|This question was raised to me just the other day ..... "If my child plays inline (roller) hockey will that effect the way he performs when playing ice hockey?" What a great question! After discussing it with them for a while I thought this was a topic that everyone on our HockeyTutor4u team could benefit from.|
The core challenge a player will face when interchanging between inline and ice hockey will relate to their trust in their edges. This "trust" in their edges impacts the way the player will learn how to control their balance, change direction and ultimately leads to certain tendencies in the way they play the game of hockey.
Let's look a bit deeper at the need for balance. In either form of the sport, balance is required. Balance enables a player to:
Trying to balance on a rubber wheel compared to balancing on a double-edged skate blade leads to different ways of learning how to balance. On rubber wheels, a player understands that rubber slides when pushing off, so keeping their balance more centered will help them recover to their next stride. On blades, a player can dig their sharp blade edge into the ice therefore they can move their balance farther forward from center into their next skate's stride. If a player begins learning how to balance on wheels and they switch to blades, their tendency is to not lean as much when pushing off which reduces their potential for generating speed on the ice. Likewise, if a player begins learning how to balance on blades and switches to wheels, their tendency will be to push harder and lean farther forward most likely leading to a lot of sliding feet and/or falling.
Now let's look at how a player reacts when there is a redirection of play. For a player that learns on blades they are taught how to stop suddenly (digging their edges into the ice) and then take off in the opposite direction. Their sharp edges enable them to quickly redirect their body to shift momentum in the opposite direction and accelerate forward. Players who learned on wheels do not have that advantage and instead leverage the motion of the wheels to make a curving (or looping) maneuver crossing over to pick up speed to go in the opposite direction. When a player switches from wheels to blades, the tendency to make the curving maneuver becomes visible, resulting in the player becoming out of position more often and they end up behind the play trying to catch up. Likewise, a player trying to stop on wheels like they stop on blades will find themselves sliding and not being able to accelerate like the other players on wheels who are keeping their momentum moving with the play.
With all that said though, here are several key interchangeable aspects that a player will utilize in both forms of hockey:
Good luck and keep them practicing the way they want to perform in a game!