HockeyShot Tip of the Month: The Crosby Skating Move
In this article, Coach Jeremy is going to teach us “The Crosby Move,” AKA The Mohawk Drill.
We call it The Crosby Move because if anyone has seen him play, Sid the Kid always has a low center of gravity and uses his legs (not upper body) to stay well-grounded where the defender cannot push him around so easily. So how does he remain so strong on his feet while still moving at game speed? For one, he trains relentlessly, but it is his footwork and low center of gravity that allows him to stay on his feet and avoid being manhandled by defenders.
Puck protection is often overlooked compared to speed and skill, but if you want to see more pucks in the back of the net, you need to master the art of protecting it. This is not just done with your arms stickhandling. More importantly, you have to protect the puck by having a low stance and using your strong legs to protect the puck in corners and the sideboards. The drill is versatile in that it can be with or without inline skates as well as indoors or outdoors.
To begin, Jeremy asks us to make a fat diamond shape with our legs where our heels are together and toes are pointing outward. While you’re doing this, push your heels as far as you can outward while bending your knees for some relief of the awkward stance. In order to move with this stance, the player must shift their weight on the glide leg, open up and plant your other leg while still in motion on the ground. It’s important to open up your shoulders and hips so your body does not lock or make an awkward motion. Often players will use this strategy while coming into a turn or going out of a turn at high speed since it can help with your puck control while the defender is chasing. This is a great move for forwards to move around the defender but be careful of not opening up in this turn while in a vulnerable position as it can make for a big hit on the forward if the defender has a step on them, so timing of this trick is key!
This tip is not only good for coming into turns, but it can also open the forward up for a one-timer or to get open quickly. Especially on the power play where there is more ice to work with, this is a great strategy for all you slick skaters out there!
It can be hard for a skater to remain in that position for any period of time but one add-on drill to The Crosby Move is to keep both of your feet planted on the ground while pumping your legs (not lifting them) to keep the position and your movement. This can help with the strength of your legs as well as footwork you need for puck protection in game situations.
Finally, Jeremy’s last portion of the drill is to use this move while turning your back – it seals off the defender and allows you some time. This time helps you twofold: you have time to see other players and make that perfect pass, and it exhausts the opposing players. Once you get used to this simple trick, you’ll be spending more time playing keep away from the ‘D’ and racking up the points!
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— Coach Jeremy/HockeyShot Ambassador
(May 17, 2019)