Diane Ness

Basic skating for the Mini-Mite


By Diane Ness


As hockey season is finally here so is the start of Mini-Mite hockey. Whether you are a coach or a parent that wants to get out on the ice with your son or daughter, take along my must-have checklist. Always remember at this age to try and make skating and hockey fun and creative. Engage yourself into a lot of little games. Remember, everything is a contest at this age, even getting into line. So from right out of the skate shop and onto the ice, here we go...

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Slide board drill


By Diane Ness


In many past articles I have written about the three main ingredients of an efficient stride. I would like to share a drill that we got from former Olympic speed skater Dave Cruikshank over the summer. In the photos you will see Kyle Okposo and Zach Parise executing this drill during an on-ice skating session this summer. It is one thing to understand how the technique should look and it is another to understand what drills help accomplish this.

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Practicing like a pro


By Diane Ness


What a great time of year right now for development and improvement. When I work with the pros in the summer, there is so much attention to detail while working on skating. If younger skaters were able to learn and understand this concept, they would make great strides throughout the year. Granted, we are working on skating and skating-specific drills in the summer, but the general idea always applies. Practice makes permanent, practice how you play and make sure you focus on details each and every practice.

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Designing a skating practice


By Diane Ness


When looking at designing a skating practice, there are many things to consider. The first thing that would come to mind is making a plan. Trying to figure out what you want to teach and in what order is critical in running an effective skating practice. The key is always the execution of a plan, not just the plan itself.

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Every push has a pull


By Diane Ness


Throughout many of my articles, I talk a lot about the importance of loading and learning how to push properly. What sometimes goes unmentioned is the importance of every pull as well. Once the leg is loaded and you execute a push, you will then need to be able to pull your leg back underneath you to create speed.

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