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Report by an Athletic Therapist I am writing this letter in regards to the use of the “Launch” suspension skate and the benefits a hockey player would have  in wearing this type of skate. Hockey is a very fast game as players  have to be able to perform at a high rate  of speed and change direction with split  second reaction time.  The three  elements that make a player perform  well are speed, power and balance.  Having these three functions and being  able to perform them well is what  separates the great skaters from the  average ones. The muscles of the quadriceps (front of leg) and hamstrings (back of leg), along  with the plantar flexors (lower leg) and  hip flexors enable a skater to develop  power and speed.  With the use of the “Launch” skate, the player is able to  perform better as a skater and develop  more powerful strides because he is able to add extra plantar flexion during the  push-off.  This gives the player the  ability to stop and change direction  faster in turning, or from a complete  stop and start. With the normal hockey skate, players  are unable to perform this task as they  cannot reach full extension of the  plantar muscle or knee extensors as they would have to be almost on their  toes to do this, thus throwing off their  balance completely.  In closing I would  like to say that not only would the “Launch” skate improve a player’s  performance, but it would also reduce  the injuries that players often complain  about such as groin, knee, hip flexors  and extensor injuries that are often  caused by overuse or extension.
“I like this idea!  I found myself skating faster out of turns and from a  dead start.”           Michael Austin, Athletic Therapist
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