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06-08-2012, 10:58 AM
  #10
TUCKER 06
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I'm also having difficulty determining what constitutes "average" skill when it comes to adult hockey. I don't think "years of experience" is a good gauge, as I've known guys who have played for 4-5 years and can barely skate still.

A little background: I played houseleague from age 7-12, had 1 amazing year and finished in the top 10 for scoring (mostly assists). I started playing shinny again last year (age 27) with co-workers and it came back pretty quickly. I worked really hard in the off season and do a bunch of off-ice training and have found that my game is better than ever. This year I tried hard to keep stats during my winter session of 3 games/week and finished with 56 goals, 46 assists, +31, 181 shots (est.), shooting 31% (est.) in 45 games.

I recently signed up for an adult skills/scrimmage course with TPH in London for "intermediate to advanced" players, thinking I'd be considered an intermediate player.

When I showed up I found that there is quite a range in skill level between all of the other players. There is probably one person I would consider beginner, but if I had to gauge my skill level within the relm of "intermediate to advanced" based on the players at this session, I'd say I'm closer to advanced than intermediate. I play shinny with some guys I'd consider "expert."

What sets us all apart is this:
Beginner: can't stick handle but "pushes" the puck with the blade of the stick, can accept a pass about 50% of the time, can pass the puck well 50% of the time. can only skate forward and does so by shuffling their feet or "walking," has little or no concept of positioning, breakouts, rules.

Intermediate: foundations of stick handling are present but not refined, developing a shot with a little bit of power and accuracy, more developed skating skills - stopping and starting, forward crossovers, acceleration, can skate backwards but not do backward crossovers - receives passes 75% of time and passes accurately 75% of the time. basic understanding of positioning, knows the rules of the game.

Advanced:stick handling is ingrained at this point (does it naturally), can reliably shoot with power and accuracy and can handle one-timers with no problem connecting, skating exhibits excellent edge control and agility - at this point pivoting, backward skating skills and power skating skills have all been developed to the point that they appear to be natural movements - can accept passes 95-100% of the time and passes accurately 95-100% of the time, excellent knowledge of positioning, set plays, etc.

Expert: amazing at everything, plays like they were born with skates on their feet and a stick in their hand.

This is just a quick guide I've made up just now to help myself evaluate where I fit in to the spectrum. I certainly wouldn't classify myself as an "advanced" player but I probably fall somewhere between "intermediate" and "advanced." With a lot more ice-time and off-ice training I hope to reach the advanced stage by next winter.

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