The Best Stopping Techniques in Ice Hockey

Stopping techniques in ice hockey can be an adventure to skaters new to the game. But hockey is a game of stops and starts, so you have to learn them eventually.

Techniques for the New
The "snow plow" is a stop designed for beginners and for people learning to skate. It can be a rather scary feeling as your body hurl through the air, gliding briskly over a fresh sheet of ice. How do you stop? Imagine a snow plow as it pushes the snow along. The same principle applies when executing the "snow plow" stop. Your skates should be angled so it looks like a big letter "V." Your knees bent with your toes facing each other. Next, put your weight on the inside edges of your skates and apply pressure to the ice. You should glide to a nice stop. Practice this by taking a few strides then putting your legs and skates in the right position to execute the stop. The key in the snow plow is you are balanced and your knees and toes are pointed in together making it possible for your skates to be at the correct "V" shape. Then apply the pressure to the inside edges.

Techniques for the Experienced
The "hockey stop" is a little bit more involved and is essential to the game. Being able to execute a hockey stop allows you to start quickly. You want to stop in such a way that the momentum will make it possible for an even quicker start. An advanced skater has a more powerful stride and the ability to go much faster. Thus, the hockey stop will have to be executed at a much higher speed, which is actually a good thing. The "hockey stop" is all about the shifting of the weight onto the inside of the blades. This is done by turning, shifting the hips into the direction of your stopping. Both feet will be facing the same way, so the blades will be pointing in the same direction as well. While the momentum is carrying you, feel the weight shift to the inside edges and dig them into the ice. The more pressure, the quicker the stop, the less pressure, the slower the stop.

If you understand physics, you could probably diagram the way a skater would execute the snow plow or the hockey stop. The best way though is trial and error out on the pond or in the rink.

The best way to learn these techniques is to practice them at your local rink or local frozen pond. Watching professional hockey players applying the hockey stop is an excellent way to see what you are trying to accomplish.

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