I just called Brenda to come and look over my shoulder here, telling her how much I’d love to combine my two “jobs” even more (ya, like hockey and video are really work to me — 🙂 ).
To explain even better, I’d really like to find ways whereby my CoachChic.com efforts help my Local Video Marketing company, as well as ways that my expanded work with video helps my hockey customers all the more.
Have I done it? Hmmmmmm… I think I’m at least well on the way!
— Dennis Chighisola
Hockey Skating Gifs
The samples I’ve used so far involve skating — hey, it’s one of the easiest moves to isolate and analyze. Down the road, though, I think the process I’m about to explain can be used to study and enhance quite a few hockey movements (and maybe even some other sports motions).
As for the term “GIF”, it stands for Graphics Interchange Format, and it’s one of the most popular standardized formats. A bit of research taught me that it’s “been revised several times, and includes provisions for interlacing and animating images.” What I also discovered was that “Its disadvantage is that it can store only 256 colors.”
I’ve known since my earliest days of working online, that some Gifs are animated, and others aren’t. (I haven’t a clue, however, how they’re otherwise distinguished from each other.)
Okay, I don’t think the animation to the right has much value — except to show us a pretty ugly skater, running forward and backward with awful mechanics.
To the young lady’s credit, she wasn’t doing too badly, having just begun skating before attending our beginners’ camp.
So, it’s understandable that her coordination was off quite a bit when we shot that video.
Before leaving this area, let’s try to at least gain a little from observing this particular skating Gif.
Like a lot of beginners, the stick controls her, keeping her left hand rather still and off to that side, while the right hand and arm flails away in an attempt to balance the whole movement. Ya, that flailing thing is obvious in beginners, as they wrestle with their overall balance.
Also obvious is the upright stance, with each leg mimicking the action of the opposite arm. In other words, if the left hand travels through its path for .0X seconds, the right leg has to travel through its own path for the same length of time.
The video just below might be a little more helpful to us.
This guy was a senior in high school at the time we shot the footage, and he’d been working on his skating and his game for a good 10-years or so. Don’t go away, though, because I’m going to soon tell you some good and bad about what we’re watching.
Like all good skaters, his hockey Gif shows a smooth balance and coordination between the two sides of his body. In other words, the left leg is in sync with the right hand and arm (or shoulder), and the left hand travels through the same timely path as the right leg.
I hope no one is questioning this young guy’s cross-the-body arm movements, because that’s exactly what has to happen in order to stay in sync with the outward thrust of each skate.
So, what’s the not-so-good to be discovered in that footage? Well, to my way of thinking, this guy could skate all day and all night with the mechanics he’s currently displaying. Where he might be lacking is in straight ahead speed. In other words, one needs to keep the skates wide when going for speed, and not bring the free skate all the way to the middle (or under the middle of the body).
Think about this: a stride starts with an outward thrust, the skate gets picked up and then put back down again at a “particular” time. When is that particular time? Hmmmmm…
Picture the gliding skate after a powerful thrust… At first it’s flying, but then gravity starts taking hold and the skate slows exponentially. And that means that the skate that just finished thrusting has to get back down to support the body as fast as possible so that the gliding skate can as quickly begin thrusting. So, it should make sense that there just isn’t time to bring each skate all the way to mid-body. No, a skate goes down, thrusts powerfully outward, and then comes back up within a split second to thrust again.
I’m nor sure this final video shows all we’d like to see. Still, this guy — a young high schooler — was a great player, and he could motor pretty well around the ice.
We’ve already covered most of what can be inspected from a front view (maybe I’ll grab some footage another time). Still, to quick review…
The guy’s upper and lower bodies are pretty much in sync, skates thrusting outward and the hands and arms moving across the body. (If you have the time, go back and take a quick look at the very uncoordinated beginner skater’s hockey Gif, just to once again note the obvious differences.)
One major difference is the ease with which an experienced skater can move his stick-hand through a full range of motion. (Any wonder I like all of my skaters to — even through the oldest guys — do some striding and sprinting without a stick”)
I’m not sure this youngster was going as fast as possible but, his free skates came close to — but not all the way — under the midpoint of his body.
Now, before I leave, I’d like to plant some seeds…
Going back to my conversation with Brenda, I was telling her that a coach or parent or older player could use such a hockey Gif. I mean, what if a parent had access to a short segment of an outstanding skating Gif, and had his or her youngster attempt to emulate the movement while watching? Trust me, that such motion could be easily copied, whether on or off the ice.
But, that’s not even scratching the surface, because I’ve already experimented with having players copying the slapshot motion while watching a video similar to the ones shown above. And I can envision a number of other movements that could be practiced in the same way.
Still not done yet, do I have any members who would enjoy using the batting swing of a favorite baseball player to practice in similar fashion? How about the throwing motion? Or a QB’s footwork?