Performance Skating versus Speed Skating

  1. Marino (1977, 1979 & 1983) found that velocity in hockey skating is dependent on the number of strides as opposed to the length of the stride. He also found that the faster a hockey player skated, the quicker he/she put the skate on the ice after push-off. This means that high-performance hockey skaters have quick- medium length strides, and get their skate on the ice quickly after push-off.

  2. Page (1975) found that the faster skaters in his study had a quicker “recovery period.” In other words, faster hockey skaters get their skates on the ice quickly after they push-off.

  3. Many hockey programs use the services of speed skating coaches in the attempt to improve hockey game-performance skating. Based on above mentioned biomechanics of hockey skating, and the biomechanics of speed skating, this seems to be misguided.

  4. Velocity in speed skating is more dependent on stride length than stride frequency. This is the exact opposite of hockey skating.

    Speed skaters have a long push-off phase, a long glide phase, and a long recovery phase.

    After push-off, speed skaters bring their recovery skate back under their body, and when they put it back on the ice, they land on their outside edge, roll onto their inside edge, then push-off.

  5. Forward hockey skating is consistently pushing off with the inside edge and landing on the inside edge.

  6. Observation of high-performance hockey skaters like Bill Guerin, clearly shows they do not bring their skate to the other skate before pushing off, like speed skaters do.

  7. Speed skating is different from game-performance hockey skating, and teaching a hockey player to skate like a speed skater can actually cause a performance decrement rather than performance enhancement.