Improve your players' forward skating ability with this practice drill from Canadian youth hockey coach Bryan MacLean.
Who It's For
This drill helps both forwards and defensive players develop their skating skillls. Though advanced players can always work on their skating, this drill is optimized for beginning skaters to help them develop a strong, smooth stride.
How it Works
The player's job will be to skate towards an object (I use a cone), travel around that object and then return. A very simple drill, the emphasis is placed on skating fundamentals, and breaking the basics of skating down... one leg at a time.
The player's position should be: knees slightly bent with legs shoulder width apart. The player first starts by pushing off with his left leg. He pulls the leg back to shoulder width apart, glides, and then repeats.
This process will take the player all the way down to the cone. After the player goes around the cone, they are to execute the same process with the other leg (right). After finishing one 'lap,' the player goes to the back of the line.
What to Look For
Coaches should be looking for the slight bend in the knee, as well as a smooth and under-control approach. Most young players will try to rush this drill and lose the desired technique.
Look for a nice slow push off and then a glide, all the while keeping their head up and looking forward with their knees slightly bent.