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12-16-2009, 04:05 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2009
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I learned to skate at 32 in February of this year - actually my 7 year old son and I did as we both wanted to learn how to play hockey. After speaking with some very knowledgable coaches we took skating classes (not hockey classes, just beginner figure skating classes) with a bunch of 5 - 8 y.o. figure skaters. Best decision ever! I learned to skate around without cumbersome gear/sticks which adds a significant amount of complexity for an adult to learn new physical skills. 'sides, the kids enjoyed watching a grown adult fumble around and fall more than them.

I found out that the best way to learn to skate is to just learn to skate - leave the puck handling, sticks, etc... for later, after the basics (forward, backward, stopping, basic forward crossovers) are learned. Our only purchases where hockey skates (learned in those instead of the flatter bladed figure skates) and cheapo-shin pads to protect knees (the kiddo wore a also helmet though). Can probably even just wear roller-blade style knee pads when learning I imagine.

Once I had the basics down, I attended the hockey "academy" which is actually for kids (no adult intro program at the local rink at that time). There were several other parents of kids that were learning as well, and I have to say I progressed a lot faster in learning other skills compared to them simply because I had already learned the basics on what my feet/skates should be doing without having to worry about a stick, pads, etc...

After about 4 or 5 classes covering puckhandling basics etc.. I started going to the puck-play (open nets, bunch of pucks, skate around and shoot) and playing in the lowest of low beer league's and my game has improved from then on. Still learning new things though...

Sorry for the long post though..

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