We’re a Canadian company, so we know just how much people love hockey. We love it, too! In our last post, we talked about the benefits of hockey versus the benefits of STEM and learned how they provide many of the same opportunities for kids to build their skills!
This inspired us to take a closer look at how building skills in STEM can actually support you in becoming a better hockey player. So, let’s dive into the science of hockey!
1. The Mechanics of Skating
For every action, there’s an equal and opposite reaction. If you’ve ever watched a pro skater, you know it’s about more than just moving your feet. Getting your whole body into it – particularly by swinging your arms – means you are really throwing your motion forward. This allows you to skate more powerfully and go faster. So, keep those mechanics in mind when you’re on the ice and you’re sure to go far!
2. All About the Angles
The angle of your body, the angle of the blade of your skates relative to the ice, the line you’re going to take to shoot the puck; all of these elements are key to hockey and all of them involve angles. Moving from an amateur to a pro not only means understanding this, but means being able to calculate and measure these angles in the heat of the moment without even giving it a second thought. It’s this mental agility that allows you to react quickly and effectively in an ever-changing environment. So, be sure to pay attention in math; it’s going to pay off in more ways than one!
3. Fast Ice vs Slow Ice
The quality of the ice can greatly impact how you play the game. “Fast Ice” is that feeling of the ice when the Zamboni has just left the rink. It’s smooth, cold, and hard. “Slow Ice” is ice that is kind of “snowy” or “chippy”. At the core of the issue is temperature; the warmer ice gets, the more it’s going to wear down and turn into “Slow Ice”. There is not only a delicate balance to the chemistry of ice, but the difference between “Fast Ice” and “Slow Ice” also brings us to exciting topics like friction and resistance. Understanding how to read your environment and take into account these key scientific concepts depending on what kind of ice you are dealing with makes you better equipped to develop a strategy that’s sure to score you a goal.
If you want to learn more about the science of hockey, we highly recommend you check out this website from the National Science Foundation (https://www.nsf.gov/news/special_reports/hockey/index.jsp). It has tons of cool videos that really go in depth with even more of the awesome science behind hockey! Leave a comment below with a sport you’d like to see us explore the science behind!