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Leif

Skating with and without kit

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I'm a decent skater, and I can do hockey stops forward and backwards for example, but I still have a lot to learn (backwards to forwards transitions are poor for example). Anyway, I find my skating during a game is not up to the standard when in a public skating session. I assume this is due to the weight of the padding and helmet, and the stick. Could it in part be due to restriction of movement by the kit, in which case would higher end and hence more felexible knee pads help? Or looser socks? How do people improve their skating during a game? Is it just a case of practive, practice, practice with full kit and stick? Obviously ice time in kit is limited, though it is possible to go on public sessions in kit, albeit a bit odd!!!

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Howdy,

If you think its affecting you, I agree with skating with your normal hockey gear.  If the worst thing that happens to you is that you "look weird", you're still going to have a good day.  :-)

I find that when I'm practicing skating, I'm thinking more about the skating itself and because of that concentration, I can do new things.  However, when playing a game, I tend to not concentrate on skating mechanics as much, and therefore stay more "within my abilities" sorta by default.

That said, with enough time practicing and some of that stuff starts to become 2nd nature and I'll eventually notice that I'm doing it in a game.

The biggest thing I notice related to all this is "stick vs. no stick" btw.  Skating with a stick gives me a different balance / leverage / whatever as compared to skating with no stick.  YMMV.

Mark

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You might also want to pay attention to whether something in the way you lace and/or tape your skates is different with your pads on. I always had the opposite situation, because of the way I tape my skates around the bottom of my shin pads, which is impossible to duplicate without them. When I was an NNHA (now HNA) instructor, I always wore my shin pads whereas other instructors and coaches almost always just go with skates and gloves. If you normally put your skates on last, try putting them on first, because you might be pulling your laces and tying them with different tension when you already have your gear on.

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Just focus on improving your skating, whether with or without pads on.  It's great if you can go to a public skate w/ gear on (most of the people who think it looks weird are usually people who can barely skate), but just keep skating, skating, skating.  Skate as much as you can and eventually when you skate with gear on, it should not pose a real problem, unless you wear really heavy, restrictive equipment.  

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Skating,  try and describe the difference you are feeling  . Or even take video of your self in both conditions.   Then I can give you some idea in a more accurate way .

Another thought is weight:  I am not current on knowledge of equipment weight but we certainly know it's adding weight to you . That can add significant increase in friction at the skate and the ice .  It could be something as simple as a shallower hollow.     

Not knowing how you skate :form ,stride , If your skates are too tight.  

When I take on a student the first thing I do after getting them to stretch is sit with them and check is there sharpening, then I check skate fit : a large percentage have skates on that are too big . Then I see how they put them on  : large percentage have there skates way too tight  . If this is the case I explain the restricted movement on the rubber ,I show them my laces  and my amount of movement.   Then I lace there skates snug and leave the top two eyelets undone.  Then we hit the ice .  And I say take a couple laps  take a video.  Then I ask was there any difference on how you felt now compared to before.  Almost all say I got better push and the skate feels sharper .     Then I go over the video and show them the ideal body position in slow skating or even standing still.  Then we work on him or her getting in proper form . All done slow  .   

more info then you wanted I'm sure . But hope it can help 

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I've went to many public skates with the lower half of my gear. I really doubt other public skaters care all that much about 1 person practicing.

In my opinion its a lot more beneficial to practice in your hockey gear seeing as that's how you'll be skating when it actually matters. Also it lets you try more things and not be afraid to fall.

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1 minute ago, g3k said:

I've went to many public skates with the lower half of my gear. I really doubt other public skaters care all that much about 1 person practicing.

In my opinion its a lot more beneficial to practice in your hockey gear seeing as that's how you'll be skating when it actually matters. Also it lets you try more things and not be afraid to fall.

Heck don't worry about what people are gonna think at public skating.  Those kind of people are going to find something on someone  to criticise or snicker about 

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On 12/15/2017 at 10:35 PM, Leif said:

I'm a decent skater, and I can do hockey stops forward and backwards for example, but I still have a lot to learn (backwards to forwards transitions are poor for example). Anyway, I find my skating during a game is not up to the standard when in a public skating session. I assume this is due to the weight of the padding and helmet, and the stick. Could it in part be due to restriction of movement by the kit, in which case would higher end and hence more felexible knee pads help? Or looser socks? How do people improve their skating during a game? Is it just a case of practive, practice, practice with full kit and stick? Obviously ice time in kit is limited, though it is possible to go on public sessions in kit, albeit a bit odd!!!

When you go to a public skate, you control the time and space of your skating eg when to move, how fast, when to stop etc. So you always seem to be in control and balanced. In a game, which should be a faster pace, you are having to react to the situation eg stop, turn, accelerate etc when you are not expecting it. Your balance, skating and timing gets disrupted and until you become a better skater you will continue to struggle. Bottom line is practice, practice, practice. As you become a better skater it gets easier. Skating with a stick in hand does help a lot. Skating with kit will get you used to it but at the end of the day it's how well you skate, not the kit you may or may not be wearing.

And when you go to a public skate you need to work on your skating, not just skate in circles around the rink. Edge control, one foot balance drills, unusual skating positions, even figure skating moves (eg a 3 turn), all so you develop as broad a base as possible of skating skills. Youtube is a great friend here, type "Advanced edge control drills" into you tube, find drills you have never seen or done before then go and practice them. Or ask a coach to give you some drills, everyone I coach gets drills to work on when they go to public skates, all designed to make them a better skater.

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On 15/12/2017 at 12:22 PM, Playmakersedge said:

Another thought is weight:  I am not current on knowledge of equipment weight but we certainly know it's adding weight to you . That can add significant increase in friction at the skate and the ice .  It could be something as simple as a shallower hollow.     

I did a rough test on how much my gear weighs a little while back by putting it on and stepping on a scale. I then took it off and weighed myself again. The gear weighed around 20lbs. 

To the OP, there's a difference between being able to do something during practice and being able to do it during a game and at game speed. During practice, for the most part, you're free of distractions. No worry about someone stepping up to give you a bump. You can focus on doing your skating stuff.

But during a game, you have to worry about puckhandling, opposing players, where you're positioned, etc., on top of just skating. 

IMHO, to incorporate something new into your game, you have to practice it until you can execute it with barely a thought. Most of it should be drilled in so it's all instinctual. During a game you should be focused on playing the game, not consciously thinking about executing what ever skating move you want to do.

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On 12/15/2017 at 4:35 AM, Leif said:

 I assume this is due to the weight of the padding and helmet, and the stick. 

I think the weight of the padding makes a big difference in the way I skate. I have hardly played any hockey in the past couple of years. 99% of my skating is coaching or public skate. When coaching I have a helmet, gloves, and thin referee shin guards. Public skate sessions have none of that.

In the handful of times I played open hockey in the last couple of years, I felt incredibly unbalanced. I had a hard time adjusting to the center of gravity change. When I pick up my equipment bag, it is pretty heavy. I think skating around only a couple times a year carrying all that extra weight is difficult to adjust to.

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3 hours ago, puckpilot said:

I did a rough test on how much my gear weighs a little while back by putting it on and stepping on a scale. I then took it off and weighed myself again. The gear weighed around 20lbs. 

To the OP, there's a difference between being able to do something during practice and being able to do it during a game and at game speed. During practice, for the most part, you're free of distractions. No worry about someone stepping up to give you a bump. You can focus on doing your skating stuff.

But during a game, you have to worry about puckhandling, opposing players, where you're positioned, etc., on top of just skating. 

IMHO, to incorporate something new into your game, you have to practice it until you can execute it with barely a thought. Most of it should be drilled in so it's all instinctual. During a game you should be focused on playing the game, not consciously thinking about executing what ever skating move you want to do.

 20pounds that could make a difference depending on the weight of the skater 

Agreed.  You have to break the movement down. Make it second nature.    There is a plus to all this . You don't have to unlearn bad habits........ Another thought I just had is the space the gear takes up . Like a cross over with gear you have an extra inch or two you have to clear.   

Also if you can take a video of your self skating.. I can then make suggestions.  Basics to remember:  legs  shoulder width, a little wider is what I find natural... knees over the toes shoulders over the knees.   Imagine a string at eye level or nose level and stay at that height.  In this position your femor will be at approximately a 45º angle.   Chances are what will happen is you start a drill correct and in a couple strokes or strides you will start to straighten your legs either lean further forward with your torso or raise that along with your legs.  If this happens stop and restart the drill.  

Start with edge control drills. There is some drills on you tube . They are done to fast by the instructor. They should be done slow so the student can see every step.  But you can pause to see it in the video.    Form is key .  Once you got this form your transitions will become more seamless.    ,cross over more deap and more power  threw both legs 

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It's the equipment. Not just the weight, but the bulk of it, especially the shinpads and pants. Shoulders, elbows, helmets also throw off your center of gravity from where you're used to it.

If you want to practice, gear up and go to public skate. No shame in dedication.

 

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Thanks all. Some very helpful posts. The point about the bulk of the pads is a good one, I can do a good ACW crossover without pads, but with pads it's tough. So more practice then. :smile:

I don't know why but I found on Saturday and this morning that my skating felt far more stable and confident. I still can't turn to the right well with the puck, hi ho, practice makes perfect. 

On 16 December 2017 at 10:30 AM, Vet88 said:

When you go to a public skate, you control the time and space of your skating eg when to move, how fast, when to stop etc. So you always seem to be in control and balanced. In a game, which should be a faster pace, you are having to react to the situation eg stop, turn, accelerate etc when you are not expecting it. Your balance, skating and timing gets disrupted and until you become a better skater you will continue to struggle. Bottom line is practice, practice, practice. As you become a better skater it gets easier. Skating with a stick in hand does help a lot. Skating with kit will get you used to it but at the end of the day it's how well you skate, not the kit you may or may not be wearing.

And when you go to a public skate you need to work on your skating, not just skate in circles around the rink. Edge control, one foot balance drills, unusual skating positions, even figure skating moves (eg a 3 turn), all so you develop as broad a base as possible of skating skills. Youtube is a great friend here, type "Advanced edge control drills" into you tube, find drills you have never seen or done before then go and practice them. Or ask a coach to give you some drills, everyone I coach gets drills to work on when they go to public skates, all designed to make them a better skater.

What you say is so true. I tell friends this when they tell me I am a really good skater during public sessions. As you know  it's not false modesty. I think the athletic skill of hockey players is often overlooked. 

I already do as you say, and study You Tube. Today I did forwards inside and outside edges, and backwards inside edges. I am struggling with backwards outside edges, and fell several times today, and backwards crossrolls are but a dream. I'ver conquered the forwards one foot outside edge hockey stop, left and right, and backwards inside edge one foot hockey stops. I can do a 3 turn on my right foot. I was doing backwards figures of 8 today and the precision is improving. I will search YouTube for Advanced edge control drills. 

I do wonder if one on one lessons would help. We only have figure skating coaches, but one teaches hockey skating youngsters. I already do the drills she teaches, which is why I hesitate. 

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1 hour ago, Leif said:

 I will search YouTube for Advanced edge control drills. 

If you haven't seen them before, I consider the iTrain vids are one of the better vids around and this one is one of the best. The drill he shows at the 8:50 mark is excellent. Bust out as many of these as you can forwards and backwards, concentrate on the sound and form.

 

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I always practice at public open skates with all my gear on, except for shoulder pads. I have knee pads, hockey pants, elbow pads and helmet. I put all my gear on for my Learn to Skate lessons too. I look like a complete wanker and I don't care! Been learning for 6 months and i've worn gear since day one. I initially did it for protection because i'm old and the ice really hurts when you fall on it lol. But now I wear it not only for protection because it allows me to lose the fear of falling and being hurt so I can push myself harder and harder, but also my goal is to play hockey, so learning to skate and doing various maneuvers in full gear allows me to learn the maneuver for when I start playing hockey so I don't have to get used to doing the maneuvers in gear after learning them without the gear. Sure you get the occasional snicker out of some kids, but they usually laugh at you right before they fall on their ass so it evens out...

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On 12/15/2017 at 4:35 AM, Leif said:

would higher end and hence more felexible knee pads help? Or looser socks? 

No. High end shin pads to novice shin pads will add about the same amount of bulk in front of your shins. You just need to adjust to skating with gear on.

Looser socks? No. Most hockey socks come in either one size for adults, or different size by length, not diameter.

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