I have yet to meet a skater that’s denied the early struggles of getting one foot up to par with the other stronger foot. Whether it was feeling as smooth on that outside edge or stopping as quick, one foot stubbornly resisted to conform. Without downplaying the skill required of other sports, having ambidextrous feet is one of the many reasons I respect the game of hockey.
Players shoot with their strong arm in basketball. You never see a righty take a free throw shot his left hand for giggles. An NFL quarterback throws passes with his strong arm. I doubt you’ll hear Tom Brady tell his receivers, “Hey guys, watch this, I’m going to attempt a 30 yard pass with my left arm.” Although there are switch-hitters in baseball, they still throw with their dominate arm. Speaking of baseball, check out this video on the rare ambidextrous pitcher, Pat Venditte:
Very few sports require players be ambidextrous and hockey is definitely one of those sports. It’s pretty funny if you think about, could you imagine players only stopping, turning, transitioning, etc… to their right? It would be like a blooper reel with pucks whizzing past them with blindsided hits. It reminds me of a foosball table with those little plastic players that can only move in limited directions.
Skaters must put in a lot of time and effort early into their hockey careers to ensure they ditch that lead left foot or convince that right ankle to be more elastic. Don’t get discouraged parents and players, it’s the relentless training required to wear a sweater with pride.
Here’s a good video for beginners on how to hockey stop. You’ll notice the instructor mentions the weak foot a couple times. Then check out all the comments of frustration with their mule foot.
Threads of the Day: Fresh Baked…because you would have two crappy feet if it weren’t for your favorite pair of sturdy blades. Did I mention this shirt is one sale for $20 through August 31st?