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marka

Learning hockey at 20 years past an advanced age

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39 minutes ago, puckpilot said:

- keep in mind all drills are basically muscle building drills. Often the reason someone can't execute an advanced manoeuvre is because they don't have the strength to do it, not because they aren't coordinated enough or don't understand the mechanics.

 

Not so, strength has very little to do with been able to skate. If you can walk and run then you should be able to skate. Skating is about muscle coordination and muscle training, which muscle groups have to fire correctly to keep you upright, balanced, holding the edge, making a cross over etc. And after your brain has started to work this out then it has to optimise these firings so that the least amount of energy is used whilst doing it. This isn't strength. I can happily point you in the direction of some of the smallest and weakest players I know and they skate just fine. To skate faster, to stay on your skates battling on the boards etc then yes, strength does play a part but to skate, no. And the reason you can't do an advanced drill is because you don't know how to, not because you are not strong enough (unless the drill is beyond your physical strength like asking someone to push 200kg down the rink). eg there is a classic youtube vid of Laura Stamm showing a relatively simple edge control drill that these NHL prospects struggle to do. Are you saying these guys can't do it because they aren't strong enough???

Edited by Vet88

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2 hours ago, Vet88 said:

Not so, strength has very little to do with been able to skate. If you can walk and run then you should be able to skate. Skating is about muscle coordination and muscle training, which muscle groups have to fire correctly to keep you upright, balanced, holding the edge, making a cross over etc. And after your brain has started to work this out then it has to optimise these firings so that the least amount of energy is used whilst doing it. This isn't strength. I can happily point you in the direction of some of the smallest and weakest players I know and they skate just fine. To skate faster, to stay on your skates battling on the boards etc then yes, strength does play a part but to skate, no. And the reason you can't do an advanced drill is because you don't know how to, not because you are not strong enough (unless the drill is beyond your physical strength like asking someone to push 200kg down the rink). eg there is a classic youtube vid of Laura Stamm showing a relatively simple edge control drill that these NHL prospects struggle to do. Are you saying these guys can't do it because they aren't strong enough???

Muscle and coordination work hand in hand. One without the other will get you now where. If you have the right muscles developed, you'll get further faster, but most people don't have the muscle, because skating uses muscles that we don't normally depend on a whole lot or use them in ways that aren't like running and walking. Ask an average person to get into a deep hockey stance and walk around holding that stance for a few minutes. I bet their thighs will be burning within 30 seconds.

With these prospects, how long did it take for them to figure out the drill and execute it correctly? My guess, not too long. But even if they couldn't execute the drill, just because someone can skate at a certain level doesn't mean they've developed all the muscles they'll ever need to do every drill in the world. 

Also could you define smallest and weakest and what you mean by skate just fine? I'm short and have the upper-body strength of an infant, but my leg strength is pretty good. I push players way taller and heavier off pucks all the time. Does that make me weak or strong? Does that make those bigger players weak or strong?

If strength is so insignificant, why is it that when I lost all that muscle, I couldn't skate worth a damn. I've been skating for over thirty years, but once that muscle was gone, I couldn't do a one foot slalom, which I could do for ages. When I tried, my foot would wobble and buckle. It was the same for every aspect of skating. Forwards or backwards crossovers forget it. Every time I leaned onto edges and tried to push off with any meaningful amount of power, my skate would wobble, buckle, or slip. My brain didn't forget how to do these things. The only thing that changed was muscle mass. Funny thing was as soon as I regained enough muscle, I could suddenly do all these things again, most of the drills without ever having practised in between. 

The thing I did was go back to basics and just do all the simple drills they teach you when you're learning to skate, things like basic c-cuts. I used these things to regaining my strength. And once i had that strength, things started to fall back into place.

For another example, I had a friend who was a competitive biker. Never skated in his life. One day in his mid-twenties, he decided to pick up speed skating. Within a year, not only was he pretty good, he was good enough that the Taiwanese national team was looking at him. How did he get so good so fast? IMHO it was because he had the right muscle strength, so all he had to do was work on technique.

One thing I see at the rink all the time is people executing what look like "proper" c-cuts, but there's no power behind it. They don't push into the ice. They just kind of glide. So they get nowhere, because they're not developing strength. I see the same thing with things like crossovers. One foot goes over the other and they push off a little, but there's really no power behind it because they don't have the strength to get down in a proper crouch and they don't have the strength to hold an edge to really lean into that under push. 

Edited by puckpilot

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7 hours ago, Vet88 said:

Not so, strength has very little to do with been able to skate. If you can walk and run then you should be able to skate. Skating is about muscle coordination and muscle training, which muscle groups have to fire correctly to keep you upright, balanced, holding the edge, making a cross over etc. And after your brain has started to work this out then it has to optimise these firings so that the least amount of energy is used whilst doing it. This isn't strength. I can happily point you in the direction of some of the smallest and weakest players I know and they skate just fine. To skate faster, to stay on your skates battling on the boards etc then yes, strength does play a part but to skate, no. And the reason you can't do an advanced drill is because you don't know how to, not because you are not strong enough (unless the drill is beyond your physical strength like asking someone to push 200kg down the rink). eg there is a classic youtube vid of Laura Stamm showing a relatively simple edge control drill that these NHL prospects struggle to do. Are you saying these guys can't do it because they aren't strong enough???

I thought the same thing when I read PuckPilot's post and I think we've had this discussion before, but I'm not sure. You (PP) might be relying too much on your experience with a unique situation and assuming that it's more applicable than it is more generally. Certainly, if you lose a lot of muscle mass from an illness, you'll have a harder time doing anything that you used to do more easily; but it doesn't necessarily follow from that that strength is the most important component (or even a significant component at all) of that activity.

I agree with Vet88 that skating (and soft hands and good shot) are all much more about coordination and technique rather than strength. In my opinion, if you took a test group of developing players and gave 1/3 of them only 4 extra hours of hockey drills per week, 1/3 only 4 extra hours of strength training, and you gave 1/3 of the group 4 hours of each type of training, you'd find that the group with only strength training improved the least (if at all), and that the two groups with the extra hockey drills would have improved significantly, but that there would be little if any difference between the amount of improvement in the two groups that received more hockey training in terms of hockey skills that can be observed and measured. The groups receiving strength training might only be stronger physically against opponents and have more stamina than before.

Edited by YesLanges

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2 hours ago, YesLanges said:

I agree with Vet88 that skating (and soft hands and good shot) are all much more about coordination and technique rather than strength. In my opinion, if you took a test group of developing players and gave 1/3 of them only 4 extra hours of hockey drills per week, 1/3 only 4 extra hours of strength training, and you gave 1/3 of the group 4 hours of each type of training, you'd find that the group with only strength training improved the least (if at all), and that the two groups with the extra hockey drills would have improved significantly, but that there would be little if any difference between the amount of improvement in the two groups that received more hockey training in terms of hockey skills that can be observed and measured. The groups receiving strength training might only be stronger physically against opponents and have more stamina than before.

You do realise that when you do hockey drills you're developing your muscles right? And I never said one is more applicable than the other. You're just not processing my words correctly. 

In my initial post that triggered all this I said drills are basically muscle building exercises. And then In my next post I said muscle and coordination go hand and hand. 

Let me ask you something. What does weight lifting, stick handling and skating drills all have in common? They're all repetitive actions. What happens when you repeat an motion over and over and stress the muscles while you do that motion? You build muscle. 

In weight lifting the stress applied are the weights. In stick handling the stress is the weight of stick and puck. In skating the stress is applied by the body's weight when you're changing direction while travelling at a certain velocity. 

Now tell me. Where my thinking is wrong here?

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PuckPilot, I don't mind having this conversation, but you sound a little hostile or worked up about it. I'm not arguing with you or ridiculing you; I just disagree with your conclusions and I believe your analogy doesn't hold up to analysis. This is just a discussion about a topic to me and not meant to offend you.

First, some of the best hockey players I've ever known have been pretty scrawny, despite having done hockey drills for most of their lives. Second, if hockey developed muscles, many hockey players would have noticeable builds that corresponded to hockey to the naked eye, exactly the way athletes in sports whose training often does build muscles often do, like gymnastics, wrestling, and swimming. Third, if you could see some of the fossils I play with now, you'd agree that muscle mass is no prerequisite for hockey skills.:biggrin: (Elite players do often have something of a build nowadays, but that's mainly because all elite athletes do much more weight training now than they used to. Pro baseball players all look like NFL corners and safeties now, also; but it's not because playing baseball builds muscle.)

Interestingly, skating does seem to build muscles much more often for women than for men, which probably has to do with women, in general, having better natural potential for lower-body development than men. But just because an athletic activity also builds muscles doesn't mean that the muscular development is directly necessary to performance in that activity. The muscular development that some people do get from skating (or tennis) is just a byproduct of the activity. If they stop playing, they lose skill the same way you lose foreign-language skills if you don't use them for a long time; but if they can't skate well the first time they get back on the ice, it's not because they lost muscle mass in their legs.

While this is purely anecdotal, I've been lifting weights my entire life and was way too into it in my 20s and 30s and I played hockey until I was 30. I also did some personal training when I was in law school and I managed a couple of different gyms. If anything, playing hockey always interfered with maintaining the best build I (and others) could maintain through weight training.  (And to whatever extent you need the hockey cardio to keep your body fat lower, any kind of cardio will do the same for you.) Even now, at 55, playing hockey a few times a week only makes it harder to maintain whatever build I'm managing to maintain.

All of this sounding very familiar to me, so I think I've (also) explained before that your experience skating again after losing a lot of muscle to an illness has caused you to overemphasize the importance of muscular development to hockey. Just notice the difference in the way that (many) people who do something very physical for work and the way laypeople climb ladders, move furniture, walk around on I-beams, (or even just tried to load boxes on store shelves without looking like a spaz by comparison). The way the pros do all that shit so smoothly is repetition, exactly as you mentioned, but what that repetition builds is mostly neural connections in your brain and pathways in between your brain and the nerves and muscles involved. If you lose half your muscular bodyweight (or whatever) to illness, you can't really do much of anything you were doing before that happened to you because a certain amount of muscle mass is necessary to function. However, it just doesn't follow logically from that to a conclusion that the primary benefit of those repetitions is that they build muscle tissue.  

 

Edited by YesLanges

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3 hours ago, puckpilot said:

Let me ask you something. What does weight lifting, stick handling and skating drills all have in common? They're all repetitive actions. What happens when you repeat an motion over and over and stress the muscles while you do that motion? You build muscle. 

 

Where to start. You are confusing muscle strength with muscle endurance. Muscle strength is how much power you can apply through your muscles for one action, endurance is how long or how many times you can perform that action. Lets look at the deep hockey stance, the person has the strength to perform the stance (or else they could not get in the position) but may not have the endurance to hold the stance for an extended period of time or repeat it over and over.

In order to produce muscle growth, you have to apply a load of stress greater than what your body or muscles had previously adapted too.

With weight lifting you are trying to over exert the muscle (break it down) so that it will repair larger, basic body building 101. Working a muscle over and over will not build strength if the load placed on it is insufficient to stress it, all you are doing is building endurance (aerobic capacity). In ice skating you are carrying your own body weight, as you do every day when walking, running etc. Do you get stronger when walking? Or running? No, you will get fitter but not stronger. But start carrying weights (a hockey stick and hockey gear are not heavy enough) or towing/pushing something (eg the goals) and now you start to overload the muscles to build strength. Note - if you have never skated before and start skating, there will be a small increase in strength in some individual muscle groups as you learn to skate. But once those muscle groups start performing within normal body strength thresholds then the strength building stops and the endurance begins. In stick handling, if you are really weak then there will be a SMALL increase in strength until you can carry the stick (all 450g of it, about the weight of a small paperback or tablet!) but once you are strong enough to carry it then you are building endurance, not strength. In particular with stick handling you are working fast twitch muscles as opposed to slow twitch muscles whereas general skating (unless you are accelerating hard) is mainly about slow twitch muscles. I've been stick handling for years and years and i can assure you I'm no stronger now than when I started, sad to say because my one handed back handers still suck..... 

So back to your original comment, the reason someone can't execute an advanced manoeuvre is because they don't have the strength to do it. If you are a normal human being who has skated for a while you do not need any more strength to do advanced skating drills. I train kids who are so small they can't even carry their own gear bag or lift it up onto the bench. Yet strap some skates on their feet and they skate as naturally as they walk or run. Show them a new drill and they are away. As I said before, if you are a normal human being with normal balance and all the appropriate muscles / tendons / ligaments / joints etc in all the right places and functioning as they are meant to then you can skate and you can LEARN to skate to a high level with enough time and practice. Do you have to do strength training to reach this level, no. I can point you to 100's of kids and adults I have trained and very few of them will have seen the inside of a gym or done any other strength training yet they all learned to skate by coming to practice on a regular basis. Not one has said to me they are stronger because of skating, fitter yes but stronger, no. Does it mean you can jump the highest, skate the fastest, generate the most power, last the longest - no. For this you need to add strength training to push yourself beyond your normal parameters. 

I'll give you one example, Drew Doughety. In draft year he could hardly do 1 pull up, his squat capacity was low and he had body fat in excess of 20%. Yet put him on skates and he was a beast. Strength training has only made him better but he still had all the skill base to begin with that had come from years and years of training.

Does skating make you stronger? I don't have any emperical evidence I can quote but I can refer to a training regime one of our elite teams did a few years ago. At the start of the season, every player was measured for speed, skill and strength, on ice and at the gym (spider metrics). During the year half the team did gym work and skating, the other half just did skating (quadruple+ the amount of the first group). The 2nd group that just did skating were no stronger (gym measurements) at the end of the year than they were at the beginning yet the skating ability for most of the players in this group had markedly improved over the gym / skate group.

As to your situation you said it yourself, you lost 20lbs of muscle mass. Along with everything else that would have been affected (tendons, ligaments, joints etc) are you in a normal state at this stage? No. Go for a skate and the brain asks muscle groups to do something but they can't because they are no longer STRONG enough. I sympathise, this amount of muscle mass loss would have made even basic daily tasks such as walking and running difficult. But once you rebuilt your strength back to normal levels your skating ability would have returned (assuming that whatever affected you had no long term or other lasting effects). Regardless of how you got there, I'm just happy that you are back on the ice enjoying the sport.

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For what it's worth, I found this digression and disagreement to be very respectful.  In the end, is anyone actually saying something other than that in order to improve you need to get out there and train your muscle strength and muscle memory/coordination?

Cheers! :) 

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Thanks all for weighing in.  I do recall seeing this debate previously.  And each time it is a good reminder of the complexity of our bodies and circumstances.

For me, I can say with a lot of certainty it is about neural pathways.  The brain/body connection just isn't there for me when it comes to the physical demands of skating.  So a lot of it for me is building that coordination.  This foot goes here, is angled like this, weight and balance are distributed like this, and I get this result.  Repeat, or don't depending on the outcome. 

I'm sure to some extent there is muscle strength and maybe mass being built, but it is probably pretty minor compared to the coordination piece. 

So, tonight I am signing back up for some adult skating lessons (I started on these about 3 years ago and went once a week for about a year) and looking into ways to increase my skate time overall.  Vet88 will be happy to know I am looking hard at some cheap inlines.

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14 hours ago, YesLanges said:

PuckPilot, I don't mind having this conversation, but you sound a little hostile or worked up about it. I'm not arguing with you or ridiculing you; I just disagree with your conclusions and I believe your analogy doesn't hold up to analysis. This is just a discussion about a topic to me and not meant to offend you.

If I sound hostile, that's not my intent to anyone. I'm just trying to be as clear as I can and stay on point, which I guess can lead to things sounding curt and short. If you're picking up hostility, then totally my bad. I'll try to pay a little more attention the tone in my posts. The only thing I'm interested in are the points being brought up. Nothing personal should be involved. 

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First, some of the best hockey players I've ever known have been pretty scrawny, despite having done hockey drills for most of their lives. Second, if hockey developed muscles, many hockey players would have noticeable builds that corresponded to hockey to the naked eye, exactly the way athletes in sports whose training often does build muscles often do, like gymnastics, wrestling, and swimming. Third, if you could see some of the fossils I play with now, you'd agree that muscle mass is no prerequisite for hockey skills.

First, I'm not saying that doing hockey drills is going to build you into some sort of muscled monster. I'm saying in order to do certain drills/movements properly in hockey you need a prerequisite amount of muscle/strength/ what ever you want to call it. That's all. And IMHO a lot of people don't have that when they're starting off.

Second, there are noticeable attributes to a hockey player, forearms, groins, and calves.  Now are these attributes developed exclusively by hockey? No. But people who have played a long time will have these attributes.

Three, I never said anything about hockey skill or ability to play hockey. All I've been talking about is the ability to execute a hockey drill/movement properly. You can have really good hockey players who can't do certain powerskating drills, and you can have players who can do every powerskating drill on the planet properly that stink at hockey.

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Even now, at 55, playing hockey a few times a week only makes it harder to maintain whatever build I'm managing to maintain.

Like I said, this has nothing to do with having muscles out the wazzzoo. It's about having enough muscle in your legs to do something like say a one foot, outside edge stop at game speed. I don't believe that anyone off the street has the prerequisite strength to do that. They need to build up to it, learning technique and building strength.

 

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If you lose half your muscular bodyweight (or whatever) to illness, you can't really do much of anything you were doing before that happened to you because a certain amount of muscle mass is necessary to function. However, it just doesn't follow logically from that to a conclusion that the primary benefit of those repetitions is that they build muscle tissue.  

And here's the rub, I never said the primary benefit was to build muscle tissue. All I've been saying was pretty much what you said in your first sentence there. In any skating drill you do, you need a certain amount of strength to perform it. Repetition of that drill along with enough stress put on your muscles while doing it will do two things, improve technique and strength. 

 

14 hours ago, Vet88 said:

  So back to your original comment, the reason someone can't execute an advan I'll give you one example, Drew Doughety. In draft year he could hardly do 1 pull up, his squat capacity was low and he had body fat in excess of 20%. Yet put him on skates and he was a beast. Strength training has only made him better but he still had all the skill base to begin with that had come from years and years of training. ced manoeuvre is because they don't have the strength to do it. If you are a normal human being who has skated for a while you do not need any more strength to do advanced skating drills.

Just because someone has skated for a while doesn't mean they've developed all the muscles they'll need for all drills, especially if they don't practice. Everyone is different, so it doesn't make sense to make blanket statement like this. It's like saying all Canadians are good at hockey. Just one look at my game and that's disproved.

 

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Do you have to do strength training to reach this level, no. I can point you to 100's of kids and adults I have trained and very few of them will have seen the inside of a gym or done any other strength training yet they all learned to skate by coming to practice on a regular basis. 

So after all that practice nobody developed any of their muscles. That being able to take a hockey turn sharper at speed has nothing to do with strength. It's all technique. That doesn't sound right to me.

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I'll give you one example, Drew Doughety. In draft year he could hardly do 1 pull up, his squat capacity was low and he had body fat in excess of 20%. Yet put him on skates and he was a beast. Strength training has only made him better but he still had all the skill base to begin with that had come from years and years of training.

A fat Drew Doughty in his draft year IMHO was still  very strong when compared to someone off the street. If skating doesn't develop strength, then where did all his speed and strength come from before his draft year? This is a tricky thing to call because he grew up playing hockey. The demands of hockey were placed on his body at an early age. Did his body develop to fit the demands of hockey, or would he have had the same strength if he didn't play hockey, 20% body fat or not?

 

Quote

The 2nd group that just did skating were no stronger (gym measurements) at the end of the year than they were at the beginning yet the skating ability for most of the players in this group had markedly improved over the gym / skate group.

How are you defining skating ability? If it's more of a big picture thing involving pucks and game situations and putting all together, then that's not what I'm talking about.

All I'm talking about is for a specific drill you will need a perquisite amount of strength to execute it. And in executing that drill at a certain intensity, you will develop enough strength to be more proficient at it, as in being able to execute it at game speed.  You will not gain a body builders physique from simply skating. You will gain enough to do what you need to do.

After this point, I think I'll just be repeating myself. Agree with me or not, I've laid out my points. Feel free to rebut them.

 

Before I go, I'd just like to make it clear, I consider this a discussion. I don't take it personal, and I hope nobody else does either.  If anything reads as hostile, again, that's not my intent, and I'll apologise for that. 

 

 

 

 

Edited by puckpilot

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Howdy,

So, the "outside edge single foot hockey stop" thing is an example I can directly relate to.

I can't do that.  I've been working at it for a little while now.  I've been skating / playing on the average 4-ish days a week for a year.  I would be very, VERY surprised if this is an issue of strength, vs. one of technique.  Strength / endurance might affect the 5th stop in a row, but I can't imagine that its an issue for the first one.

I'm not saying that some leg / ankle / whatever strength isn't required to skate.  Clearly it is.  What I am saying is that I think that's maybe 5% of the puzzle at absolute best and its relatively easy for anyone to get the necessary strength to make the various skating moves work in a non-endurance / repetitive scenario.

Mark

Edited by marka

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Good example and once you actually learn how to do it you will find that no extra strength is required above and beyond what you already have, it's all about body position and edge control.

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I skated last night at open skate for about 45 minutes.  I tried to really focus on the basics.  Inside edge, outside edge, balance, body position, knee bend.  I have the strength to stand on one leg.  I have the strength to hold my body in a position where I am using my outside edge to turn, while on one foot.  However, I don't have the endurance and technique to get my body to do those things consistently over multiple reps.  I might get 1 or 2 good ones out of every 5.  So, based on the discussion, I am thinking that is more of an endurance issue than a strength issue.  I can do a single rep (that in my mind would be strength).  I can't always do multiple reps.  Now I am sure there is a factor in there that has to do with strength in some way, but it would seem to me it is a smaller factor compared to endurance and establishing the right "blue print" for body position, balance, weight distribution, joint activation, muscle firing sequence, etc. so I can execute 5 out of 5 1 leg outside edge turns. 

As I've been skating more recently (since beginning of the year), I notice my feet ache a bit during and after each session.  Sometimes more than others.  I'm sure that is all those little muscles in my feet and lower leg working to help stabilize my body while trying to balance it on skinny little metal blades attached to my feet.  Thinking back a few years when I started with lessons and was skating 2-3 days a week, I recall a similar period at the beginning, of that aching.  But that as I skated more, the aching lessened until it was no longer a factor during or after my sessions.  I struggle more with this as I'm on the fence around this being an endurance issue, a strength issue, or both.  Thoughts? 

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It takes more endurance and sometimes strength to do things wrong. If you have good technique you use less energy in the motions. IMHO a physically weak person who has great technique is a better asset that a physically stronger player that has lousy technique. The best players are the ones who have both.

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On 2/24/2017 at 5:50 PM, chk hrd said:

It takes more endurance and sometimes strength to do things wrong. If you have good technique you use less energy in the motions. IMHO a physically weak person who has great technique is a better asset that a physically stronger player that has lousy technique. The best players are the ones who have both.

this is kinda what i was told when i started playing Golf.   If you want good form, watch WOMAN's golf.  they don't have the same power the men do, so they HAVE to rely on good/great form and let the club do all the work.   (and not trying to be sexist)


"Whats wrong with being sexy?" 

 

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On 2/22/2017 at 10:17 AM, krisdrum said:

I skated last night at open skate for about 45 minutes.  I tried to really focus on the basics.  Inside edge, outside edge, balance, body position, knee bend.  I have the strength to stand on one leg.  I have the strength to hold my body in a position where I am using my outside edge to turn, while on one foot.  However, I don't have the endurance and technique to get my body to do those things consistently over multiple reps.  I might get 1 or 2 good ones out of every 5.  So, based on the discussion, I am thinking that is more of an endurance issue than a strength issue.  I can do a single rep (that in my mind would be strength).  I can't always do multiple reps.  Now I am sure there is a factor in there that has to do with strength in some way, but it would seem to me it is a smaller factor compared to endurance and establishing the right "blue print" for body position, balance, weight distribution, joint activation, muscle firing sequence, etc. so I can execute 5 out of 5 1 leg outside edge turns. 

As I've been skating more recently (since beginning of the year), I notice my feet ache a bit during and after each session.  Sometimes more than others.  I'm sure that is all those little muscles in my feet and lower leg working to help stabilize my body while trying to balance it on skinny little metal blades attached to my feet.  Thinking back a few years when I started with lessons and was skating 2-3 days a week, I recall a similar period at the beginning, of that aching.  But that as I skated more, the aching lessened until it was no longer a factor during or after my sessions.  I struggle more with this as I'm on the fence around this being an endurance issue, a strength issue, or both.  Thoughts? 

Aching feet during and after skating has less to do with strength/endurance and more to do with skating posture, skate fit, lace tightness, profile and hollow.

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21 minutes ago, chippa13 said:

Aching feet during and after skating has less to do with strength/endurance and more to do with skating posture, skate fit, lace tightness, profile and hollow.

Tell me more.  I've just assumed it was my muscles working overtime to adjust for this odd new stress I am putting on my body and there is an acclimation period before the muscles are firing more efficiently to not ache. 

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You shouldn't have feet ache past the first few sessions related to a new movement. Sure, anyone would get it the first time or two after a long layoff but it isn't something that takes your feet very long to adjust to.

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33 minutes ago, chippa13 said:

You shouldn't have feet ache past the first few sessions related to a new movement. Sure, anyone would get it the first time or two after a long layoff but it isn't something that takes your feet very long to adjust to.

Ok, I guess I can see that.  So how do I diagnose?  You mention a lot of potential factors, some body, some equipment, some user adjustments. 

Hard to fix if I can't analyze all the factors and narrow it down.

Edited by krisdrum

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Some can be helped by where the pain is and some is trial and error. For example, if they pain is around the arch and outside edge of your foot then you could be tying too tight. If you're getting pain on the outside edge of your foot then you might be skating on too deep of a hollow, etc, etc....... You can do a google search on skates and foot pain to help diagnose potential problem areas.

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When you take your skates off have a look at the sides of your feet, are there any intense red areas? This indicates a spot that is rubbing or constricted in some way and the general answer is to get a spot punch or stretch or use a protector such as a gel pad or change boots. However if you have foot alignment issues (eg pronation) these only alleviate the problem, it does not fix the underlying cause. Redness at the top of the foot indicates a shallow boot and / or you are tying them too tight. Looser laces, different lacing pattern, eyelet extenders, option B laces, different boots, skate with eyelets undone are all possible fixes. Pain under the foot generally indicates a foot sole issue, the shape is wrong for your foot shape. Hard to diagnose without looking at the foot but a general fix is to try an insert such as superfeet or a custom orthotic or change boots.

There are a lot of other problems that can be the cause but this covers the majority of foot issues in boots.

Edited by Vet88

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Thanks Chippa and Vet.  Learning this sport as an adult has been highly frustrating when it comes to my feet.  Skated last night in my Makos.  Right foot is rock solid, except I don't get the best heel lock (was looking at ezeefit sleeves to help take up a bit of negative space).  One foot glide and balance drills are no issue.  Straight as an arrow, no wobble, feels like I could just go forever. 

Left foot is a different story.  I tried a few different lace tensions, looser was better for overall comfort, but noticed the outside edge on my foot (pinky toe side) burns and aches pretty regularly during and immediately after regardless of lace tension.  Could that be a sign of pronation or needing to compensate for my left leg balance over the blade?  I tried similar 1 foot glide and balance drills with the left foot, and it is much more difficult to keep the blade flat and running straight.  I'm also having heel lock issues on this foot that feel more exaggerated than on my right. 

Which has me thinking I may be served best by going back to my Grafs, where I have firmly planted heels.  My issue with the Grafs has been feeling limited ankle support.  They are a b!tch to tie up top and get anything close to what I feel is good wrap around the upper ankle.  This makes me feel like a new born giraffe alot of the time.  I also now KNOW the hollow on the Grafs is too deep.  LHS had me on a 7/16.  After some research and discussion here, had the Makos done at a 9/16 and could probably go 5/8, so I know I can go shallower on the Grafs as well. 

Anyway, back to my feet.  I know I pronate slightly in street shoes.  I always wear out the outer portion of my heel and inner portion under my big toe on my shoes before the other surfaces.  Didn't even occur to me to mention to my skate fitter.  What is the best way to determine if this is effecting my skating?  And if it is, what are the remedies?  Insoles?  Shims?

I have used Superfeet in the past, as I felt I needed the arch support.  In hindsight, I simply could have been tying too tightly and causing discomfort and deflection of my arch.  My arch does seem to collapse in rigid soled footwear (cycling shoes, skates, ski boots).  However, I have been happy with arch comfort in the Makos with the standard insole and arch that is pre-molded into the boot.  So another factor I am considering is using the Grafs with the standard insoles, which I don't think I've ever done. 

Anything else I should be considering?

Sorry for the long post and derailment of the thread, happy to take this conversation to a new thread if that makes more sense. 

Update:

Stopped in to my LHS last night to get my Grafs cut to 5/8 and was chatting briefly about pronation.  He does blade re-alignment, custom insoles, etc. so I will go in to do an assessment and see what comes of it.  Been playing around a bit over the last day or so and doing some research, and I think I've unknowingly been struggling with pronation related issues for a while.  Hopefully I can get this rectified and can get my skating back on track.  I've also been playing around with some different lacing patterns on the Grafs to get a better wrap up around my ankle. 

Edited by krisdrum
Update, let's move on! ;)

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The idea that all "drills" are designed to to improve one attribute or another - say strength or skill - is ludicrous.  Drills are meant to do a lot of things, sometimes individually, sometimes all at once.  There are those that are meant to teach and improve technique.  The strength and endurance gain from repeating these types of drills would be minimal compared to the improvment in competency or agility.  Some are meant to increase endurance, strength, and pace.  Many are meant to do both.  Drills are done to improve things like awareness, vision, anticipation, or instincts.  Strength or endurance aren't going to factor into those types of drills.  When it comes down to it, most drills are meant to work on and improve all of these aspects at once.  You gain strength and endurance through repetition, just as with any repetitive motion.  However, that doesn't mean that those are the primary focus and purpose of all drills.  Without instruction of proper technique and an understanding of how to do things, repetition to increase strength and endurance would be difficult.  You need to teach people how to do things before they can do them over and over.

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On 3/1/2017 at 10:12 AM, krisdrum said:

Thanks Chippa and Vet.  Learning this sport as an adult has been highly frustrating when it comes to my feet.  Skated last night in my Makos.  Right foot is rock solid, except I don't get the best heel lock (was looking at ezeefit sleeves to help take up a bit of negative space).  One foot glide and balance drills are no issue.  Straight as an arrow, no wobble, feels like I could just go forever. 

Left foot is a different story.  I tried a few different lace tensions, looser was better for overall comfort, but noticed the outside edge on my foot (pinky toe side) burns and aches pretty regularly during and immediately after regardless of lace tension.  Could that be a sign of pronation or needing to compensate for my left leg balance over the blade?  I tried similar 1 foot glide and balance drills with the left foot, and it is much more difficult to keep the blade flat and running straight.  I'm also having heel lock issues on this foot that feel more exaggerated than on my right. 

Which has me thinking I may be served best by going back to my Grafs, where I have firmly planted heels.  My issue with the Grafs has been feeling limited ankle support.  They are a b!tch to tie up top and get anything close to what I feel is good wrap around the upper ankle.  This makes me feel like a new born giraffe alot of the time.  I also now KNOW the hollow on the Grafs is too deep.  LHS had me on a 7/16.  After some research and discussion here, had the Makos done at a 9/16 and could probably go 5/8, so I know I can go shallower on the Grafs as well. 

Anyway, back to my feet.  I know I pronate slightly in street shoes.  I always wear out the outer portion of my heel and inner portion under my big toe on my shoes before the other surfaces.  Didn't even occur to me to mention to my skate fitter.  What is the best way to determine if this is effecting my skating?  And if it is, what are the remedies?  Insoles?  Shims?

I have used Superfeet in the past, as I felt I needed the arch support.  In hindsight, I simply could have been tying too tightly and causing discomfort and deflection of my arch.  My arch does seem to collapse in rigid soled footwear (cycling shoes, skates, ski boots).  However, I have been happy with arch comfort in the Makos with the standard insole and arch that is pre-molded into the boot.  So another factor I am considering is using the Grafs with the standard insoles, which I don't think I've ever done. 

Anything else I should be considering?

Sorry for the long post and derailment of the thread, happy to take this conversation to a new thread if that makes more sense. 

Update:

Stopped in to my LHS last night to get my Grafs cut to 5/8 and was chatting briefly about pronation.  He does blade re-alignment, custom insoles, etc. so I will go in to do an assessment and see what comes of it.  Been playing around a bit over the last day or so and doing some research, and I think I've unknowingly been struggling with pronation related issues for a while.  Hopefully I can get this rectified and can get my skating back on track.  I've also been playing around with some different lacing patterns on the Grafs to get a better wrap up around my ankle. 

Superfeet aren't arch supports.  They are heel blocks.  So if you need additional arch support, you should look into the Graf/Sidas or CCM customizeable footbeds, or even Bauer's Speed Plates (which I have and are incredible).

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3 minutes ago, psulion22 said:

Superfeet aren't arch supports.  They are heel blocks.  So if you need additional arch support, you should look into the Graf/Sidas or CCM customizeable footbeds, or even Bauer's Speed Plates (which I have and are incredible).

Thanks, I've continued this saga in another thread so I don't pull us too far off topic.  But, yes, superfeet are primarily designed to stabilize the heel (I worked for many years in outdoor retail selling hiking boots and such, and of course, superfeet along with them).  But they do also provide some arch support, even if it is not their primary purpose.  Looking at my post above, I did mis-speak in that regard. 

In summary of my experience since my last post here... I have been working with my LHS to shim my skates to compensate for over-pronation issues.  So far, after a few trips back and forth between the shop and rink, I think my right foot is in good shape and my left just needs a bit more cant to get me well balanced and feeling centered over my blades without skewing me towards one edge or the other.  Hopefully be able to stop into the shop tomorrow for what should be a last adjustment.  I also plan to explore podiatric advise and involvement to hopefully reduce/eliminate the need for shimming in the future. 

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Howdy,

No real update for a while, so I figured I'd post up my curve dalliances.

 

In the first year, I tried a few things.  Sakic / W03 / whatever to start with, then a W01/PM9.  Ended up with a W88 / P40, which I mostly liked.

Then I read something about the E28 and kinda wanted to try a toe curve, so I got one.  I liked it.  It felt like I could control the puck better on the toe of my stick during stick handling (particularly to the forehand side) and wrist shots felt better / quicker.  I eventually also figured out to rotate the stick forward before taking slap shots and that seemed to really help too.

 

But my backhand passes / shots & catching passes on the backhand were awful.  If I didn't have the puck in exactly the right place on the heel of the stick on a pass / shot I had no power at all.  It also seemed like when I had to reach even a little to catch a hard pass out in front of me coming from the forehand side, the puck would bump the stick up / get through.

 

Someone here also posted something about how it was annoying that kids were reading about E28 curves and those being popular and that meant lots of kids starting with that curve and how that wasn't good.  Not a lot of details as to why, but I figure I'm basically a 47 year old 2nd year Mite at this point so...

 

Meanwhile, I'd sold off a bunch of gear that I'd accumulated in my first year (let's just say that I clearly belong on a gear whore site...).  So I didn't have any other curves.  But I decided to check and it turned out the guy I sold most of the gear to still had the True MC (A4.5 intermediate) I'd sold him and was willing to sell it back to me.  So I did that.

 

I noticed an instant improvement on backhand anything... Shot, pass, puck reception... All of it was better.  And I didn't notice any particular difference in stick handling.  Maybe the issues I thought the E28 curve helped with were mostly resolved by me just getting a little better at it generally?  I haven't decided on shot differences yet... I think I'm still way more influenced by factors like "how much did you just fuck that up?" vs. "this curve is better than that curve".  Not sure about receiving hard passes in front of me yet either.  It seems a little better, but maybe I've just gotten better at it?  Or I'm concentrating on it more?

 

So yeah.  Woo?  I dunno.  I'm tempted to ask and see if you expert type people out there think the W88/P40/P88/MC curve is better for beginners vs. the E28/MC4 curve, but I have no confidence that I'll actually listen to the answers if I get some new weird bug up my ass about curves... Maybe a Sakic curve would be perfect!!!!!!  :-)

Mark

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