Power skating is a vital hockey technique. Hockey players who learn to skate on their own will often scramble or move their skating legs very quickly, which expends too much energy for not enough return. Proper power skating is smooth and involves deep, long, sideways skating strides that propel the player forward while expending minimal effort. There are many exercises that can help in proper power skating.
While this is an excellent exercise for anyone wanting a tough cardio workout, running up stairs is perfect for developing the muscles and coordination needed for a good power skater. As often seen on television and in movies, one of the best places to do this is in a stadium, with long sets of stairs you can run up. Drive as much energy into going up the stairs as you can, which will strengthen your skating muscles, and then take your time walking back down. Every few repetitions, go up the stairs very slowly, dropping your back knee most of the way to the ground for a partial squat. This will build up the muscles you will need to explode from a standing position while skating.
Wind sprints are a common training exercise for many sports, but with power skating they are particularly vital. It is here that many power skating bad habits are developed, so it is here that many of them will need to be broken. See how fast you can get from blue line to blue line while making as few strokes as possible. Skater's bad habits arise from feeling that they are moving faster than they are because they are moving their feet a lot. Make long, deep, strong strokes with your skates, pushing from the inside edge out, not back. Have someone time you using your old technique versus the proper technique. If you're not feeling the stress in the same muscles you used in stair running, you're doing something wrong.
Slow Things Down
Most of the mistakes power skaters make in their techniques come from scrambling to move quickly, and whatever lessons they might have learned about technique are often forgotten. To develop good, new habits, do laps of the rink at half speed or even slower if necessary. Repetition is the key to building the muscle memory that will serve you well when it really counts. If necessary, bring along an observer or film yourself to make sure you're not wasting energy taking extra strides or pushing backwards instead of sideways. Do several slow rink circuits each day, working on maintaining perfect form, until your body will remember it no matter what.