KJPS 6 Steps to Speed

Apr 19, 2024

As off-season training is approaching, I wanted to give insight on 6 steps to improving speed. These KJPS methods are acclicable to virtually every age/ability & are crucial for improving not just speed but overall skating performance. 

  1. Technique : This initial step is all about laying down the foundation for efficient & effective skating. Technique involves mastering the fundamental mechanics of skating, such as proper body positioning, weight distribution, edge control, & stride mechanics. By focusing on technique, skaters develop a solid base upon which they can build their speed & quickness. If you skip this groundwork step, your foundation or skating structure will be weak & it's likely when you progress to higher levels, you'll have to come back to this step to break bad habits, which will cost valuable time in development. In other words, DON'T SKIP THIS STEP!

  2. Power : Once the technique is established, the next step is to add power to the movements. Power in skating refers to the ability to generate force and speed through each push. This requires strength, explosiveness, & proper timing. Strengthening key muscles, such as the core, quadriceps, glutes is essential for developing power on the ice. Additionally, understanding how to effectively transfer energy from the body to the ice surface is crucial for maximizing power output.

  3. Stride/Push Frequency : Skating is not just about moving fast; it's also about moving efficiently. Stride and push frequency refer to the rhythm and cadence of a skater's strides. In small-area games where quick changes in direction are frequent, a higher push frequency is necessary to maintain agility & maneuverability. On the other hand, in situations where covering more ice is required, such as during long rushes or breakaways, a longer stride frequency helps maximize speed & efficiency. Developing the ability to adjust stride length and frequency based on the demands of the game is essential for becoming a versatile skater.

  4. Training Overspeed : Training overspeed involves pushing the limits of speed during practice by incorporating drills and exercises that challenge skaters to skate at a pace faster than they are accustomed to. By training at speeds beyond the comfort zone, skaters can improve their stride frequency, leg turnover, and overall skating speed.

  5. Resistance/Strength Training (On-Ice) : Building strength on the ice through resistance training drills helps skaters develop the specific muscles required for powerful and explosive movements. This can involve exercises such as net pushes, resistance band drills, or weighted skating. By training with resistance while maintaining proper skating technique, skaters not only strengthen their muscles but also reinforce good habits and muscle memory.  KEY WORDS : GOOD HABITS! All be sure to maintain mechanics while training strength on ice. 

  6. Speed is Mental : The psychological aspect of speed cannot be overlooked. Confidence plays a significant role in an athlete's ability to perform at their best. Skaters who lack confidence in their speed may hesitate or second-guess themselves on the ice, which can hinder their performance. Positive feedback from coaches & teammates, visualization techniques, goal setting, & mental imagery can all help build confidence and belief in one's abilities. Developing a strong mental game is just as important as physical training when it comes to maximizing speed and performance on the ice.