Developing quickness on the ice is important for any hockey player.
In the NHL, emphasis has been placed on speed and skill. It has spawned a trickle-down effect to the amateur levels. So, the way to get ahead is to move your feet – effectively.
That’s Besa Tsintsadze’s area of expertise and he was the lead instructor at the Penguins’ Holiday Power Skating School. The unique, three-day school concluded on Thursday at Mellon Arena.
“We had a good time. There are a bunch of good kids. I think we had 160 of them,” Tsintsadze said. “They have a blast and I have a blast. I try to teach them quick feet, moving, tight turns and everything like that. Everybody was happy.”
A world-class skater, Tsintsadze won six national figure skating titles and competed in three world and European championships while growing up in the former Soviet Republic of Georgia.
Tsintsadze works with the Penguins and their prospects as well as hockey players all over the world. He spent time this week working with area youngsters in Pittsburgh.
“They are learning a lot of things. I just give them the right direction and show them which way to skate,” he said. “They are good kids. I was impressed with how well they skated and did everything else.”
Participants enjoyed three hours of power skating instruction, culminating with the last session on Mellon Arena ice. The youths also got to watch a Penguins practice and attend a Penguins game.
Overall, Tsintsadze was pleased with this event.
“The kids love it. Thank you for the Penguins organization to do this kind of stuff for the kids,” he said. “It’s another motivational thing for these kids and they are our future.”
Plans are underway for a “Tune Up for Tryouts” with Tsintsadze. To be notified, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.