|Effective drills should:
1. Have a specific purpose and meet the objectives set for the practice.
2. Be suitable for the age, skill level and physical maturity of the skater.
3. Be applicable to the skills used in the sport. A drill that does not serve any purpose is meaningless to
both the athlete and the coach.
4. Follow a progression from simple to complex.
5. Challenge the skill level of the athlete.
6. Be varied and innovative.
7. Be undertaken at a tempo that simulates the action of the sport.
8. Be done correctly.
9. Introduce competition into the drill where possible. Any time a race, battle or winner is involved in a
drill the participants interest and intensity levels are raised.
10. Remain flexible in their development and running.
11. Run for an ideal amount of time.
12. Flow from one to another in a progression.
13. Overall, use the whole (ice surface).
14. Be planned appropriately, executed at a high tempo and with a proper work-to-rest ratio if a conditioning
effect is to take place.
15. Be enjoyable.
16. Be evaluated after practice for their effectiveness.
17. Improve areas of weakness observed during competition or practice.
18. Overall, show improvement in skills.
Chambers, D.: Coaching: The Art and the Science. Key Porter Books 1997
The following patterns show various traffic flows. These flows can accomodate a wide variety of exercises. Skaters should perform the exercises in both directions as well as forward and backward whenever possible.
Skaters are divided into 2 circles. One circle travels clockwise and the other circle travels counterclockwise. This is so that if the skaters get close in the middle they will be travelling in the same direction as they meet making collisions less likely.
Forward or Backward Crosscuts
Any turn 3 turn, mohawk or bracket exercise (see Circular Exercises)
Alternating crosscuts and edges
Crosscuts and spirals
Wooden sticks- Two sticks made of of 12 inch lengths of 1 1/2 inch dowel. These can be clapped together
to keep time.
Whistle- Used to indicate when skaters should start or stop or change direction.
Cones- Used to help mark the pattern of the exercise
Marker- Used to help mark the pattern of the exercise or to remind skaters of what foot or to start on or
what direction to go.
Music- A variety of tracks at different tempos and with an easily discernible beat. (more on music below).
Music is an integral part of stroking classes. Although Stroking is not a time to teach music, incorporating simple, fundamental music principles improves the effectiveness of exercises and makes them more enjoyable to perform. Simple, fundamental music principles include:
Beat- finding the 1, 4/4 time, 3/4 time
Tempo- adagio (60-80 bpm), andante (80-110 bpm), allegro (110-160 bpm), accelerando and ritardando.
Dynamics- piano and forte
Rhythm- accent, simple rhythmic patterns
More on how to hear music including exercises with musical examples can be found in my book, Basic Ear Training For Skaters
Music appropriate for Stroking might include popular music but any music used should enhance the exercise in some way and not just be loud, background noise. The following sources are enjoyable to listen to and have an easily discernible beat:
Classical- expecially adagio for field moves
Rock & Roll
80's Pop Music
Instrumental Rap or Hip Hop Beats
Certain drum or other solo instrument music
Click on the examples to hear samples of beat tracks customized for Stroking class. With a good digital editing programme you can do the same with any piece of music. Fully orchestrated music is more interesting to listen to.
Accelerando & Ritardando
Piano & Forte
On the next two pages you will find a variety of Circular Exercises and Straight Line Exercises. A few are the same as those learned at the Junior and Intermediate level but they are now incorporated into stroking patterns and are expected to be executed with quality and speed and in tempo with the music. There are also some more advanced exercises that skaters are advised to learn separately first before incorporating them into a full stroking pattern with speed. Choose a straight line and/or circular shaped exercise, a pattern, the music and begin. The versatility of the exercises coupled with the familiarily of the patterns skated to a variety of musical selections makes Stroking classes easy to learn and always fresh.
The opinions expressed on these pages are those of Cheryl Richardson, author of, Skating Ahead of the Curve. Every effort has been made to properly credit sources for other materials. You may link to my pages but please do not reprint or otherwise distribute without my permission.
Seminars Contact Site Index
Skaters can either start at both ends to spread out the pattern or if there are a lot of skaters divide them into two groups. One group performs the exercise while the other either does a different exercise around the perimeter or receives instructions from the coach until the groups switch.
Crosscuts with power steps through the middle
Crosscuts with field moves through the middle
Any 3 turn, mohawk or bracket pattern (see Circular Exercises) with
one foot slalom, straight strokes, etc. through the middle
Skaters can either start at both ends to spread out the pattern or, if there are a lot of skaters, divide them into two groups. One group performs the exercise while the other either does a different exercise around the perimeter or receives instructions from the coach until the groups switch.
Crosscuts with choctaw through the middle
Any 3 turn, mohawk or bracket exercise (see Circular Exercises) with
a choctaw or change of edge through the middle.
|Lines Across The Width
Skaters spread out down the length of the ice on one side and then perform the chosen exercise each on their own track across the width of the ice. On the coach's signal they come back on the same track.
1 foot slalom
|Lines Down The Length
Skaters divide into three or four groups at one end of the ice. It is helpful to place a cone at the head of the line or make a mark on the ice as skaters tend to inch forward. The first skater in each line performs the exercise down the ice. On the coach's signal the second line can start and so on. When everyone is down the ice repeat coming back or the skaters can return to the start down the sides of the ice..
Power steps, Russian Stroking
1 Foot Slalom
Edges, Change of Edge
Counters, Rockers, Choctaws
Skaters start at both ends at the same time to spread out the pattern.
Crosscuts with straight strokes
Any 3 turn, mohawk or bracket pattern across the end with
any straight line pattern down the side (Russian, power steps etc.)
Skaters start on both circles at the same time to spread out the pattern. Many variations of exercises are possible by changing what is done both on the circles and down the sides.
Crosscuts with straight strokes
Any 3 turn, mohawk or bracket pattern across the end with any straight
line pattern down the side (Russian, power steps, spiral etc.)
Skaters start on both end circles at the same time to spread out the pattern.
Forward or backward crosscuts on the circles with spirals in the centre
Crosscuts with choctaws at the transition points
Any 3 turn, mohawk or bracket pattern on the circles with edges in the
Skaters all start at one end of the ice. The first skater starts and completes a circle and then the next skater starts and so on. Skaters must push extra hard on the leading part of the circle to make the pattern advance down the ice. No additional side steps are permitted. The growth of the pattern must be due to an increase in power. It should take about four or five rings to get to the far end. When the skaters get there they can perform an additional exercise once around the perimeter until everyone is finished that pass. Repeat in the opposite direction and backwards.
Forward and backward crosscuts
Skaters start at one end of the ice and snake back and forth using the full width of the ice
Forward crosscuts across the width, FI choctaw at the
other side, back crosscuts back across with a BI choctaw at the other
Forward crosscuts across the width, FOchoctaw at the other side, back crosscuts back across with a BO choctaw at the other side, repeat.
(So named because when finished, the pattern on the ice looks like the five Olympic rings.) Skaters start at one end of the ice and complete approximately one and a half times around each circle on each of the 5 circles. It is sometimes easier to keep the circles placed evenly over the ice surface if a cone is placed in the centre of each one.
Skaters start at one end of the ice and in pairs skate down the length of the ice then break away to either side and return to the beginning of the pattern.
Any straight line pattern like power steps. Something else
can be done coming back like a field move or working edge pattern.
Good for racing two at a time.