Basic ice skating skills can be learned in just a few hours, and they are not that difficult to master. There are many benefits of learning how to skate for both novice and more experienced skaters.
Skating is a good exercise; it can even provide transportation and opportunities for socialization with other ice skaters at the rink or on the street.
In this blog post, I’ll outline the basic ice skating skills and some of their benefits for hockey players.
Basic Ice Skating Skills
Learning the basic ice skating skills for hockey will help players maintain and improve their physical strength, balance, coordination, and agility. Many of these skate training drills are also used to teach novice skaters. Here is a list with some more information about each one:
1. The Forward Stroke
This forward stroke drill helps build leg muscles by working your quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and calf muscles. Also known as Striding or Skate Pushing.
The forward stroke drill is also called the cross-over drill because skaters alternate one foot in front of the other. Although it is the most basic of all ice skating drills, it is performed in unison with other skating drills to build coordination and balance.
You can do the forward stroke drill around a circle to make it easier or push on straight ahead from one end of the rink to the other. Forward stroking is also part of many other ice skating drills.
2. The Backward Stroke
This drill helps gain strength and balance by working your quads, hamstrings, adductor muscles, glutes, and calves. Also known as Skate Pulling or Striding.
This backstroke drill improves coordination and balance by requiring skaters to keep their weight centered over the balls of their feet.
Backstroking is similar to forwards stroking but done in reverse order: you start by bringing your trail towards your lead leg (front) before pushing off with your lead foot (back). It is not an easy skill to learn; this speed skating drill requires patience and practice that will come with time.
3. The Forward C-Cut
Helps with skating agility/balance by practicing t-push, crossovers, and tight turns. You will be using the inner edges of your skates to practice weight transfer from your inside edges to the outside edges of your foot. This will help you steer in different directions while maintaining speed. Also known as Shift Skating.
The Forward C-Cut is a great practice drill for forwards because it helps them become better skaters and improves their ability to execute tight turns around defenders. It is also a great way to develop stronger edges on your skates, which will lead to increased speed.
You can do the Forward C-Cut drill by skating forward and then making two or three crossovers before performing a tight turn around a pole (or whatever obstacle you choose).
4. The Forward Edge
This drill helps develop balance and skating agility by working on weight transfer from your inside edges to the outside edge of your skates. Also known as Backwards Crossovers or T-Pushes.
The forward edge drill is another drill that is used to improve speed and skating agility. To do the forward edge drill, you need to start by pushing off on the inside edges of your skates. Then, as you pull your legs back towards your body, it will force the weight transfer from your inside edges to the outside edges of your blades.
As you push out again with your legs, lift the front part of each skate upwards (towards the sky), with most of the weight still on the balls of your feet. This motion will help distribute much of the weight between both skates and onto their outer edges, which helps you gain better control over them at faster speeds.
5. The Backward Edge
Skating backward is good practice for developing speed and agility, gaining muscle strength in your quads, hamstrings, glutes, calves, and adductor muscles. Also known as Backwards Striding.
The backward edge drill is another drill that is used to improve speed and power skating. Skating backward will help you develop muscle strength, which you will need to skate faster and with more control.
To do the Backward Edge drill, start by pushing off on the outside edges of your skates (front part only). It should feel like you are trying to stand up on the front part of your blades. This is because your inside edges will lift upwards (towards the sky) as you push down with your outside edges. This shifting in weight between both feet will allow you to build strength over time and eventually become a stronger skater.
6. The Weight Transfer
Forwards skating involves leaning forward onto the balls of feet while maintaining an upright, engaged posture of hockey stance. You should keep your head up and look forward rather than at the ice by your feet.
The weight transfer drill helps develop strength in your legs to skate with more power and speed. To do the weight transfer, stand upright with a hockey stance on both skates (weight equally distributed between your feet) while holding onto a sturdy object like a post for balance if needed.
First, push off on both skates to gain some forward momentum before transferring the weight from one foot to another rapidly; imagine doing t-pushes without actually moving your feet much.
The muscles will fatigue quickly, but this is normal and just part of muscle training, which is the breaking down of muscle tissue to build back stronger and more developed.
What skills are required for ice hockey?
The forward stroke, backward stroke, and forward c-cut are basic ice skating skills that players need to learn. Also important for players is a high level of coordination as well as balance and agility. Therefore, those three basic ice skating skills should be taught in any beginning skating class.
Hockey players should learn additional ice skating skills are the backward edge, forward edge, power skating, and backward c-cut. All of these moves will improve balance and agility, which is important for playing hockey.
How do beginners skate in hockey?
Hockey players should be able to skate in a straight line, puck control, backward, and forward. In addition, players need to carry the puck while skating at a reasonably fast speed. Also important is practicing the c-cut, which will help with direction changes during play.
FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
What are the basic skills of skating?
Hockey players need to know how to skate fast in a straight line, puck control, backward, and forward. Hockey players also should be able to carry the puck while skating at a decent speed. C-cuts are also important for direction changes during play.
What will help improve basic skating skills?
Practicing the c-cut and backward edge can greatly improve a hockey player’s skating skills. In addition, skating backward while practicing the backstroke will help players learn to skate with more control over their skates.
What are some fun skating drills for beginners?
The double-knee drill is a fun way to practice skating backward. Another good drill for beginners is doing c-cuts while traveling around a circle; this will help them learn to change direction on the ice without falling.
Final thoughts | basic ice skating skills for hockey
Learning basic ice skating skills, such as crossovers and c-cuts, is essential for becoming a better hockey player. Practice your skills in your backyard or driveway to improve on the ice.
If you have some more ideas or questions about the basic ice skating skill, do let me know in the comments below.