Technical Skating vs. Tactical Skating Explained

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tactical skating
Photo by Nathanaël Desmeules on Unsplash

Technical skating is a must for hockey players to play the game

“If you can’t skate, you can’t play our game,” Wayne Gretzky once said. As a result, it only makes sense to focus a lot of time and effort on this skill first in order to lay a solid foundation. To achieve maximum speed, strength, ability, endurance—and, most importantly—have an enjoyable experience, proper technique is essential. 

Skating is, without a doubt, the most vital skill for a hockey player. The successive modifications to the game of hockey all favor the fleet of foot, from a great reduction in “clutching and grabbing” to the repeal of the two-line pass rule. Simply put, if you are a bad skater, you will be severely limited in your ability to progress in the game.

The term “technical skating” refers to the use of biomechanical concepts to improve all of the skating skills required in ice hockey. It’s all about the basics of skating. Players must skate in a perfect hockey stance that includes a decent knee bend, balance, and edge control.

Technical Skating Essentials

  • Balance
  • Edge Control
  • Starting
  • Stopping
  • Striding
  • Tight Turns
  • Crossovers
  • Pivots
  • Progressions to agility and mobility skating 

To learn the principles of forwards, backwards, and all-direction skating, particular technical practice is required.

The cornerstone of the game is technical skating. Players must possess this skill; otherwise, they will not be able to play the game, keep up with the play, or participate in it.

Tactical skating is the ability to skate offensively and defensively in all game scenarios—both with and without the puck. Deliberate practice and competent skating lessons will offer the foundation for playing in a variety of game settings.

Drive skating, breakaway skating, and evasive skating are all examples of offensive skating. Keeping the puck entails both protecting and controlling it. Defensively, it will assist players in properly checking and angling using stick checks and body checks as required by the game.


Tucker Hockey has created an infographic titled “Technical Skating vs. Tactical Skating,” which examines the differences between technical and tactical, when they work, and some top tips from the experts.

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