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Old 10-12-2010, 10:24 AM   #1
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Suggestions for skating improvements for a "'tweener"?

I want to improve my skating because I may want to pick up hockey on a semi-serious basis.

I learned to skate when I was about 6-7 (I'm now 28) and I'm fairly comfortable on my skates. I have decent speed coming out of the corners, but I know my stride should be more efficient. I can skate backwards, but my left backward crossovers need work. I can only stop one-way (left-facing), so I want to learn how to stop the other way.

I started playing stick-and-puck hockey last year with a bunch of guys from work. We don't play in full gear and I'm not interested in acquiring a full set of gear until I improve the fundamentals of my skating first. My understanding of power-skating classes is that people show up in full gear.

I've never done skating lessons in my life so I've picked up bad habits and muscle memory. I feel that I need coaching to improve, but I don't want to sign up for conventional skating classes with beginners (but perhaps, any instruction is better than none?) Anyway, I didn't want to make a redundant thread, but after searching old threads on power skating, etc., I still think I need recommendations on what to do.

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Old 10-12-2010, 11:23 AM   #2
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There's not really a super secret way to get better fast. Just set goals for yourself and work on a couple simple things at a time until you perfect them.

At stick and puck, maybe spend the first 20 minutes just skating lines by yourself. Go at your own pace but push yourself. Maybe throw in a stop and start facing your weak direction. Or every 3 lines, skate one length backwards etc etc. During your stick and puck games, don't just use your arsenal of good things, since your developing, at practice (stick and puck) is the best time to start trying your weaker points in game situations.

Also try and play with people similar level to yourself, or just a little bit above your level. If you play with people much younger/worse you will develop bad habits and not put the effort needed in. If you play with people that are a huge amount better, you won't get the practice in because you won't be able to keep up.

I wouldn't go to a power skating coach just yet. Make sure you have all the basics down pat first, like backwards crossovers to the opposite side, and stopping the other way as well. As for instructors that don't require full gear, contact a private one, it will cost a little bit more, but he will come to stick and puck with you and work alone on what needs improvement. If you go to a large class, usually they just hand out universal tips, and only give individual help rarely. A private instructor will adapt to your needs and help you with what you need the most work on.

Good luck
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Old 10-13-2010, 12:38 AM   #3
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Hey, I suggest you pick up some gear if you plan on playing any sort of hockey. Cause it'll get you out of that mental fear of falling state and you'll push yourself to certain limits. It will be an easier transition skating with gear now than learning all over again when all that gear in restricting certain movements.

Just work on your skating whenever you can, there isn't a shortcut to being a better skater, its all about practice. Youtube works wonders on techniques and such, but adult skating lessons are offered through the Vancouver Parks Board rinks. They teach beginner, intermediate, and advance. Sometimes you'll get lucky and just have yourself in the class and have personal instruction.

Best of luck.
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