You have probably read many articles talking about how important the outside edge is for developing stability and balance for hockey players. I assume you know as well how important it is for proper skating technique.
I totally agree with most of the thoughts, however in this article I would like to look on this topic from another point of view. First of all, we need to ensure that coaches, parents, and players understand the purpose of the outside edge.
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If they understand the benefits, they may take advantage and use that knowledge for personal and team development as well. Sadly, at the beginning I must say that only very few of them realize that fixing outside edge will have significant impact on almost everything they will do on the ice. When I work with young players, I encourage them to ask questions, but they are very often asking if outside edge drills are planned for today’s practice. However, I very rarely get asked why the outside edge is so important, and why they have to use the outside edge for prolonging strides, and performing tight turns.
Every single detail counts.
Why use outside edge
There are several reasons why we use the outside edge. For this section I have selected four well known and frequently-used skating skills to help you understand importance and benefits of outside edge.
Skating forward consists of three phases: recovery, push-off, and gliding. The outside edge is used for gliding, which is a little underestimated. Gliding is extremely important for using all energy and momentum generated by the push-off. If a player does not use the outside edge, then he/she skips gliding and jumps from recovery straight to the push-off. Therefore, the player can lose momentum with every single stride.