Academy gives players the right edge

April 10, 2014 – Megan Mattice

The Community Press

‘Practice doesn’t make perfect, perfect practice makes perfect’, or so reads the PowerSkating Academy motto.

The Skating school, filled with elite coaches, like Belleville’s own Chris Longo, is coming to the Yardmen Arena in April.

“Skaters are in for a lesson unlike any they’ve had before,” said Laura Levtov, power skating coach and elite professional figure skater.

The hour-long classes are split into two rotations that focus on the deep roots of skill set.

Levtov says splitting the sessions with half figure skating technique and half hockey technique is the only way for players to be in total control.

“The way we coach at the academy is by slowing it down,” said Levtov. “The fundamental skills deserve the main focus.”

By incorporating figure skating, Levtov says players will have a better ability and understanding of how to maneuver around the opposing team.

“It’s one thing to be able to score,” said Levtov, “but if you can’t skate around the other team in a smart fashion, the chance to score won’t be there.”

San Jose Sharks centre Joe Pavelski had the same idea as Levtov when he chose to hire figure skating coach Cathy Andrade back in 2001 after recoving from the disappointing playoffs.

According to Levtov, the idea of skating fundamentals should be the first thing on any players mind.

“The NHL has incorporated figure skating techniques in the past, but when the players are already at the highest level of hockey, they should already know what they are learning,” said Levtov.

Levtov’s son, Miles, plays defence for the defending Ontario Jr. C champion Picton Pirates, and says his hockey training came second.

“I had him out on the ice almost since the day he was born, just because our family is active. When he made the decision to play hockey six years ago, he had the fundamentals he needed to learn the proper hockey edges,” said Levtov.

Another factor in the importance of early, proper practice is the development of myelin, an electrically insulating material that allows impulses to transmit quickly along the nerve cells.

Myelin production starts in the womb and continues throughout adolescence.

“Learning the important skills early is easier and more efficient, simply because myelin production is just starting,” said Levtov. “It makes muscle memory earlier.”

The classes are set to begin April 12 at the Yardmen, running from 10-11 a.m.

For registration, and more information, go to

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