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Skating coaches often talk about quickness being your first gear and speed being your second, third, fourth and fifth gears.

Most players can develop good skating technique at slow to medium speeds, but the challenge is to develop efficient good technique at full speeds. In order to overcome this challenge there are many physical parameters that have to be met.

It should be noted that ALL PLAYERS can improve and develop their speed.

Table 6.1 in Peter Twist’s book Complete Conditioning for Ice Hockey outlines the 10 Requisites to High Speed Skating.


Importance to Speed

1.     Technique

Critical to skating efficiency.

2.     Strength

To fight through hooks and checks, deep knee bend to provide longer stride, deep knee bend to handle high-speed cornering.

3.     Power

To push off and power through a long, full stride.

4.     Quickness

For stride frequency.

5.     Agility

To suddenly change direction to evade an opponent.

6.     Flexibility

For stride length and technique, fluidity.

7.     Anaerobic energy supply

To fuel short bursts and delay fatigue.

8.     Aerobic energy supply

To recover quicker for more high speed activity.

9.     Body composition

Low body fat facilitates relative strength and efficient movement.

10.  Neuromuscular To increase your ability to activate muscles at a very high rate.

Improving speed on the ice involves improving skating technique, including posture and body positioning, maximizing the use of your edges, staying low with a deep knee bend and ankle bend, working on stride power, stride length, and stride frequency. These are all things that we work on and train hard during our camps throughout the year.