Ice Skating Edge Training: The Banana Drill (Nick Perna)

Nick Perna continues a series of videos covering drills and exercises he uses to help his skaters develop power, agility, coordination, and edge control and awareness.  In the first video in this series, Nick taught the Bread Drill.  In this video, Nick explains and demonstrates the Banana Drill.  The drill gets it’s name because the shape drawn on the ice looks like a banana.

Nick says, “The whole idea of this drill is to do a slalom on two feet up, and then a slalom back on two feet.”  He starts the skater off with “one banana” and it starts with a blurb.  Nick explains the common error of separating the feet at the endpoints should be avoided.  Instead the skater should use their knees and their edges to stop their momentum and bring it back, all in one motion.

Nick slowly builds up to a full series of bananas.  Notice that his feet separate front-to-back at the end-points but not side-to-side.  Most skaters will separate their feet side-to-side in an effort to balance at the endpoints but this is wrong.

As Nick says, “Now this takes some skill because they have to be able to control their knee action.  They have be able to control the angle of their edges. They have to be able to control the blurb and the cuts.”  Once a skater is proficient at the basic drill, they can do it on one foot and do it backwards as well.

Nick takes a moment to explain the weight shift necessary to do the Banana Drill.  Notice the timing requirements in the demonstration on how the weight shifts from one foot to the other.  The drill is similar to Nick’s forward slalom and backward slalom drills but it’s a smaller version and more advanced because it forces the skater to shift their weight on command to change direction.

At the end of the video, Nick notes that this drill is valuable for helping skaters develop the skills they will need for good footwork patterns and it allows them to do so with the safety of being on two feet.  He also covers shoulder position and movement and compares it to downhill skiing.

Another great drill!!


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