I get asked all the time from young dads about their kids at what position should they play and should they play forward as the player doesn’t skate well backwards? My responce has always been, 1st let the coach decide on the position for now (all depending on the age too remember) and 2nd it doesn’t matter if the player plays forward, defence or goalie, they should learn to skate backwards and forwards properly right at the beginning.
If your child is playing defense, they should be able to skate backwards confidently. They should be able to switch from forward to backwards and then back again is very crucial.
Below we go over the stance and movement of backwards skating the best we can do in print but watch the videos as they show the best way of mastering the backwards skating techniques.
Backwards Skating Stance.
- Knees and ankles should be really bent- this is why we don’t recommend wrapping the skate laces around your ankles, this restricts the ankle from bending properly when you need them to.
- Skates shoulder width apart.
- Back semi-straight and eyes looking forward.
- Pretend you are sitting on a chair.
- Keep your butt low to the ice.
- Keep your top hand on the stick.
- Start each push from directly under your body.
Now dig into the ice and push off hard to the side starting from your heel to your toe. Basically forming a half moon or ‘C’ cut on the ice. The other skate should glide as you bring the ‘push’ skate back underneath you. Try restricting the temptation to swivel your hips to much with this movement.
Try not to lean to forward or you will take a ‘nose-dive’, this seems to be the most common mistake. though it is easier on your legs you really don’t get the power that you will if you slightly bend at the waist, keep the back slightly straight and head up so you don’t lose focus on the player coming down on you.
Now let’s take a look from our friends at M2M demonstrating.
By Warren Nye, UltimateHockeySource.com
March 12th, 2012