Hockey is one of the great Canadian pastimes! My Dad played, I played and my kids play, it is not a normal weekend if we are not at the arena for at least 5 hours! Some of my greatest memories of being a kid is Saturday night hockey and sitting down with a glass of milk and some Oreo cookies watching the leafs play and then getting up at 5 am the next morning to go and do all the stuff the leafs stars did the night before (at least in my mind I was)
While you read through this article I want to share some Ice Hockey Tips with you, everything from playing to coaching.
Ice Hockey Tips – Starting to play hockey
You can start to play hockey at any age, 4 to 50 it is never a bad time to take up this great sport. A few important things you should consider before starting to play.
1. Make sure you get yourself or your child fitted properly for all their equipment, hockey is a fast sport with wooden sticks and frozen pucks, if you have the right equipment this is not an issue, if you don’t you could get hurt
2. Play at the right level. Don’t put your player in AAA hockey if their caliber is not there, not only will it not be safe it will hurt the players confidence and may ruin the sport for them. Parents need to have reasonable expectations and properly evaluate their player. Less than 1% of them will make it to the NHL so just let them have some fun.
One of the most important skills in hockey is skating, it can take a really good player and make them elite. Ice hockey tips for skating include working on your speed, working on your edges, making sure you practice cross overs and quick stops and starts, you will need to practice tight turns and you will at one point want to do all of this with a puck.
The best way to gain these skills is with lots of practice, try to get out on the ice as much as you or your player can without burning anyone out, it should always be fun, never a hassle to go the ice rink!
One way to practice this is to set up a rink in your backyard (Click Here to see our review on some great rinks!!) Another option is to get some synthetic ice and put it in your garage or basement.
To help with stick handling and shot accuracy/power don’t be afraid to get out and play a little road hockey (aka street hockey) I like to use my old Ice Hockey sticks that are not in use anymore either because I purchased something new or it had a crack in it.
You can start off using just a tennis ball or road hockey ball, but you can also purchase a small shooting pad that you can put in front of the net and take shots with some pucks. If you do this you can use your Ice hockey stick because it will not get ruined with the friction on the pavement.
Make sure you watch hockey, at all levels. If there is a game on the television sit down and watch, make sure you keep the sound on, many television stations have some great commentators that will help you understand the game better.
Understanding the game from this point of view will help you greatly while on the ice, you will start to understand what other teams and players are doing on the ice and this will make you better defensively.
NHL Games – You can find the schedule for all these games here I don’t only watch my favorite team I also watch many of the other games, there are some talented fun players to watch right now, the speed of the game is at an all time high.
Regardless of the level or age you or your player is starting at, the most important thing is to have FUN! Ice Hockey is a great sport that will give you or your player new confidence and will introduce to many new friendships that will carry on for years!