In hockey, a good stride is one of the most important things a player can have. Strong strides come from proper training and practice, and what better way to help young players develop their stride than with some specially designed stride drills? One of the best out there is one popularized by Dave Cruikshank, a one-time Olympic speed-skater.
To do this drill, players head out onto the ice. Then, they will load their legs on an inside edge. When done properly, each skater should feel like he has a firm grip on the ice with his or her inside edge and like it’s easy to push off and explode when needed. One each skater has proven that he can handle this skill and has been given a few pointers on improving it, it’s time to move on to the drill itself.
To begin, each skater should stand with his toe boxes pointing forward and in a “ready to explode stance. Skaters then use downward force to explode out, sliding laterally on the other skate with the toe boxes still pointing forward. The player should repeat this movement for five strides, turn around, and go the other way with five more strides. Players should repeat the drill four times, twice on each leg.
The great thing about this drill is that it will allow the player to improve his ability to load and explode. Plus, at the same time, it will increase and improve leg strength.