May 29, 2018
Imagine a young half Chinese boy with big glasses standing right in front of a 20″ Panasonic TV.
My dad used to get mad at me for standing so close. I got mad that he had such a small TV.
But that was the reality of the 90’s. At least for me.
But now I’ve got an iPhone. And I can hold it as close as I want to my face. Thank goodness for that. Because the other day I stared at Rasmus Dahlin for at least an hour.
Love mentioning the 20″ Panasonic TV because it reminds us how far we’ve come. Today, we can pull up any NHLer or elite skater on our phone and watch them on command. I even screen recorded the Dahlin clip and played it in slow motion.
RIGHT NOW is incredible. 10 years ago we had to watch NHL when a network decided. Now we watch it whenever we want. In HD. In slow mo. On the bus. In the car. It’s crazy. And we’re really fortunate. Thanks technology 🙂
What is Dahlin’s Secret? What does he do differently?
Many of you know that I talk about something called the Downhill Skating System. I’ve been talking about gravity, center of mass, and stuff. I learned the precise physics studying Kinesiology at the University of British Columbia. But I’ve mostly forgotten the precise terms for the physics. But luckily one of my friends sent me this to remind me:
g is the acceleration due to gravity, which is equal to 9.8 m/s2 on earthG is the center of mass of the system (which consists of skater plus skates, which together can be treated as a rigid body)P is the approximate contact point between the skater’s blades and the iceL is the distance between point P and point GFx is the horizontal contact force, with the ice, acting on the skater’s blade at point PFy is the vertical contact force, with the ice, acting on the skater’s blade at point Pθ is the angle between the horizontal and the line passing through points Pand G. This is the angle of “lean” (a constant)
Since θ is constant, the system is in a state of rotational equilibrium. This means there is zero moment acting on the system about the center of mass G, about an axis pointing out of the page. Mathematically we can write this asFx (Sin θ )(L) – Fy (Cos θ)(L) = 0
Therefore, to maintain his balance when accelerating forward, a skater will crouch (or bend) forward in the direction of motion. This prevents him from falling (tipping) backwards due to the torque caused by the forward component of the force F. By crouching (or bending) forward, the skater is moving his center of mass forward which creates a counter-torque. This counter-torque balances the torque caused by the forward component of F, and this prevents him from falling
What this really says is that the further you can get G away from P without falling, the faster you will skate. The more you LEAN the more “Downhill” you got. (Faster!)
Let’s take this even deeper. Literally and figuratively.
What do you notice about Dahlin?
Let’s say we took away his left leg….
Doesn’t that look like the speed skater above?
Then, let’s imagine that Dahlin plants his left leg and his right leg disappears…
Hmmm. Doesn’t that also look like the speed skater?
Remember that the further G is away from P, the faster you go. The more “downhill”.
The difference between a speed skater and a hockey player is optionality. The ability to hit numerous movement options.
The following clips are all from the same rush…
Do you notice how the wide stance becomes an aggressive lateral movement if you remove one of the support legs? All you need to do is remove some pressure on one leg, and boom you’re moving laterally. Why? Because G is away from point P.
The deeper and wider you get, the more aggressive your lean when you remove one leg’s support.
From now on, you’ll notice that the best players have wide stances when attacking and deking. Once you see it you can’t unsee it.
What separates players who can get into wide stances? The players who can smoothly get in and out of wide stances. Remember, options. Look at the next two frames after Dahlin’s wide stance…
This is where the outside edge comes into play. Movements we call the Hip Scissor and MacKinnon Shuffle. The hidden gas pedal.
Dahlin transitions from wide stance to the outside edge as good as any NHLer right now. Maybe McDavid has an edge on him. He combines this with a rhythmic and rotational Kane drag.
You can’t teach this. Until you can.
The biggest thing holding players back is “Perceived Mobility”. You read this article that says “Get wide and deeper”…but feel a mobility block and then believe it’s not for you.
The edge Dahlin, McDavid, Crosby have is that they found the Magic Mechanics to get wide. The Mechanics and alignment that don’t rely on mobility. There is a way to position your knees and hips to be wide like Dahlin. To be able to transition to the outside edge. Most will never explore that area. But you can now. This is now your edge.
If you’d like to see the movements, skill blends, and experiments that help you learn this quicker, you can learn about those in the Downhill Skating System Course. We break down exactly what you can work on to learn these principles.
It bears mentioning that you can learn the principles of Downhill Skating without taking the course. I like to ensure that if you’re reading this article you’re left feeling empowered to explore. I won’t tell you that all the secrets are in the course. You can find the secrets yourself. What is in the course are the step by step instructions and videos that I’ve invested hundreds of thousands of dollars and thousands of hours researching and developing. They will help you get there faster because I did the hard work for you.
I know that some of my readers are not in a position to invest in a course like this right now. So that’s why I go to great lengths to ensure that you feel empowered to explore for yourself if that’s where you are. And if you’re in a position to invest in learning these principles, I’d love to welcome you. Either way, thank you very much for reading today.