“Power Skating” can best be defined as ice skating that increases a skater’s speed and agility by using the skate blades, the muscles, and the body’s alignment to the best advantage.
When you think of the great skaters in the NHL, you picture the players that make it look effortless when they go coast to coast. Scott Neidermayer barely looks like he is moving as he skates by his opponents and jumps into the play. In his prime, Mike Modano had blow by speed with a text book stride that helped make him arguably the greatest American born player of all time. Currently, few skaters can match the acceleration of the Minnesota Wild’s lightning quick Marian Gaborik. Once he gets behind you, there is simply no catching him.
In the past, it was legends like Guy Lafleur of the Montreal Canadiens, and Paul Coffey of the Edmonton Oilers that had jaw dropping skating ability.
Most NHL players are blessed with a natural ability that has been enhanced by spending years on the ice, but that does not mean they have been properly trained to get the most out of every stride they take. Some of the fastest guys in the league get their quickness from sheer athletic ability and not from a text book skating style.
Young players arrive in the NHL with enough skating skill to make it to the big time, but that does not mean they cannot get better.
This is where power skating coaches like the Coyotes’ Mark Ciaccio come to the rescue. Mark works with all the Phoenix Coyotes to improve their skating and maximize their ability on the ice. While some players like Keith Ballard and Shane Doan
, need very little help, others have plenty of room to grow.
Several members of the Coyotes have made giant leaps with their skating prowess this year. Dan Winnik was a 9th round draft pick who made it to the NHL because of sheer hard work and dedication. Part of Winnik’s accelerated development has come from the work he does with Mark after practice. Dan has become a dominant skater who is able to make plays now because he can simply out skate his opponent.
Craig Weller is another player that has greatly benefitted from working with Mark. Craig spent several years in the minors before reaching the NHL with the Coyotes. One reason it looks like Weller is here to stay is because of the improvements he has made on the ice. Keith Yandle
is another young player whose skating ability continues to get better after each session with Mark.
Can Mark Ciaccio make an AHL player into an NHL player? Is it possible to make a late round draft pick look like he has early round talent? The answers to these questions would seem to be a resounding yes. Watch the following video and get to know one of the unsung heroes of the Phoenix Coyotes organization, “Mark C.”. Mark talks about his role with the Coyotes
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