Edges are the most important aspect of power skating in hockey.
Without good edge control, a player will always struggle to become an efficient and good skater.
Edges are used in every aspect of skating including forward/backward stride, crossovers, stops and starts, and transition. If you want to become a really good skater it all has to start with great edge control, and balance.
There are three basic edges – inside edge, outside edge, and straight or flat edge.
When you first learned to skate you were off balance due to the fact that you did not have good edge control.
Balance plays a huge part in learning to master your edges.
Once you work on and master the inside edge you need to continue on to learning and mastering the outside edge which will end up being the harder edge to learn.
I love edge drills that force players to balance on one leg.
It really teaches you how to balance your weight over your skates and pushes you outside of your comfort zone.
I have my players balance on one foot, jump on one foot, and do edge work on one foot.
The minute you start using both legs you will be feel a lot more comfortable and be able to perform the exercises much better.
I am always explaining to my skaters that if you break down the skating in a game, you would be surprised, how much is actually done on one leg.
Players are on one leg quickly over and over again to stride, crossover, stop, take off, or pivot.
Here are some examples of how edges work when you turn, stop, or accelerate.
You will be using an inside edge, and an outside edge (depending on which way you turn). If you are new you might not trust your edges and keep a very wide stance while turning. You need to trust your edges and let them grip into the ice while you make sharp turns.
You are also using one inside edge and one outside edge, you achieve this by bending your knees, getting lower and having your skates at an angle. In this case you don’t want your weight right over your feet though as that will cause your edges to dig in, you want to “slide” a bit on your edges.
You want to use your inside edges. You will be leaning slightly forward, with your feet turned and your skates on an angle to the ice. You want to really dig your blades in with each stride, bite those edges into the ice and go!
Once your edges become easier and you have more control on your blades, your edge work will need to have more power, and speed, with a puck.
Progression is so important in edgework.
I really believe that all minor hockey coaches should start off every practice with 10 mins of edges.
One and two foot c’cuts, sculling, and balance can all be incorporated in the dynamic warm up at the beginning of the practice.
Edges are the foundation to becoming an efficient and powerful skater.
Until next time Scary Mary says see you at the rink ...