Proper stride and body position is critical to speed and agility while skating. The first thing I do in my clinics is go over proper posture and skating stance so that you are starting things off right.
Hockey posture is the building block for virtually every other hockey skill. Not only does a proper stance propel your shot or determine passing accuracy, it can give a player twice the power on every stride. Start every ice session with a review of proper hockey stance and use this mental checklist to help:· Knees bent at about 90 degrees.· Feet are under the hips. They should be roughly shoulder-width apart, forming a box shape between the ankles and the knees rather than a triangle from too wide of a stance.· Hips are low and butt is out.· Shoulders are back, not hunched over.· Head up, eyes up -- younger players tend to look down, which causes them to fall forward. It's just like you're sitting at your chair in the classroom -- pretty much that's your hockey stance, Your knees are bent at a 90 [degree angle] pretty much, your back is straight, your head's looking forward, your chin is up, your chest is out, your butt's out and your knees are bent.
This proper stance is essential to hockey because it's important to stay low. Staying low helps a player have a better center of gravity and better balance; it also helps to give full extension on a skating stride. It's all knee bend, If you have your legs straight, you can only push pretty much not even half of your full stride and you want to get your full stride out. Get nice and low so you can get your full leg extension and then you can get a toe-flick at the end of your stride. You can't even get your toe-flick unless you do your full extension. So get your full push and get nice and low and get your full recovery, which is coming back to where your feet are under your hips. Try to get your leg at least back under your hips, maybe more, that way on your next stride with that leg you are pushing that much harder.