Skatemill Video Skating Analysis

A video analytic tool to improve your skating only at 4D Training Center

Welcome to “Saturday’s with Steve”, a weekly blog encapsulating everything 4D Hockey and beyond in the hockey world.  This week, I will be going in-depth on our Skating Analysis Report (S.A. Report) which is completed during a player’s first session on our Skatemill.  If you missed our earlier blog introducing our state-of-the-art Skatemill, click HERE to read all about it.  That blog will give more of an overview of everything involved with the Skatemill, while this blog will solely focus on the S.A. Report.

Skating Analysis at 4DTC

Once a player completes their first S.A. Report, either myself or another one of our Skatemill instructors will review the report with you so as to give you instant feedback.  If you didn’t have time to go over the Report immediately after the lesson, Coach Mark or Petr can always go over it with you and provide feedback notes at a later date.  We will also send you a copy of the Report by email so you are able to keep it for reference or to be able to compare the results of that Report with any you may complete at a later date.  I’ll be breaking down the S.A. Report by section, starting with Skate Position.

FRONT VIEW ANALYSIS

1.1-1.2: SKATE POSITION

The first measurement taken during the Report shows us the player’s skate position when they return their stride leg.  Ideally, we are looking for the skate to come back underneath the player’s body pointing forward.  This is an issue for almost everybody I encounter on the Skatemill for the first time.  This portion of the Report also makes sure that as the player takes their next stride, the base leg stays stable and does not turn outward.  This can cause body positioning to shift therefore reducing stability and the power of the stride.

1.3-1.4 DYNAMIC BALANCE

These measurements ensure that the player’s center of balance is correct.  It is imperative that the player’s base leg is lined up with their chin.  All of the balance comes from the center of the body.  If a player is too wide, it affects both their stability and their power.  This is something that we stress in future drills to try and get the player to remember the feeling of the base leg in the proper position.

1.5-1.6 BODY CENTER MOVEMENT/ARMS MOVEMENT

These measurements go together.  The body center movement focuses on how the player’s body moves during their skating stride.  We are looking for natural movement and equal measurements on both sides.  The shoulders and chest should stay up and still during the stride.  This is where the Arms Movement measurement comes into play, as some players will move their upper body while moving their arms.  We are looking for just the arms to move, as any unnecessary movement with the upper body will just slow us down.  The arms should swing front to back with each stride.

SIDE VIEW ANALYSIS

2.1 LEG EXTENSION AND TORSO POSITION

Moving to the second camera angle of the S.A. Report, the focus shifts to the player’s leg extension and toro position.  When skating, we want to avoid allowing our chest to dip too much towards the ice, rather we want our momentum and chest facing forward.  Another issue with having the chest too low, it does not allow us to get as deep of a knee bend, making us easier to knock off the puck and making our strides weaker.  When we are able to have a longer extension with our stride leg, it allows us to generate more power with each stride.  This leads to us not having to take as many strides as other players and still winning races to the puck because we are generating that power.  These measurements are looked at in conjunction with the measurements of the next section, as they directly affect each other.

2.2 INNER KNEE ANGLE & ANKLE FLEXION

The Inner Knee Angle measurement is looking at how low we are able to sit into our base.  We want to have a good amount of knee bend, as this directly leads to how stable we will be while skating.  The reason that Ankle Flexion and Inner Knee Angle are measured at the same time is because they work together.  If you try to bend your knees without flexing your ankles forward, you will find that you will not be able to bend your knees very far.  Flexing the ankles forward not only allows you to sit deeper into your base, but it causes the knees to bend more on their own as a result.  This is one of the key measurements we look at, as being able to get into this position with a solid base and good knee bend is a necessity if you want to achieve a proper and efficient stride.  

2.3 ANKLE EXTENSION

This measurement is making sure that when the player finishes their stride, they are finishing through their toes, and not the side of their skate blade.  Finishing the stride through the toes involves more ankle extension.  The benefit of finishing your stride through the toes is you do not generate as much friction on the ice as you would if you tried to force your stride through the stride of your foot.  You also get an extra push as you finish through the toe, as once you full extend your leg and get to the pinnacle of your stride, you can push off of the toes to generate an extra push.

2.4 SKATING EFFICIENCY

The last section of the S.A. Report is measuring how efficient the player is with their stride.  Efficiency comes from less unnecessary body movement and taking fewer strides.  A player with an efficient stride should be able to complete 10 cycles (one stride with each leg= 1 cycle) in no less than 16 seconds.  If a player completes these cycles in less than 16 seconds, there is still some work to do as they are moving their feet too quickly or the absence of stability is causing them to recover their strides much sooner than they should, leading to short and choppy strides.  Improving each measurement mentioned in this blog will culminate in achieving a more efficient stride.

Thank you for reading my blog on our Skating Analysis Report.  The information gained from completing an S.A. Report is the first step in the road towards mastering your stride.  You will not see this level of in-depth measurements anywhere else in the United States.  If you would like to schedule a Skating Analysis Report of your own, you have two options: you can either sign up for a 30-minute session where you will complete the analysis and we will go over the results with you, or you can sign up for a full hour lesson where we will complete the analysis and then you will get a lesson afterward where we will begin the journey to fixing your stride.  We hope to see you at 4DTC very soon!

This blog will run weekly dropping every Saturday on the 4D website: www.bryceb8.sg-host.com.  You can also find links to the blog on all of the 4D social accounts: @4dhockey. I’ll see you back next Saturday for the next blog, until then have a great week and train hard!

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