How To Skate Like Barzal In The Offensive Zone
Updated: Jul 16, 2019
What if I told you that you only need to master three mechanics to skate like Barzal in the offensive zone?
You're likely doubting this claim.
But let's talk about what Mastery is.
Mastery doesn't mean doing a gazillion toe drags around cones.
Mastery doesn't mean doing every skating movement ever shown on Instagram.
Mastery doesn't mean having your quadruple radius, quintuple zig-zag profile with flare blades and Marsblade rockers optimized.
Mastery is the reduction of movement errors to 0. As in ZERO.
This is because movement errors compound as velocity and complexity increases.
Any movement error larger than 0 compounds as you increase the velocity or complexity of your movement.
You get an asymmetric payoff in in-game execution of skills when you REDUCE your movement errors. This is true training to game transfer. This is how the naturals "get it".
Barzal is pretty good at most skating mechanics. But he's a master at 3.
Note: I angered many when I said that Dahlin has average NHL skills - but best in the world skating. People focused on the fact that I said Dahlin has average NHL skills. But remember that average NHL skills put you in 99.9th percentile of the world.
Barzal has average NHL skating (which is pretty damn good remember)... except for 3 things.
1. The Punch Turn
2. The Wide Corkscrew
3. The Crossunder (I declared the cross"over" dead)
When you combine these three, you have options.
The Crossunder gives him speed and puck protection.
The Wide Corkscrew gives him left-right optionality and puck protection.
The Punch Turn exploits the optionality provided by the Crossunder and the Wide Corkscrew...and also provides puck protection.
Here is an example of all three in action:
You can replicate his Formula for dominant control of the offensive zone. But it does take Mastery.
To get to mastery, you MUST reduce your movement errors to zero.
This means that you must not follow the wrong advice. It's gotta be right.
This means that your body must move 100% naturally. With instinct.
This means that you'd better get the mechanics just right.
To do that, I suggest you follow the Movement Science Method. This is a method of absorbing NHL Mechanics through research, experimentation, and feel. Here are the basic steps:
1. Observe an elite NHL skater like Barzal
2. Generate hypotheses about how he moves and why
3. Test those movements yourself
4. See if it feels right for your body and gives you the results you want
5. Let those results and feelings give you feedback for your next hypothesis
6. Return to step 1
P.S. For those that want to learn these mechanics, I am running a webinar on the Downhill Skating System soon. These are the mechanics of elite NHL skaters that I have studied, and successfully taught myself, and hundreds of other players from Mytes to Pro around the world. To attend the webinar, click here.