Hello to all of our hockey friends and welcome back to the second post of The Empower LEDGER. We hope everyone is staying healthy and safe as we remain quarantined to our houses. We don’t know about you, but we're ready to get back on the ice with all of our skaters and can’t wait to see all of your smiling faces! With everyone being off the ice for so long, we thought it would be nice to continue this ledger as a way of getting our hockey minds going again.
Our first post talked about the eight edges a skater has and the primary importance of the forward inside and outside edges. Now, what about the back edges? As a figure skater, I always loved skating backward and using my back edges to build speed. In the hockey world, I can’t express how important skating backwards is for all players, especially if you want to be a standout defenseman. Being able to transition from forward-to-backward and backward-to-forward takes incredible balance, edge agility and proper upper body mechanics and movement. Learning and practicing your back outside and inside edges on BOTH feet at a young age will give your player the skill set they need to execute their backward skating and transitions with power, stability and confidence.
Starting off by practicing basic back outside and inside edge work is the best way to build these skills. Doing simple backward swizzles, as we discussed in our first blog post, is a great way of introducing back inside edges to any skater. The “toe to heel” pulling motion gives the skater the feeling of the back running edge, while learning to balance by keeping their back and head up properly. Building on that is the most fun!
Creating half circles on one foot (“C”-cuts) will help the skater understand how their upper body helps to create the movement of their lower body. I often use the analogy, “pretend your shoulders are a steering wheel and your skates are your tires.” In time, the skater will be able to combine the movement of their upper body with their edges and lower body, which will give them what? That would be POWER! When it comes down to it, your power will only be as strong as your edge and upper body command.
We hope you found this post helpful and insightful. We miss all of you terribly and can’t wait to see all of you very soon!