The Art of Passing in Short Track Speed Skating

The Art of Passing in Short Track Speed Skating: A Comprehensive Guide

Are you a passionate short track speed skater looking to enhance your skills in passing your competitors on the ice? Look no further! In this comprehensive guide, we delve into the art of passing in short track speed skating, providing you with invaluable tips and techniques to help you gain an edge over your rivals. From mastering the perfect timing and positioning to understanding the strategies employed by top athletes, we cover it all. So, lace up your skates and get ready to take your passing skills to the next level!

Techniques for Passing in Short Track Speed Skating

Inside Pass

The inside pass is a common technique used in short track speed skating to overtake opponents. It involves maneuvering through the inner part of the track, closer to the curve, to pass skaters on the inside. This technique requires precise timing and skillful execution to avoid collisions and gain a competitive advantage.

Skaters attempting an inside pass must approach the turn with caution and carefully choose the right moment to make their move. They need to position themselves close to the track’s inner boundary, using their edges to maintain balance and control. By taking a shorter distance around the curve, skaters can accelerate and pass opponents who are skating wider.

Executing a successful inside pass relies not only on technical ability but also on reading the movements of other skaters. Anticipating their actions, especially when they drift wide in the turn, allows skaters to seize the opportunity and quickly pass them on the inside. However, this technique requires experience and precision, as mistiming or misjudging the distance can result in collisions or being overtaken themselves.

Outside Pass

The outside pass is another effective passing technique employed in short track speed skating. Unlike the inside pass, it involves overtaking opponents on the outer side of the track, typically on the straight sections. Skaters utilizing the outside pass aim to gain momentum and take advantage of the longer distance to pass their rivals.

To execute an outside pass successfully, skaters need to position themselves towards the outer boundary of the track, using their edges to maintain stability while carving through the turns. As they enter the straight sections, they accelerate and make a swift move to the outside to overtake their opponents. Timing is crucial, as skaters must anticipate the right moment to make their move and ensure they have enough speed to complete the pass.

The outside pass requires a combination of speed, agility, and strategic decision-making. Skaters must assess the strengths and weaknesses of their opponents, looking for opportunities to exploit and overtake them on the outside. It is essential to maintain control and balance while executing this pass, as any loss of stability can lead to collisions or loss of momentum.


Drafting is a technique in short track speed skating where a skater positions themselves closely behind another skater to reduce air resistance and conserve energy. By skating in the slipstream of the lead skater, the trailing skater benefits from reduced wind resistance, allowing them to conserve energy and potentially make a pass at a later point in the race.

To successfully draft, skaters must maintain a close distance behind the lead skater, usually within a few inches. By tucking in behind the lead skater, they can take advantage of the reduced air resistance and experience a slight increase in speed. This technique is particularly effective on the straight sections of the track, where skaters can maintain proximity and conserve energy.

Drafting requires precise positioning and good awareness of the lead skater’s movements. Skaters must react quickly to any changes in speed or direction to avoid collisions and stay in the advantageous slipstream position. It is important to note that drafting is a strategic technique and may not always result in an immediate pass. Skaters often use drafting as a tactic to conserve energy and make their move at a later point in the race when their opponents are fatigued.

In conclusion, short track speed skaters employ various techniques for passing their opponents. The inside pass, outside pass, and drafting are effective strategies that require skill, precision, and strategic decision-making to execute successfully. Mastering these techniques allows skaters to gain a competitive edge and increase their chances of success in the fast-paced and dynamic sport of short track speed skating.

Strategies for Effective Passing

Timing and Patience

Passing in short track speed skating requires precise timing and patience. It is crucial to wait for the right moment to make a move and avoid unnecessary risks. Skaters must carefully assess the pace of the race and the positions of their competitors before attempting a pass. By being patient and waiting for the opportune moment, skaters can increase their chances of a successful pass.


Proper positioning plays a vital role in executing a successful pass in short track speed skating. Skaters should aim to position themselves strategically behind the opponent they intend to pass. This allows them to take advantage of the draft and conserve energy before making their move. Maintaining a close proximity to the opponent also helps in reading their movements and anticipating their reactions, enabling the skater to plan their pass effectively.

Reading the Race

Reading the race and understanding the behavior of other skaters is essential for effective passing. Skaters need to be observant and analyze the patterns and tendencies of their competitors. By closely observing the movements and strategies of other skaters, they can identify opportunities to overtake. This includes recognizing any weaknesses or vulnerabilities of opponents and capitalizing on them. Additionally, skaters should be aware of their own strengths and utilize them to their advantage when planning a pass.

In conclusion, effective passing in short track speed skating requires a combination of timing, patience, positioning, and the ability to read the race. By mastering these strategies, skaters can increase their chances of successfully overtaking their opponents and achieving their desired results.

Training Drills to Improve Passing Skills

Cone Drills

Cone drills are an excellent way to enhance your passing skills in short track speed skating. These drills help you improve your agility, speed, and decision-making abilities when it comes to passing opponents. Here are a few cone drills that can take your passing skills to the next level:

  1. Zigzag Drill: Set up a series of cones in a zigzag pattern on the ice. Start at one end and skate through the cones, weaving in and out as quickly as possible. This drill will help you improve your ability to quickly change direction and pass opponents with precision.

  2. Lateral Shuffle Drill: Arrange a line of cones parallel to each other, leaving enough space in between for you to shuffle sideways. Start at one end and shuffle laterally from side to side, passing each cone as you go. This drill will improve your lateral movement and passing technique.

  3. Circle Drill: Create a circular pattern with cones on the ice. Skate around the circle, passing each cone as you go. This drill will help you develop your passing skills while maintaining speed and balance in tight turns.

Partner Drills

Practicing passing skills with a partner is an effective way to simulate real race scenarios and improve your overall performance. Here are a few partner drills that can help you enhance your passing skills:

  1. Mirror Drill: Skate side by side with a partner, mimicking each other’s movements. Focus on maintaining a consistent speed and passing each other without colliding. This drill will help you develop awareness and precision when passing opponents.

  2. Relay Drill: Divide into teams of two or more skaters. Set up a designated passing zone and take turns passing each other within that zone. This drill will simulate race scenarios and help you practice passing opponents while maintaining speed.

  3. Shoulder Check Drill: Skate in a straight line with a partner skating behind you. Practice looking over your shoulder to check for opponents and communicate with your partner to execute successful passes. This drill will improve your passing strategy and communication skills.

Simulated Race Scenarios

Simulating race scenarios during training sessions is crucial for developing passing skills in short track speed skating. Here are a few simulated race scenarios that can help you improve your passing abilities:

  1. Drafting Practice: Skate closely behind a teammate or coach, mimicking the drafting technique used in races. Practice passing your teammate without losing speed or balance. This drill will help you understand the dynamics of passing in a race situation.

  2. Overtaking Drill: Set up a scenario where you start behind a slower skater and gradually work on overtaking them. Focus on choosing the right moment to pass and executing the pass smoothly. This drill will help you develop the timing and confidence needed for successful passes.

  3. Multiple Skaters Drill: Practice passing multiple opponents in a row. Set up a line of cones or skaters, and work on passing each one quickly and efficiently. This drill will help you improve your passing speed and decision-making skills when faced with multiple opponents.

By incorporating these training drills and simulated race scenarios into your practice routine, you can enhance your passing skills in short track speed skating. Remember to focus on agility, speed, and precision to become a proficient passer on the ice.

In conclusion, mastering the art of passing in short track speed skating is essential for athletes looking to excel in this exhilarating sport. By understanding the strategic aspects, honing technical skills, and maintaining a competitive mindset, skaters can increase their chances of success on the track. Whether it involves precise timing, quick decision-making, or effective communication with teammates, passing requires a combination of physical and mental prowess. With dedicated practice and continuous learning, skaters can navigate the challenges of passing and gain an edge over their competitors. So, embrace the art of passing in short track speed skating and unlock your full potential on the ice.