Marino (1977, 1979 & 1983) found that velocity in hockey skating is dependent on the number of strides as opposed to the length of the stride. He also found that the faster a hockey player skated, the quicker he/she put the skate on the ice after push-off. This means that high-performance hockey skaters have quick- medium length strides, and get their skate on the ice quickly after push-off.
Page (1975) found that the faster skaters in his study had a quicker “recovery period.” In other words, faster hockey skaters get their skates on the ice quickly after they push-off.
Many hockey programs use the services of speed skating coaches in the attempt to improve hockey game-performance skating. Based on above mentioned biomechanics of hockey skating, and the biomechanics of speed skating, this seems to be misguided.
Velocity in speed skating is more dependent on stride length than stride frequency. This is the exact opposite of hockey skating.
Speed skaters have a long push-off phase, a long glide phase, and a long recovery phase.
After push-off, speed skaters bring their recovery skate back under their body, and when they put it back on the ice, they land on their outside edge, roll onto their inside edge, then push-off.
Fast forward hockey skating is consistently landing with the skate “in-line” with the shoulder-hip-knee, landing on a flat blade, then quickly getting on the inside edge to start the push-off.
Observation of high-performance hockey skaters such as Jonathan Drouin, Taylor Hall, and Andrew Cogliano, clearly shows they do not bring their skate under the mid-line of the body before pushing off, like speed skaters do.
Using progressions is a near-sacred principle in power skating and is taken most seriously by instructors. Progressions, when teaching skating, involves breaking the skill into many small parts, practicing the parts, then attempting to put all the parts together for the full skill.
Speed skating is different from game-performance hockey skating, and teaching a hockey player to skate like a speed skater can actually cause a performance decrement rather than performance enhancement.
A monthly newsletter with practical information about skating instruction and improving skating performance for all ages. It also has information about dry-land training, nutrition, and specialized training for high performance skating.