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-   -   I'm new to skating and hockey, any suggestions? (http://hfboards.hockeysfuture.com/showthread.php?t=727433)

FloPoErich 01-20-2010 11:21 AM

I'm new to skating and hockey, any suggestions?
 
I know there are a couple of threads like this, so forgive me if this is too similar. I am 25 and have loved hockey all my life, but never had the drive to get into until recently. I have played floor hockey(don't laugh) for the past two years and absolutely loved it. I just started skating(i've been 3 times now). I just bought some skates so I can get used to those. I can skate forwards, backwards at slow speeds, medium front crossovers and am really working on my stops.

Does anyone have any tips to improve my skating? I live in St. Louis and am trying to hit up a rink 2-3 times a week and just skate and try new things and work on the basics.

As far as the hockey aspect, I have a decent stick and basic gloves. I need a helmet for stick and puck(when I get that far) but what else do I need. Shoulders, elbows, pants, shins? Anything else? Thanks in advance for the help, sorry if this is too similar to other posts.

difren 01-20-2010 11:37 AM

You might want to take a beginner hockey course, I've heard that those help out with some of the basics.

I started playing ice about a year and a half ago now. I started by hitting up the public skate sessions 3-4 times a week. Once I could stop well enough I started going to stick and puck. This is a great help with skating as you have your pads on and you should have a little more confidence to try things as the thought of injuring yourself should be much less with pads on. I also bought Laura Stamm's Power Skating book which has some very helpful instructions for proper skating technique. You might want to check that out.

The thing that improved my play the most was being able to stickhandle and shoot with my head up. It took some time to get used to, but this is definitely an important thing to practice (along with stickhandling in general). It will open up the ice a lot.

FloPoErich 01-20-2010 11:50 AM

I want to do a class, however most around here already started and the only one that hasn't won't work due to work/class conflicts.

BadHammy* 01-20-2010 12:17 PM

A very good idea for anyone like you is to begin a comprehensive system of leg workouts. You need to actually do these more frequently than skating for 30-60 days. 1) The exercise bike is your friend, an hour duration, 2 days a week. 2) Start climbing stairs 3) Walking prior to games, and as a warm up before stretching prevents major muscle injuries.

Steelhead16 01-20-2010 12:59 PM

One thing I find that seems to give beginners a bad start that they don't seem to overcome is moving too quickly. What I mean by that is guys move to skating with sticks too early. Get your skating down really solid before moving to the next step. Skating is the foundation of everything you will do in hockey. I've seen lots of guys learn to skate with a stick and they use it as a rudder or a crutch. Hockey is an extremely difficult sport and the more things that you can make a "habit" the easier the rest of it will be. Nobody learns how to play any other sport at the same time as they learn how to walk or run. If you can afford it I would check into private lessons at your local rink. You will get more out of 2 half hour lessons then you will from a once a week 6 week class. I also suggest that you take lessons from a figure skating coach. A lot of guys let their egos get in the way and won't take lessons from a figure skater. Figure skaters skate with power and use their edges properly. You can learn to play hockey from a hockey coach. If you can skate without having to think about it your brain will have more time for the other 1000 things you'll have to think when you actually start playing.
Good luck and welcome to the club!!!

Anubis79 01-20-2010 03:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by FloPoErich (Post 23305436)
As far as the hockey aspect, I have a decent stick and basic gloves. I need a helmet for stick and puck(when I get that far) but what else do I need. Shoulders, elbows, pants, shins? Anything else? Thanks in advance for the help, sorry if this is too similar to other posts.

For stick and puck, the only thing I would say is a necessity other than the required gloves, stick, and helmet, is shin guards. It's definitely gonna hurt if you get a puck to the leg. You can get a pair of track pants or even roller hockey pants that will go over the shins, which is what I did when I first started going to stick and puck. Eventually I got tired of having to make sure everything was washed so I bought hockey pants. I would give it a few sessions to see what things are like before dropping a bunch of money. If you find that you enjoy it and want to get into it some more, pants are just another good protective investment. I'm going to call elbows personal preference. I know guys who don't wear them at stick and puck and have no problems. I on the other hand, smashed my elbow off the ice one too many times and won't go out without pads. Shoulders I would almost call unnecessary. Hard contact is a no-no at stick and puck, or at least frowned upon. If you want the protection you can get some.

That's all just observation from my stick and puck sessions. Other people may have different opinions. It all comes down to how the stick and puck is run. Some places just want you out there on your own shooting at a net or passing around and will probably try and break up any sort of game, other places probably don't care as long as everyone has the minimum required equipment. We always try to get games going, and I've been good with just stick, gloves, elbows, shins, pants, and helmet.

The most important thing is have fun and don't worry about looking like a beginner, everyone has to start somewhere.

Gino 14 01-20-2010 04:57 PM

Get a good helmet and a full cage or visor. I know that someone will pipe up that you don't need the cage but then, you don't really need to see or have teeth either. Get used to them and make up your mind to the fact that they need to be there and you'll forget they are there in a very short time. Shin guards are great for the knees, falling sucks with elbow pads right behind. After a few stick sessions you'll get the rest anyway.

If you can get to a beginner's class, go. Even if you don't have puck skills, you'll start to see how others with little skill do things and the pieces will fall into place. Whenever you get the opportunity to free skate, take it and use it wisely.

highoffglass 01-20-2010 08:02 PM

Beginner's hockey courses are great. First thing's first, work on your skating, even if you don't have puck skills, skating is the basic fundamentals. Puck skills will come.

I hope you have a great time learning, some of my best memories have been from playing hockey. It truely is a great sport.

FloPoErich 01-20-2010 11:32 PM

I skated for about 2 hours today, working alot on my stops. I can do a decent hockey stop at medium speed on one side. However, when I do it, my right leg(outer leg) glides as normal, however the left leg(inner leg) is really choppy. It seems like I am stopping on only one skate. Does anyone have tips to improve this?

nullterm 01-21-2010 04:52 AM

Keep working on stopping. Second only to being able to skate forward. Also will help you build balance when you get to forward-backward, backward-forward transitioning.

FloPoErich 01-21-2010 12:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nullterm (Post 23321746)
Keep working on stopping. Second only to being able to skate forward. Also will help you build balance when you get to forward-backward, backward-forward transitioning.

I'm noticing this. I cant transition at more than a low speed, but it seems to be the same general concept, with transferring your weight and basically just spinning around. Man, what a fun hobby! I love skating and trying new things!!

nullterm 01-21-2010 02:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by FloPoErich (Post 23325870)
I'm noticing this. I cant transition at more than a low speed, but it seems to be the same general concept, with transferring your weight and basically just spinning around. Man, what a fun hobby! I love skating and trying new things!!

The better you get at stops, the more confident you'll be in general. Both for balance and confident that you know you can stop if you need to.

Once you start getting good stopping with one blade, then try using both blades (inside & outside edges). Then try stopping while balancing on one foot.

As you get more confident with balance and weight transfers then transitions are much less daunting.

Johan Santana 01-21-2010 09:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by FloPoErich (Post 23305436)
I know there are a couple of threads like this, so forgive me if this is too similar. I am 25 and have loved hockey all my life, but never had the drive to get into until recently. I have played floor hockey(don't laugh) for the past two years and absolutely loved it. I just started skating(i've been 3 times now). I just bought some skates so I can get used to those. I can skate forwards, backwards at slow speeds, medium front crossovers and am really working on my stops.

Does anyone have any tips to improve my skating? I live in St. Louis and am trying to hit up a rink 2-3 times a week and just skate and try new things and work on the basics.

As far as the hockey aspect, I have a decent stick and basic gloves. I need a helmet for stick and puck(when I get that far) but what else do I need. Shoulders, elbows, pants, shins? Anything else? Thanks in advance for the help, sorry if this is too similar to other posts.

I am in a very similar situation

I am 20 years old and started skating about 3 month ago. I have been on the ice every week for at least 3 hours or so. Thus far I can pretty much do anything forwards and working on backward crossovers and full speed hockey stops. ( I did use to play some street hockey in middle school though). I am taking an adult skating class to improve my skating before I look like a bender out there. By the end, I should be able to do just about everything at medium speed. I been also going to a little stick and puck to practice shooting and doing stick handling at home with a hockey ball on my floor.

My roommate has been playing hockey for 6 years and he told me that skating so so important and alot of people jump out there too early and find it to be too complicated than fun. So I would try to get most of your skating down before diving into playing. We are still young, patience is key haha.

I collected all my gear together from local shops and ebay. You will need

Helmet (get a good one, HECC certified)
Mask (trust me, you want to have teeth, especially as a beginner)
Shoulder Pads (You dont need very GOOD ones, cheap ones will do because you won't be checking alot just learning at first)
Elbow Pads (Get these at a local shop and make sure they fit from the end of the shoulder pads to your glove, and make sure they are comfortable)
Gloves (Make sure these fit, try these at a local shop)
Hockey Pants (make sure the pants fit nice and reach mid-knee cap, I got decent pants because they are kinda important)
Jock (I'd rec like an ITech Mesh short + jock + velcro for hockey socks)
Shin guards (get these at a local shop as well, make sure they fit)
Hockey Socks
Jersey (Make sure it feels ok over all your pads, get this last)
Skates (100000% make sure these feel good, more $$ doesn't mean better. Try these at a local skate shop and make sure they feel comfortable or you will have a hell of a time on ice)

Little Nilan 01-21-2010 09:45 PM

I agree with the people saying skating is the most important thing. It really is, it can make or break a player (obviously this won't be a problem for you at your age).

However, don't "work" on your skating. Working on bad technique will just form bad habits.

I would swallow my ego and take figure skating classes. I am dead serious. I did it with one of my friends who's a figure skater and the amount of improvement you see is really impressive, and in a very short amount of time. You'll learn how to properly gain speed doing crossovers, you'll be more agile and a lot more comfortable skating backwards.

If you ever start getting serious(or moderately serious) about hockey, then you might want to look at making a weightlifting program(not a bodybuilding program, something more along the lines of what westside barbell or rippetoe does). That also helped me a lot.

Little Nilan 01-21-2010 09:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Steelhead16 (Post 23306981)
One thing I find that seems to give beginners a bad start that they don't seem to overcome is moving too quickly. What I mean by that is guys move to skating with sticks too early. Get your skating down really solid before moving to the next step. Skating is the foundation of everything you will do in hockey. I've seen lots of guys learn to skate with a stick and they use it as a rudder or a crutch. Hockey is an extremely difficult sport and the more things that you can make a "habit" the easier the rest of it will be. Nobody learns how to play any other sport at the same time as they learn how to walk or run. If you can afford it I would check into private lessons at your local rink. You will get more out of 2 half hour lessons then you will from a once a week 6 week class. I also suggest that you take lessons from a figure skating coach. A lot of guys let their egos get in the way and won't take lessons from a figure skater. Figure skaters skate with power and use their edges properly. You can learn to play hockey from a hockey coach. If you can skate without having to think about it your brain will have more time for the other 1000 things you'll have to think when you actually start playing.
Good luck and welcome to the club!!!

Really good advice here.

Skraut 01-22-2010 12:20 PM

A little bit down the road, but there's a Hockey North America league (hna.com) in St. Louis. I just joined the one in Cleveland and they have a 16 week adult hockey course where the first 8 weeks are drills and education, and the last 8 are all scrimmages. We've got guys from their mid 20's to early 50's and I've been skating 2-3 times a week since last June and taking classes with figure skaters as the above poster mentioned, and am probably above average in terms of skating ability.

It's a little bit intimidating knowing the coach/teacher has his name on the Stanley Cup but it's been an awesome experience so far, and something I highly recommend if you get the opportunity.

BadHammy* 01-22-2010 01:45 PM

One thing to do that will really impress people, be able to do good, proper crossovers when carrying the puck. Very few C level players do that.

stick9 01-22-2010 02:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by donGjohnson (Post 23351715)
One thing to do that will really impress people, be able to do good, proper crossovers when carrying the puck. Very few C level players do that.

Seriously...guess C leagues are different here in the North East. Guys have moves and can really motor in C leagues I've played in.

Best advice to anyone just starting out. Skate, skate, skate, and skate some more. The more time you spend on the ice the better. Save the off ice training for later.

noobman 01-22-2010 02:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by donGjohnson (Post 23351715)
One thing to do that will really impress people, be able to do good, proper crossovers when carrying the puck. Very few C level players do that.

What you're describing sounds like what I would call a D level league over here.

C level over here seems like it's for the stronger skaters that are lacking in hockey sense. Once you get up to B and A you find that everyone skates perfectly, but they also see the ice very well.

Beerfish 01-22-2010 11:06 PM

I just want to say that I'm impressed by the couple of new comers to skating in this thread. It is not always easy to take up a sport a bit later in life so good on you guys. I haven't skated in a few years and the enthusiasm in here is making me want to get my skates out of the garage and head down the the community rink.

BadHammy* 01-22-2010 11:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by stick9 (Post 23352634)
Seriously...guess C leagues are different here in the North East. Guys have moves and can really motor in C leagues I've played in.

Best advice to anyone just starting out. Skate, skate, skate, and skate some more. The more time you spend on the ice the better. Save the off ice training for later.

I meant at full speed, all the way in a circle w your head up, ala Marty St. Louis. Hell, plenty of NHL'ers struggle with that:D If you want to be good, you need to perfect the basics.

stick9 01-23-2010 09:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by donGjohnson (Post 23361018)
I meant at full speed, all the way in a circle w your head up, ala Marty St. Louis. Hell, plenty of NHL'ers struggle with that:D If you want to be good, you need to perfect the basics.

I know exactly what you meant. Guys in C leagues around here do that and a whole lot more. Most anyone who's played some form of organized hockey be it, pee wee, youth, or high school are able to crossover while handling the puck.

BadHammy* 01-23-2010 03:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by stick9 (Post 23363693)
I know exactly what you meant. Guys in C leagues around here do that and a whole lot more. Most anyone who's played some form of organized hockey be it, pee wee, youth, or high school are able to crossover while handling the puck.

God save us all... Datsyuk, St. Louis and a few others are the only guys who can do what I'm talking about. I mean carrying up ice at full speed and using crossovers (think half spin one way, then cutting back to the other side) to get through multiple opponents with your head up. That's not an easy task for anyone. But if your routine C league players can do that, I'll be calling some NHL scouts to get them a try out.

stick9 01-23-2010 09:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by donGjohnson (Post 23369369)
God save us all... Datsyuk, St. Louis and a few others are the only guys who can do what I'm talking about. I mean carrying up ice at full speed and using crossovers (think half spin one way, then cutting back to the other side) to get through multiple opponents with your head up. That's not an easy task for anyone. But if your routine C league players can do that, I'll be calling some NHL scouts to get them a try out.

What you describe above doesn't sound like crossovers, sounds like dekeing but that's just me.

I'm not here to get into a peeing contest with you over this, so I'll leave it at this. If there are only a handful of professional hockey players who posses this ability, why in the world are you suggesting it to a beginner....?

HowToHockey 02-07-2010 04:43 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by FloPoErich (Post 23305436)
Does anyone have any tips to improve my skating? I live in St. Louis and am trying to hit up a rink 2-3 times a week and just skate and try new things and work on the basics.

To get back on topic, you could also get a pair of roller blades, I found that helps program the muscles

As for skating it comes with a lot of practice, it may be tough to get the proper technique down. Your muscles need to perform a task about 10 000 times before it becomes automatic.

For skating try to remember to bend your knees, lean forward, and skate with your blades at a 45 degree angle (don't run on the ice) with your feet at 45 degree angle you can dig the blades into the ice and get power. Extend your legs fully, and push off with each stride.

when you get better you should be able to get to full speed with 3 strides. To practice your acceleration (which will impress, and let you break away from plays when you have the puck) practice stop and starts - Take off full speed, then stop, then take off full speed in the other direction, and repeat

Once you are comfortable skating Practice gliding on one foot, stopping with one foot, turning with one foot, crossovers, jumping, tight turns and so on. These will build your core muscles and balance and by becoming comfortable with these types of movements it will build your confidence in other areas and make regular skating seem like a breeze.


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