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Transitions Tips

Hockey Tips

Transition moves in hockey are extremely important in one's development into becoming a great skater. It is one thing to be comfortable skating in both forward and backward motions.

But in order to become a great skater, you must be able to make a quick transition from the forward to backward motion, and from the backward to forward motion. Transition moves require a lot of patience and practice. Apply the proper transition techniques and you will be on your way to becoming a much more complete skater.

Proper Technique - Forward to Backward

  • Bend your knees deeply.
  • Keep your back straight, head up and eyes pointing forward.
  • As you get into the transition, turn your hips 90 degrees from your direction of travel (both hips turn simultaneously).
  • Keep upper body centered over the top of your skates to stay balanced throughout the transition.
  • The outside skate (planted on the inside edge) pushes a half moon (''C'') deeply into the ice.
  • The inside skate is on an outside edge and gets you going in a straight line backwards as it pulls underneath the body extremely hard to full extension, forming a letter ''Y''.

Proper Technique - Backward to Forward

  • Bend your knees deeply.
  • Keep your back straight, head up and eyes pointing forward.
  • As you get ready to make the transition, center all your weight over the turning skate (Plant the skate on an inside edge and it will automatically turn).
  • Your other foot (the one you will land on) gets slightly lifted off the ice and forms and arrow tip position under your body.
  • Push off with your pivoting foot and make sure to counterbalance against it to maintain the proper grip to get power and speed from your push.
  • Once you have made the transition and have your momentum going forward, pop up on your toes and apply the technique of the quick forward start (''V'' start).


  • Practice until you can make transitions without loosing any momentum.
  • Make sure to turn hips 90 degrees when executing the transition (improper hip turn movement results in a loss of speed and balance).
  • Always keep your head up and eyes facing forward while doing transitions.
  • Make sure to have a firm knee bend to stay balanced and give you added power when making the transition.