Cariboo Elite Hockey Training held their power skating camp Aug. 22 – 26 where players had an opportunity to refine their skating skills.
The camp was instructed by Aaron Konecsni of AKHockey who’s focus was proper skating technique.
He is the head coach and director of player development of AKHockey and has worked with current and former NHL stars and many hockey leagues.
During the week he concentrated on balance and controlling your skates, forward and backward skating strides and being able to perform those strides at top speed with the puck.
Konecsni says the key elements in skating are balance, posture, flexibility, mobility and being educated on how you can extend your stride.
He adds most players do not get low enough while skating.
“Most hockey players don’t use their glutes, they’re just quad dominate,” Konecsni said.
“60 per cent of the kids I see are just using their quads and not their glutes.”
“The key to getting faster is sitting down and getting lower and we have created progressions here to force them to get lower.”
Konescni says the biggest challenges he sees for players is backward skating, the understanding of when to use a specific skill and when to apply it. Although skating is taught well at the minor hockey level he says the associations need to become more consistent in how they go about teaching it. “There is not enough consistent skating teaching methods,” Konecsni said.
“There is a lot of people teaching different things and I think the more consistent coaching the players receive the more the players will progress.”
“When one coach teaches one thing and another the other, when it comes to skating it’s tough.”
“That’s why I like to go to minor hockey associations and do coaching clinics and share our program.”
He hopes the players at the end of the camp understand what it takes to become a more successful skater.
“I want them to be more aware of the things that can make them a more successful hockey player, but also learn what it takes to master a skill,” Konecsni said.
“You see so many kids that try to do drills but their skills aren’t refined.”
“A lot of coaches don’t have the opportunity to break down a skill into small progressions and teach movements. So I just want them to improve their overall skill level starting with skating first.”
With the conclusion of the power skating camp this ends the Cariboo Elite Hockey Training summer camps.
The hope now is players can take the skills they learned and translate it into a successful year on the ice with the hockey season just around the corner.