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Chalk Talk

Improve Your Balance with This Drill

By Ian Taylor, OMHA Executive Director, 11/16/17, 11:00AM EST


Chalk Talk | Age-appropriate skills, drills and progressions

balance on skates

In this edition of Chalk-Talk, we take a look at agility skating.  

The drills in this series put players in situations that they will encounter in games – this presents the players with the opportunity to:

  • create
  • problem-solve
  • read and react
  • to use the technical skills, tactics and concepts they have learned in practice

Today, we are going to look at using edge control in a two-foot slalom to develop overall skating skills. In this session, we look at a series of agility edge work that you can use to develop your skating skills and as a great warm-up.

2-Foot Slalom – Forward & Backward

  • Keep the knees over the toes, with feet together, and both skates on the ice.
  • Use the inside and outside edges to slalom using tight, sharp turns pushing through the heels. Off-set the stick to master control of upper and lower body.
  • Do same movement backwards, this time pushing through balls of the feet.

1-Foot Slalom – Forward & Backward

  • Weaving on one leg allows players to feel the inside and outside edges of their skates.
  • Create propulsion and speed by putting weight on and off the glide leg.
  • When weaving backward, it’s necessary to place pressure more on the toe in order to maintain balance, versus putting pressure on the heel when going forward.

Slalom – Transition

  • This agility drill involves transitioning from the outside edge moving forwards to the inside edge moving backwards by shifting weight and opening the hips.
  • A deep knee bend is crucial to creating a strong push each time.

Feeling comfortable and balanced on your skates is key, no matter how many feet are on the ice or which direction you are moving. Make this progression part of your warm-up routine to improve overall skating agility and confidence in your edges.

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Ian Taylor is the Executive Director of the OMHA and former Director of Hockey Development. A proud hockey dad of two, Ian has over 25 years of instructional and coaching experience.

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