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The Best Hockey Skaters: Start Early and Repeat

October 20, 2014 Written by | No Comments

All hockey players have their own, unique mobility on the rink; frequently referred to as their skating. Tommy Keane, a 20 year veteran hockey instructor, has a passion for guiding youth hockey players to find their own, unique skating form. Keane recognizes the importance of developing good skating habits early in youth hockey and the balancing act a child must uphold to learn the games finer points while learning to skate. 

Keane, referee-in-chief of Lynbrook Roller Hockey, is aware of the frustrations that go into teaching a child to skate. Aside from his officiating duties, Keane has trained and coached youth hockey players for over 20 years, and is a man of repetition. “I haven’t changed much, I ran the same drills twenty years ago” said Keane about his weekend roller hockey clinics that are offered to Lynbrook Roller Hockey players ranging from four to sixteen years of age.

“Getting your legs under you and balance to move freely is what I try to show the kids” said Keane. Drills Keane implements vary; all testing the youth player’s ability to stay up on their feet. “I love to see the kids fall, it means I’m testing their edges and challenging their minds and body to do something they didn’t think they could do”

Full-length, goal-line drills in particular according to Keane are useful for pinpointing where a player is struggling fundamentally. “Going from goal-line to goal-line will zero in on where the kids have deficiencies. Maybe their left-foot stride is weak.” Keane’s solution, have the player only move his left skate, while the right remains stationary on the ice.

The secret to creating good skaters is simple really. Keane says “its repetition, who is skating every day without me.”

Attached is a video of Tommy Keane speaking about fundamental skating and the thrill he gets as a referee in the same league he hosts weekly clinics.

https://vimeo.com/109713984

 

By Freddy Cicchetti

 

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