When it comes to coaching hockey, every guy and gal has their own specialty. Defensive systems, goaltenders, special teams, and the finer points of the game, the skill – passing, shooting, stickhandling, and skating. A mentor of mine back in Edmonton, Wade Burt, has built a career out of teaching the finer points of the game. We talked about those skills in a podcast last year, and it was awesome to hear how an educator approaches the skill aspect of the game.
And no skill is more important than skating, no matter what position you’re playing.
“The head is connected to the pelvis” is a phrase I didn’t think I’d hear in my lifetime, but for Jim Vitale, it’s a crucial component of skating efficiency. Being a loyal Edmontonian at heart, I remember watching Leon Draisaitl storm onto last year’s training camp faster, more explosive, and more agile. Draisaitl had spent the summer prior working on his skating, specifically to avoid getting tired as quickly. A big part of preserving stamina comes from improving, stance, edges, and stride.
The video snippet below is one of our on-ice presentations. Coaches here in Burnaby love the interactive format Jim uses on the ice with a couple local minor hockey players. It’s worth it just for Jim’s depiction of a baby learning to walk. Check it out!
If you enjoy these video excerpts, remember you can sign up for a free 30 day trial on our TCS | MEMBERS site. This gets you access to our entire library of videos from our annual TeamSnap Hockey Coaches Conference. You can cancel any time, although after joining a community of coaches from all over the world using the videos on a daily basis to pick up new tips and stay relevant, we doubt you will.
- Glen Gulutzan: Hockey Sense Overrides Positioning
- Seven Rules for Defensemen Playing Defensive Hockey
- 3 Tips for Young Defensemen to Master Backwards Ice Skating