We’re going to get into a recent study which looks at differences in acceleration techniques between high-caliber and low-caliber ice hockey players. But first, a little background:

Forward skating acceleration can be crucial to a player’s success on the ice. Players with faster starts are more likely to create beneficial opportunities for their team that contribute to winning. For example, players who excel at acceleration are more likely to win races to the puck, outmaneuver their opponents, and achieve tactical separation from defensive players [1].

Skating sprint starts are very different from off-ice sprint starts; greater concurrent hip abduction, external rotation and extension are typically present with skating acceleration as compared to off ice sprint starts [3, 4, 7]. There are clear differences in acceleration strategies between elite and sub-elite hockey players; in fact, the authors of one study could correctly classify 83% of acceleration strides by player skill level [2].

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