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  1. #1

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    Leaf's hire ex-figure skater

    http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/2012/...zUVem4.twitter

    The Maple Leafs have hired former figure skater Barbara Underhill as the team's new skating coach, according to Sportsnet's John Shannon.


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    Wouldn't it be cool if they won the cup and her name was inscribed on it!

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    Quote Originally Posted by barbk View Post
    Wouldn't it be cool if they won the cup and her name was inscribed on it!
    Yes it would be, but that probably won't happen in my lifetime or Barb's.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pat c View Post
    http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/2012/...zUVem4.twitter

    The Maple Leafs have hired former figure skater Barbara Underhill as the team's new skating coach, according to Sportsnet's John Shannon.

    I'm just wondering how they think that will help them. That makes about as much sense as figure skaters taking ballet classes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by algonquin View Post
    Yes it would be, but that probably won't happen in my lifetime or Barb's.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny_Fever View Post
    I'm just wondering how they think that will help them. That makes about as much sense as figure skaters taking ballet classes.
    Actually I have heard that learning how to keep an edge and skate on it as well as getting more power in a single stroke is something that figure skaters quite often have over hockey players in spades.

    Our Jr B hockey club has used a figure skater as an instructor and it seemed to pay some dividends.

    Also, IIRC, there was a story about Elvis Stojko playing "pickup" hockey and the hockey players were amazed at how his skating skills did him in good stead against them. Once they realized he was a figure skater, they asked for some lessons. Does that story (or some semblance of it) ring a bell with anyone?
    Crazy about sports!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny_Fever View Post
    I'm just wondering how they think that will help them. That makes about as much sense as figure skaters taking ballet classes.
    Lots of power skating/hockey skating programs are taught by figure skaters. It's not at all uncommon.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny_Fever View Post
    I'm just wondering how they think that will help them. That makes about as much sense as figure skaters taking ballet classes.
    SC runs a power skating program that is geared towards hockey players. It helps.

    I watched a fs coach teach power to some 12-14 year old boys who thought it would be a walk in the park. They all looked like they wanted to barf when they came off the ice, the fs coach looked fresher than a daisy. It can only help, it certainly can't hurt the leafs to try some skating skills classes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Habs View Post
    Lots of power skating/hockey skating programs are taught by figure skaters. It's not at all uncommon.
    My daughter is a hockey player, and one of her skating coaches (who coaches high performance treadmill skating to work on edges and power) says that he once saw Barb Underhill coaching a group of professional hockey players (probably the Toronto Marlies - farm team of the Leafs). She was demonstrating some amazing power/edge move and the hockey players were falling all over themselves trying to duplicate it. According to him, she has the best edges he's ever seen on a skater, male or female (his frame of reference is hockey players, of course). This coach also had a first hand look at Battle of the Blades as his training center is in the same rink behind the bleachers, and thinks Kurt is amazing too. (During one of my daughter's treadmill sessions, Kurt was working out on the machines 5 feet away from her. I'm his biggest fan, but restrained myself and left him in peace for his workout, though I did keep a close eye). It's also interesting that Barb is never in figure skates anymore. All her coaching is done in hockey skates.

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    There's no doubt in my mind that figure skaters skate better. I just think that teaching a bunch of 20-something professional hockey players how to skate is a case of "too little, too late". Just like teaching figure skaters ballet.

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    Quote Originally Posted by professordeb View Post
    Also, IIRC, there was a story about Elvis Stojko playing "pickup" hockey and the hockey players were amazed at how his skating skills did him in good stead against them. Once they realized he was a figure skater, they asked for some lessons. Does that story (or some semblance of it) ring a bell with anyone?
    I remember a story like that, but about Kurt.

    I don't think Underhill is new to working with hockey teams. There was an article, possibly even discussed here, about that in the fall. (I'm pretty sure it was during BotB.)

    Anyway, whatever can help the Leafs is good by me...

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    Oh crap, now I have to cheer against Ms. Underhill. I hope her Stanley Cup predictions are the opposite of her World Championship predictions. Sorry, Barb!

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    Interesting. When I was a little girl, many of the kids at my rink - boys and girls - took figure skating lesson along with their hockey training. Terrific skills among those young players.

    Later on the power skating clinics were co-taught by hockey players, figure skaters and ice dancers. I was really impressed by the high quality of skating among the hockey players.

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    Underhill has indeed been giving one on one instruction to NHL players for years now. For those who think getting this type of instruction later in life can't help, she has been getting fabulous results as she tailors the programs to the individual skaters. She is much in demand, and even those willing to pay her high prices can't get in. (I've talked to some minor hockey parents who have tried to book her)

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    Quote Originally Posted by nlyoung View Post
    My daughter is a hockey player, and one of her skating coaches (who coaches high performance treadmill skating to work on edges and power) says that he once saw Barb Underhill coaching a group of professional hockey players (probably the Toronto Marlies - farm team of the Leafs). She was demonstrating some amazing power/edge move and the hockey players were falling all over themselves trying to duplicate it. According to him, she has the best edges he's ever seen on a skater, male or female (his frame of reference is hockey players, of course). This coach also had a first hand look at Battle of the Blades as his training center is in the same rink behind the bleachers, and thinks Kurt is amazing too. (During one of my daughter's treadmill sessions, Kurt was working out on the machines 5 feet away from her. I'm his biggest fan, but restrained myself and left him in peace for his workout, though I did keep a close eye). It's also interesting that Barb is never in figure skates anymore. All her coaching is done in hockey skates.
    Love this story!

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    Quote Originally Posted by nlyoung View Post
    For those who think getting this type of instruction later in life can't help, she has been getting fabulous results as she tailors the programs to the individual skaters.
    I'd be willing to bet that their improvement is negligible. They won't learn anything they can't pick up from a hockey coach.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny_Fever View Post
    I'd be willing to bet that their improvement is negligible. They won't learn anything they can't pick up from a hockey coach.
    Well apparently many disagree with you -- hence her being so booked.
    Hockey coaches -- well I've seen some who wouldn't know an edge if jumped up and cut them.
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    Do you take lessons professordeb. Do they help?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny_Fever View Post
    Do you take lessons professordeb. Do they help?
    No, I don't take lesson and I'm not allowed to do any kind of sport any longer. However, I am quite involved with a couple of junior hockey teams and I KNOW they have been given lessons from figure skaters to help with their skating skills and to get more power from their strokes.

    I get it, you don't believe what people are telling you as fact. Just because you believe certain facts to be untrue, doesn't make you right.
    Crazy about sports!

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    This article from the Toronto Star has more details and includes a link to a youtube video showing Barb Underhill's work with Brian Boyle during the off season. It gives a better idea of the kind of work she does now. I find it really interesting to see how her career has transitioned.

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