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Stopping On A Dime

By Greg Siller - Pro Learning Systems


How do you stop on roller blades! I play ice hockey and find it almost impossible to stop on wheels. Please help!

Many of you have asked this same question, and for good reason. Stopping is an important and essential part of hockey. It is used to change direction quickly or evade another player (or to keep you from slamming into the boards). Three stopping techniques include the T-stop, Two-skate stop, and Power Slide.

The T-stop is a slow stop that can be used when coming to the bench when a shift is over or by a defenseman when he slows down behind the net to set up a breakout play. To execute, place your weight on your left skate (for this example) and slowly lift your right skate and turn it perpendicular to your direction of travel (sideways). With both knees bent, slowly drag the wheels of your right skate and increase the pressure until you stop. Keep your upper body square to the direction of travel.

The Two-Skate stop is an essential technique for all players to master. This technique is important to perfect because the faster you can stop, the sooner you can get back into the play or the easier you can get away from an opponent. This stop is made by swinging the upper body and hips quickly at a right angle to the direction of your travel. As this occurs, the player should turn both skates quickly in the same direction, bend the knees, and press his weight down so that the wheels grip the playing surface. As you are stopping, shift your weight from the outside edge of the inside skate to the inside edge of the outside skate. Stay low upon completion of the stop to keep your balance. Since your wheel durometer and playing surface affect your ability to stop, you may need to vary the distance between your skates and how deep you bend your knees when stopping. If you are on a sticky surface, you can keep your skates close together and bend your knees deeply when stopping. If you are slippery surface, you can move you skates further apart (for better balance) and stand more upright when stopping. If you are having trouble performing the two-skate stop, practice slowly moving your skates in a C shape to help get you coordinate your stopping movement.

The Power Slide is an advanced stopping technique that allows a player to retrieve a puck from the corner while keeping his eyes on the action around him and can be used while skating either forward or backward. While skating forward, pivot on your right skate (for this example) so that the heel of that skate is pointing in the direction of travel. Keep most of your weight on your right leg. Bend your right knee so that your upper and lower leg form a 90 degree angle. At the same time, swing your left leg around, extend it in the direction of travel, and begin to lay the side of your left skate and the wheels down on the playing surface. The side of your skate and wheels will slide along the playing surface until you stop. Note: If you only place the wheels on the playing surface, you might twist your ankle. To avoid this problem, lay both the inside edge of your skate and the wheels down. While skating backward, bend your right knee at a 90 degree angle. Extend your left leg in the direction of travel, and lay the side of your left skate and the wheels down so that they slide along the playing surface until you stop.

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