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Chalk Talk

From Forwards to Backwards in One Move

By Ian Taylor, OMHA Executive Director, 05/07/18, 3:30PM EDT


Chalk Talk | Age-appropriate skills, drills and progressions

Skating is one of hockey’s most fundamental skills. Becoming comfortable moving on the ice is one of the cornerstones in building player confidence. The ability to turn and change directions smoothly can open up new pass and shot opportunities.

Pivots allow for a player to change direction without modifying speed, a crucial skill in today’s fast-paced game. Get the most out of every stride by using the proper technique.

Several technical components must be combined and coordinated to execute quick transitions.

  • Players must open their hips up 90 degrees when executing the transition. Improper hip turn movement and flexibility results in a loss of speed and balance.
  • When pivoting, the puck should be controlled outside the player’s skates as opposed to in front of the body. This helps prevent the puck from getting stuck in between skates and possibly losing control.
  • As the player transitions to backwards skating, the puck should be in a loaded position, meaning the player can pass or shoot immediately.

Photo Credit: Brian Woo

Backwards skating is useful when your team is making a line change and you want to maintain possession of the puck as the offence resets. Read the play that is developing in front of you and determine what the best pass or shot option is.

The drills in the Chalk Talk 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

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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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