Andy & Diane Ness

Inside Mohawk drills

By Diane Ness

For the last article, I explained how to do an inside Mohawk or an inside pivot. In other words, learning how to do transition. I will give you three drills that can be used for skaters of any level.

The first drill is a basic mirror drill. The great part about this drill is you can get a lot of kids moving while getting a ton of repetition. The skaters will start in two lines at each end of the rink. As the skaters go, the outside skater will turn forward to backward (then backward to forward) towards the other skater. When this happens, the inside skater has to react and turn at the same time. The great thing about this drill is because players have to face each other, it forces them to turn a certain way, even if it is more difficult.

The second drill is a quick inside Mohawk while facing the middle. The coach will be in the middle of the circle. Each time he/she says “turn,” the skater must turn facing the coach. The skater should continue to add crossovers while trying to maintain speed. As skaters get more advanced, the coach can also make the skater handle a puck while they are working on their transition. I would say have the skaters go around the circle two or three times, remembering to always face the inside.

The third drill is more difficult. The power mohawk is a drill to help the skater generate speed after turning from forward to backward. The skater should start forward heading diagonally towards the dot. The skater will then transition backwards facing the inside. After the skater has turned backward, the skater should then add a powerful back crossover to continue his/her speed. After the crossover, the skater will then turn forward and perform the same turn the other way, always remembering to push hard during the back crossover. This drill may take a little time to get the hang of, but it is a great drill to work on upper body control as well as footwork.  

Diane Ness has been a full-time professional skating coach for over 35 years. She has coached both figure skaters and hockey players alike and is a former U.S. gold medalist in figure skating. She is the Director for the Pro Edge Power hockey camps and the Learn to Skate program at Highland Park Arena. Ness is the skating coach for the New Jersey Devils, the University of Minnesota men’s and women’s hockey teams and the U.S. Women’s Olympic Hockey Team. She has trained players in the NHL, AHL, NCAA, USHL and NAHL.