Power skating is a misunderstood form of performance enhancement.
Many skating coaches have no formal education in movement sciences, no certification to be a skating coach, and many coaches transition from being a figure skater to working with hockey players.
“Power skating” has been adapted from figure skaters. Many figure skaters are unqualified to be hockey skating coaches. Moreover, there are many misconceptions about the skills and drills used by power skating instructors.
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Origin of power skating
Some say Laura Stamm was the first power skating instructor. In the 1970’s and 1980’s she worked with New York Islanders players in an attempt to improve their skating performance.
Power skating originated from figure skating. Power skating uses figure skating techniques and “tricks” in an attempt to improve the skating performance of hockey players. We still see power skating instructors using what used be called “compulsory figures” from figure skating.
Before 1991, high-level figure skaters had two components to their figure skating performance:
2. Freestyle skating
Compulsory figures have morphed into “edge work” for hockey players.
Efficacy of figure skaters being skating coaches for hockey players
An analogy to use when talking about figure skaters being skating coaches, specifically figure skaters being hired by NHL teams, is comparing the qualifications needed by skating coaches to those needed by strength and conditioning coaches.
Many NHL strength and conditioning coaches start their career as a graduate assistant or intern for a college athletic program. All NHL conditioning coaches must have an undergraduate degree. Most conditioning coaches are certified (certified strength and conditioning specialist through the National Strength and Conditioning Association), and they have years of experience working with athletes before being hired by an NHL team. NHL skating coaches do not need a degree in any of the movement sciences such as kinesiology, biomechanics, and/or exercise science. Moreover, skating coaches do not need skating coach training nor do they need any certifications.
It appears the primary qualification figure skaters have to work with NHL players is that they were a competitive figure skater.