|It's like learning how to swim or ride a bicycle. You have to keep trying and falling until you get it.|
Stopping is an important skill to reduce injury and advance your hockey playing moves and it's just plain fun.
Edges of a skate
If you hold a hockey skate with the toe of the skate facing towards you and look down the blade you should see what looks like a U. There are two edges on a skate blade, an inside edge and an outside edge. When standing with your skates on, the inside edge are the edges between your legs and the outside edges are by your arms.
Sharp Skates Are Bad for Learning
If your skates are too sharp it will make it more difficult to learn to stop as your stop will be very abrupt and there is little room for error.
Most people will not learn to stop unless they are willing to fall. It helps to:
1. be well padded wearing full hockey equipment
2. Don't stop too close to the boards so you don't fall into them
3. Keep your speed slow when learning
By pointing your skates in the direction you're going in, you're gliding on two edges of each skate. By turning the skates perpendicular to the direction you're traveling you will stop gliding and either stop or fall.
Most people will fall the first time they try this. The key is to glide first while the blade is perpendicular to your motion. You do this by keeping the blade perpendicular to the ice.
Go to the boards and stand facing them and the glass. Put your hands on the boards and first try to slide to the right with your skate facing the boards. Push off with your left foot and try to glide on the right foot. Lighten the weight you place on the stopping foot until the skate is sliding. Bend your knees and point you toe down or lift the heel of the skate slightly off the ice. This is your inside edge you are stopping on. If your right foot isn't sliding change the angle the blade makes with the ice to closer to 90 degrees.
1. Point your skates toes toward each other, looks like ^
2. Bend your knees
3. Push outwards
Dragging a Foot
Another way to slow down is to drag a foot, also called a T-stop. You place one skate behind the other perpendicular to the way you are going and drag the inside edge of the blade. This should slow you down.
Stopping on One Foot
Once you can do the above exercise and the snow plow you're ready for stopping on one foot. Start moving forward and keep your left foot pointing straight with your weight over that foot. Lift you right foot's heel a tiny bit and place it at a 45 degree angle to the direction you're going but at a 90 degree angle to the ice. The foot should start to slide. Slow shift your weight to that skate and move your left shoulder behind you. Keep practicing this move until you get it. If you are falling then you may need to lift the heel of the right skate a bit more and lean back.
Once you learn the one foot stop then learn it on the other side and just keep practicing.
Turning then Stopping
To stop while in a turn is an advanced technique and not recommended for those just learning. The key to this is changing your weight on your blades. While turning your blades are creating a grove in the ice. If you suddenly change the direction of your blades you are likely to fall. The key is to straighten the angle the blade is making with the ice and to get the heels of the blade slightly off the ice.
Pull Player with them holding stick
One thing you can do if you have a coach is to do the following:
1. Hold your stick parallel to the ice and perpendicular to your body with two hands at arms length.
2. Have the coach pull you and it is your job to resist this pulling by using the snow plow
Back foot and front foot
When you are stopping you will have a back foot and a front foot. When stopping on your right side you front foot is your right foot. When stopping on your left side your front foot is your left foot.
Stopping with Both Feet
Once you master stopping on one foot you should try to stop with two feet.
Bouncing When Stopping
If you are bouncing when stopping then your skate may be too sharp. Also you can try putting more weight on the toes of your skates and bend your knees more.