Beginning a new sport can be pretty intimidating…especially hockey because of all the equipment required to play the greatest game on the planet. But, since you are reading this, you are already on the right track. Whether you’re researching for your child or just starting out as an adult, here are a few tips that will get you out on the ice and gaining new skills.
As I mentioned above, hockey requires more equipment than most sports. Here’s a checklist list of all you’ll need: skates, shin pads, hockey socks, breezers/hockey pants, jock with cup or pelvic protector, shoulder pads, elbow pads, helmet, mouth guard, gloves, stick, jersey, sock tape, stick tape, and a hockey bag to carry everything from rink to rink. Most hockey specialty stores can help get you outfitted.
Now, it’s time to hit the ice. Most communities have at least one rink in the area that support youth hockey programs, where you can register your son or daughter. Adults may have to search for learn-to-skate programs or programs that are geared toward an older crowd.
Like any sport, the more you improve, the more you will enjoy playing. The sport of hockey is unlike most other sports since you need to be able to skate before being able to play the game. Before you can start working on any ice hockey drills, you need to be able to get around the ice without thinking about it too much. There’s only one way to do this… get on the ice as much as you can. While learning to skate, the most important tip I can give you is to have sharp skates, otherwise you’ll develop a compensated stride.
Once you gain more confidence skating, you can start working on some novice hockey drills, while handling a puck. Start by pushing the puck in front of the body and then progress to moving the puck from forehand to backhand and leg to leg. Once you get these moves down, work on the same stick handling techniques, while skating backwards and progress from there.
Your skating will improve the more you practice, but the real enjoyment of the game happens when you start to possess the puck more, make hockey plays, and score goals. To accomplish this, you need to be working on your stick handling and shooting. The good news is that you don't need to be on the ice to develop these two skillsets; they can be acquired in the comforts of own home, garage, or basement. Sniper's Edge Hockey offers a selection of hockey home training packages that can help with training and development.
If you look at the best stick handler or shooter on any youth hockey team, he/she didn’t become that good from what coaches are teaching on the ice. They accomplish this by stick handling and shooting more than their peers, and in most cases, in an off-ice environment. There are all kinds of hockey drills for kids online that you can check out (we post them often on social media) or ask your coach for a drill or two you can work on in between practices. Learn and practice stick handling and shooting off-ice, then try to master the techniques on ice.
Thanks for stopping by and remember to Work Hard and Dream BIGGER than everyone else. ~ Coach Pitlick
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