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Tips & Drills to Master Your Forward Crossovers

Coaches Matt Schwartz and Brandon Rubeo of Quest Hockey and the Hockey Players Club are here with 6 tips and 13 on-ice drills to help you learn, practice, and master your forward crossovers!

Forward crossovers are a crucial skill for hockey players of all ages and experience levels to practice as they enable hockey players to change direction, move laterally, and accelerate out of turns.

Guys like Crosby, McDavid, and MacKinnon — some of the NHL’s most explosive players — meticulously work on their crossovers as they’re a vital part of their game and success.

Practice these 6 tips and 13 on-ice drills brought to you by the coaches and owners of Quest Hockey to help you master your forward crossovers!

6 Tips to Master Your Forward Crossovers:

1. Know and use your inside and outside edges

Doing forward crossovers requires you to utilize both your inside and outside edges.

Know and use your inside and outside edged | Tips and drills to master your forward crossovers | Hockey Players Club Blog
In the picture above, Coach Brandon’s inside foot (left foot) is pushing off with the outside edge while his outside foot (right foot) is gliding on the inside edge.

Specifically, you ride, push, and flick with the outside edge of your inside foot. While your outside foot uses its inside edge to glide, grab, and push the ice towards the outside of the circle.

2. Deep Knee Bend

If you’ve ever attended a quality power skating session then you’ve certainly heard, “BEND YOUR KNEES!” more than you’d ever care to admit.

The reality is, there is a direct relationship between the depth of your knee bend and the power you generate with each stride… not to mention the strength and balance provided by a low center of gravity.

Deep Knee Bend | Tips and Drills to improve your forward crossovers | Hockey Players Club Blog
The deeper the knee bend, the wider and more powerful the crossover.

But novice skaters far too often lack a proper knee bend when doing forward crossovers, resulting in short shallow steps and pushes.

Instead, bend both of your knees deep like you’re sitting in a chair to get the most out of each forward crossover.

3. Proper gap between your feet

Young players particularly love to have their feet close together when performing forward crossovers which inhibits deep steps and long strides.

Instead, set your skates at hip-width distance so you’re able to cross your outside foot over your inside foot with enough gap to enable a long forceful push to the outside.

4. Direct your head, chest, and stick towards the center of the circle

Far too often players have their upper body working against their lower body by facing their upper body the opposite direction of where they’re skating.

Instead, engage your upper body to work with your lower body by rotating and pointing your head, chest, hips, and stick towards the turn or center of the circle you’re skating around.

5. Keep level shoulders

Players oftentimes allow their inside shoulder to dip down into the turn or circle they’re skating around, commonly causing them to lose an edge.

Instead, maintain level square shoulders as you’re doing forward crossovers to properly balance your weight over your skates.

6. Get your feet moving in a nonstop rhythm

Rather than allowing your feet to stop moving to ride your edges, keep your moving in a nonstop consistent rhythm. Allowing our feet to stop crossing over only slows us down and doesn’t force us to grow out of our comfort zone.

13 On-Ice Drills to Improve Your Forward Crossovers

1. Isolated Crossover Steps

Like learning any new skills, it’s best to start with the basics!

Stand in hockey position with a nice deep knee bend and with control, slowly step one skate over the other. Once your feet are crossed, step the skate that is underneath back to your starting position.

Take a few crossover steps one way and then switch to work on going the other direction.

2. Toe Extension With Puck

With one hand on the boards for balance, step on a puck with the skate nearest the boards while your opposite skate remains stationary.

With the skate that is on the puck, practice extending your leg and flicking your toe behind and across your stationary skate, like your inside skate does while doing a forward crossover.

And don’t forget to practice with both feet!

Toe Extension with Puck | Tips and Drills to Master Forward Crossovers | Hockey Players Club
Coach Brandon demonstrates the Toe Extension with Puck drill. This drill is great to work on widening your crossover stride and improving your toe flick/extension.

3. Outside Edge Crossover Steps

With a deep knee bend, practice consecutive crossovers in a straight line down the ice, repeatedly stepping only on your outside edges.

Practice pointing the toe of your elevated skate as you crossover and purposefully land on your outside edge to flick your toe and propel yourself down the ice.

4. Outside Edge Half Circles

Similar to (3) Outside Edge Crossover Steps but this time engage your upper body and ride your outside edge for a half-circle before crossing over and switching feet.

Work on controlling your elevated skate (not allowing it to step down prematurely) and initiating your turn by aiming your head, chest, stick, and hips in the direction you’re turning.

5. Crosby Pushes Around Circle Using Inside Edge of Outside Skate

Skate around a circle like you’re working on traditional crossovers but isolate your outside skate, working on the final push on your inside edge after a crossover while your inside skate remains stationary.

6. C-Cuts Around Circle Using Inside Edge of Outside Skate

Similar to (5) Crosby Pushes Around Circle Using Inside Edge of Outside Skate but this time keep your outside skate on the ice and perform forward c-cuts while your inside skate remains stationary.

7. Inside Skate Toe Flicks Around Circle While Outside Skate Stays On The Ice

Skate around a circle and isolate your inside skate, working on pushing and flicking with the outside edge of the inside skate while your outside skate remains stationary.

8. Crossovers Without Picking Up Your Skates (Inside Edge C-Cut + Outside Edge Push)

Do forward crossovers around a circle without picking up your skates.

9. Smooth Crossovers With Stick Across Shoulders

Do forward crossovers around a circle with your stick across your shoulders to emphasize aiming your head, chest, and hips to the inside of the circle while keeping level shoulders.

Smooth Crossovers with Stick Across Shoulders | Power Skating Tips and Drills to Improve Forward Crossovers | Hockey Players Club Blog
Keep the stick (and your shoulders) level, while turning your upper body towards the center of the circle.

10. Linear Crossovers — 1 Crossovers Each Way

Skate in a “straight” line from goal line to goal line doing one big crossover each way.

11. Linear Crossovers — 2 Crossovers Each Way

Skate in a “straight” line from goal line to goal line doing two big crossovers each way.

12. JRM / Swedish Running Crossovers

One of our favorites from JRM Skates & Skills in Sweden where players are encouraged to do quick short crossover steps without stopping their feet. Rather than long deep crossovers, purposefully ride and push with your edges as quickly as possible.

13. Overspeed Crossovers

Use an entire zone to work on doing deep forward crossovers continuously without stopping your feet. Work on establishing a fast consistent rhythm that pushes you to grow out of your comfort zone.

Time to practice!

If you enjoyed our videos of 6 Tips to Master Your Forward Crossovers and 13 On-Ice Drills to Improve Your Forward Crossovers and would like to see more training videos and other great hockey content, please check out and subscribe to the Hockey Players Club YouTube channel.

Outside Edge Skating Tips – Power Skating Drill Progression

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