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01-19-2012, 12:48 PM
  #1
Aftcomet*
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Mississauga, Ontario
Country: Canada
Posts: 197
vCash: 500
Anyone have advice for a beginner?

I've loved hockey for the most of my life. I wasn't able to afford it when I was young and I always had thought that after 14 it was too late to play. That was obviously incorrect thinking. So I'm 20 years old right now. My friends told me to try Beer League with them in the summer (this coming one) and I decided to. So I bought all the equipment (I spent quite a bit of money on it all since I figure it'll offer better protection and I'll probably be using it for a long time.) The skates I use are Easton EQ5s. I find them very comfortable and they fit my feet perfectly.

So I went skating with my friends today (it was my first time). I wore a helmet, gloves, and shin pads (to protect my knees). My friends are both excellent skaters. I on the other hand am not. I can't stop. I can't skate backwards. I was able to skate forwards at a good pace and I was also able to do crossovers (going from right to left is okay but left to right is a little hard.) I was able to go fairly fast but I kept losing my balance (not falling just really wobbly) so I decided to slow the pace down. I am able to turn left and right without difficulty. But again, my overall balance is terrible. I tried to stop but I wiped out pretty hard (one time straight into the boards). But I was determined to keep at it so I got up. After an hour and a half though my feet started killing me and I lost all strength in them. So that made it worse.

Some of the stuff people are able to do seems impossible to me. Like pivoting, spinning, switching from forwards to backwards, skating backwards fast and doing crossovers while doing so. I feel like it'll take me a decade to get to that level. All in all it was a little embarrassing. There's a big mental aspect to it too. One is fear but two is the embarrassment. I got chirped quite a bit. Some of those younger kids are really good. But it's okay, I know I suck.

I figure it'll get better with hard work and perseverance. I think my feet have to strengthen as well. I'm also quite out of shape these days (not fat), just don't have the muscle and conditioning that I used to. School is extremely busy these days. I heard that strengthening your core helps a lot overall and will give you better balance. I'm going to find time to work on that when I'm not on the ice. Right now I can only go once a week for 2 - 3.5 hours. I don't know if that'll be enough. I'm also considering taking lessons. I have coordinated feet from playing soccer at a high level, but I don't think that really translates to hockey in any significant way.

Would you pros have any advice to give me? I suppose the only asset I have right now is my determination. I'm really willing to do anything to get better. I'm concentrating to get over the fear factor. At the start I wasn't afraid but trying to stop and crashing head first into the boards surely doesn't help. The second time kind of did me in (not physically but my thought process was a lot different).

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