning benefits.
There will be a transition period moving back from rollerblades to ice skates. While it may be a similar motion, in the end there are certain details of stride technique and edgework that are simply different with each activity.
"I always tried to do the closest thing to playing hockey," said Wayne Gretzky of how he would stay in shape. "I probably would have found a pair of Rollerblades, or in-line skates, and I would've been skating around flat property around the neighborhood as much as I can. Because your hands and your shot and stickhandling, that's never going to go away, but one of the things you lose quickly, if you're not skating every day, is that skating stride. So if I was a player of today's generation and we were locked out, I would try to find places to rollerblade as much as possible."
When rollerblading, remember to always wear the proper safety equipment including a helmet and elbow and knee pads. You never know when you may hit a literal bump in the road and take a spill. Staying safe off of the ice means you’ll be ready for when it’s time to put on your skates again. Be mindful of where you skate and always watch out for other pedestrians or vehicles.
Share with your friends on Facebook and join the largest network of hockey parents.