Skating Techniques for Hockey

My second teaching job was at a somewhat run-down and extremely understaffed middle school that was known for its hockey team and not much else. The year I arrived was, by a strange coincidence, the year their hockey coach left for better pay at a private school across town. As soon as the administration found out I had played hockey in college, they asked me if I’d like his job.

I had no experience coaching hockey-or anything else, for that matter-at the time, but I said yes anyway. The responsibility came with a small bonus, and I’d always enjoyed working with kids both inside and outside the classroom.

In my years of coaching hockey, I noticed many, many kids struggling with the same basic skill: transitioning between skating forwards and skating backwards (or the other way around). This is something that everyone needs to do pretty frequently over the course of a standard hockey game, but it’s particularly important for those playing defense.

The Beginners’ Method

The first step to being good at making this transition is to get comfortable doing it with both skates on the ice. Just be careful to maintain your balance as you bring one foot in front of you and the other behind, turning as you go.

The More Advanced Method

Most beginners fall their first couples times doing that, especially if they attempt to do it with any speed. Once it’s started to come naturally, though, players should switch to the more advanced method, in which the rotation is done by lifting the skate. This technique is preferred for a reason-when you keep both skates on the ice throughout the entire transition, it creates a lot of resistance that slows you down far more than you can afford in a game.

To go from forwards to backwards in the preferred manner, then, you lift one skate off the ice and turn it around as much as you can. Ideally, you should end up heel-to-heel, but many people, including me, just aren’t flexible enough for that. It isn’t a problem as long as you turn that skate as much as you can, put it down, and then lift the other skate as well.

This is a skill that takes practice, but it’s something anyone can master given time. Good luck!


Make Hearty Breakfast Sandwiches

Combine French toast, thick-cut bacon, eggs, and sharp cheese to craft a thick breakfast sandwich worthy of a relaxing weekend fry-up. Experiment with different toppings and meat cuts to create the perfect layered breakfast combination.

Substitute Texas toast for French toast for a traditional choice in place of the sweet egg-coated bread. Biscuits and English muffins can also be used to sandwich the breakfast favorites. The recommended ingredients below will make two thick all-in-one breakfast sandwiches.

Hearty Breakfast Sandwiches

Ingredients Needed:

  • four slices of white bread
  • four eggs
  • one-half cup of milk
  • three teaspoons butter
  • four slices of bacon
  • two slices sharp cheddar
  • one-fourth red onion, sliced
  • two tomato slices
  • one-fourth teaspoon of pepper
  • one-fourth teaspoon garlic salt

The Steps:

  1. Whip milk and two eggs together in a bowl to form a thick batter for coating the french toast; dip the slices of bread into the batter, turning to coat each side evenly.
  2. Melt one teaspoon of butter in a skillet and grill the French toast until the thick egg batter cooks to the surface. Lightly spread each side with butter, then set aside.
  3. Place four strips of bacon in the skillet and fry the slices until crispy and golden. Remove them from the pain and drain the grease from each slice. Pat dry with a paper towel to remove excess grease before sandwich assembly.
  4. Add another teaspoon of butter to the skillet and fry the other two eggs until the yolks are solid; place each egg on a slice of french toast and sprinkle lightly with pepper. Place two strips of bacon on each egg and add a slice of cheddar cheese over the top.
  5. Melt the third tablespoon of butter in the skillet and add the onions. Sauté the onions until soft and caramelized, sprinkling them lightly with garlic salt.
  6. Layer the onions over the cheese and add a slice of tomato to each one. Top each with a second slice of french toast, then slice and serve.

Serving the Sandwiches

For a tasty variation on the traditional choice, use crisp sausage patties or ham slices in place of bacon strips. Slice hard-boiled eggs as a fried egg substitute for quick on-the-go sandwich selections. Many chefs may prefer to prepare the eggs using a egg white omelette's technique to create a light and fluffy egg filling for the sandwich.

Create a healthier breakfast sandwich, by substituting extra onions, tomatoes, mushrooms, and peppers paired with scrambled egg whites. Skip the sharp cheddar and substitute low-fat cheese varieties, such as skim-milk mozzarella or natural goat cheeses to create a thick and satisfying breakfast sandwich.…

Winter Sports Safety Tips

Winter sports like skiing, snowboarding, sledding and ice skating are all fun and provide hours of fun and excitement for kids and adults, but can also be very risky and injuries can occur in all of these sports. Children are especially vulnerable for serious injuries when participating in these sports. Parents must recognize the risks and do all they can to protect their children while allowing them to have the fun that winter sports provide.

Wearing a helmet can be one of the top safety items for winter sports, as with any other sport. A helmet can reduce the risk of head injuries in skiing accidents by up to 60 percent. That indicates that it is a smart step for the child to wear a helmet during their play time outside.

Other safety precautions with skiing and snowboarding are items that seem like common sense, but things that many people do not think about. If you are new to either sport, take a lesson or two before you hit the ground. Also, never ski or snowboard alone and avoid areas where there are trees and other obstacles to lessen your chance of accidents. Also, have all equipment checked once a year and adjust the equipment each time you use it.

Sledding is another winter sport where head injuries occur often and could be widely avoided with a helmet. Also, no one should ever sled where there are roads and motor vehicles or in overcrowded areas with trees, obstacles, or people. Be sure to sled sitting up and with your feet going down the hill first. Never allow a friend to sit backwards on the sled or to lay down on it, this is when injuries can occur most often. It is a good idea to use steer able sleds and not intertubes, snow disks, or other objects that people have found make good sleds.

Snowmobiles offer a whole new range of problems and injuries that can occur while playing in the snow. Never pull skiers or sledders with a snowmobile. Make sure to always operate the snowmobile with an experienced driver and at safe speeds. Never allow anyone who is intoxicated to operate a snowmobile and never operate one alone. Always wearing goggles is another way to prevent injuries while on a snowmobile.

Ice skating is another winter sport that can be dangerous that many people never think about as a danger. The biggest danger of this sport is the ice. Ice needs to be thick to be safe. Ice can be frozen on top and seem to be frozen thick, when the water is actually not frozen other than the top layers. Think of the times that people have fallen into the ice when out on local ponds and places where people think that the ice is thicker than what it actually is. Also, if skating with other people, never skate in the opposite direction of other people. Be sure to keep the blades of your skis sharp to avoid the risk of falling. Dull blades will always increase the risk of falling.

The speed of winter sports can increase the force that is behind an accident and can cause injuries similar to those injuries suffered in car crashes. Winter sports can be a lot of fun and offer hours of exercise, but as with any other sport, be aware of the risk of injury that can occur. Have fun but be safe!…