Skating is like anything else — the more you practice, the better you’ll be. If you’re not that great a skater, there are drills and exercises that can help you improve. When I was a kid, I had a rink in my backyard, so I skated all the time. That had a lot to do with my development.
There is a difference between quickness and speed. I’ve heard it said that quickness is first gear but speed is the second, third and fourth gears. Quickness is that first few steps, speed is for the long haul. There are drills you can do to practice both.
Improve your skating technique and you’ll improve your speed. That means learning proper use of edges, staying low with knees bent and getting the full extension in each stride for maximum power.
When you’re doing on-ice skating drills, start slow and work your way up. Doing drills right is more important than doing them quickly. Using an improper technique quickly means you’ll go nowhere faster.
Off-ice plyometric drills like squats, jumps and sprints are equally important for improving your overall speed. Once again, remember to start slow and work your way up. Don’t be afraid to challenge and push yourself.
Remember This …
Some people think that speed is a God-given talent, and they may be right. But you can definitely improve on your speed with hard work and practice. As pros, we try to improve on our skills each and every day, but especially in the summer months by working out with teammates or personal trainers.