In order to play defense in hockey, you've got to be able to confidently skate backwards. Switching from forward skating to backwards and back again is crucial.
- Knees and ankles REALLY bent
- Skates shoulder-width apart
- Back straight and eyes looking forward
- Pretend you're sitting on a chair
- Keep your butt low to the ice
- Keep only your top hand on the stick
- Start each push from directly under your body
The most common mistake I see players make is leaning too far forward, bending at the waist. While this might be easier on your thighs, you'll have far less power, and a tougher time keeping your head up to watch the forward coming down on you.
Here's a great way to learn backwards skating from good ole' Howie Meeker!
Here's a few more drills you can practice: