Andy & Diane Ness

The stride


By Andy Ness

In the June issue of Let’s Play Hockey, I noted the importance of getting a strong push to the side while executing a stride. I would like to stick with that same concept and discuss in a little more detail about recovery as well as injury prevention tips.

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Skill vs. drill


By Andy Ness

Skill development is a phrase that is thrown out quite a bit, especially in the summer. What is skill development? How and what skills can all skaters improve on? The first thing people have to understand is the difference between a drill and a skill. The skill is a specific part of a player’s game that can be worked on. A crossover is a skill. Walking the blue line is a skill. Pulling the puck of the wall is a skill.

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Back to the fundamentals


By Andy Ness


When we do our camps, regardless if it’s Mites or the pros, it always comes back to the fundamentals of skating. It is very clear to me that there is a distinct difference between doing something and doing something well.

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Pushing to the side


By Andy Ness

Understanding the physics of skating is very important. It’s important to understand how speed works while on skates. Very simply, if you are in shoes, you are moving your feet front to back. If you are on skates you need to push out on your edge. Speed is created by downward force. In a nutshell, the stronger you push against the ice, the faster you will go. There are other things like gliding and friction, but essentially if your blades stay in contact with the ice by pushing outwards, you will gain speed.

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Stride drills


By Andy Ness


A few weeks ago, I wrote an article about the three main ingredients of an efficient stride (the load, the push, the extension). I would like to share a drill that we got from former Olympic speedskater Dave Cruikshank over the summer. It is one thing to understand how the technique should look and it is another to understand what drills help accomplish this.

Read more: Stride drills