Questions from a guy who has never played
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10-09-2012, 11:08 PM
Join Date: Jan 2007
1. There's an HF forum called The Rink that is devoted to questions like these. Lots of good help over there.
2. Don't worry about getting laughed off the rink. Playing ice hockey is about the most fun you can have standing up, and it is totally worth it to learn. I grew up in Florida and didn't learn how to ice skate or play hockey until I was 31. I'm glad I started.
3. For workout stuff, keep in mind hockey is more like interval training than running at a steady pace. Muscle-wise, everything helps, but squats and core are the biggies IMO.
4. You're right, if you are going to play on the ice, there's no substitute for time on the ice. You can pick up some puck skills playing roller and such. In my experience, for people that come over to ice hockey from playing roller, the biggest issue is learning to stop on skates. It's totally different. Stopping is more important than it might seem, too.
Say there's a puck dumped in to the corner and 2 guys are chasing it. For beginning level players, what determines who will get to the puck first is not so much which player is faster, it's which player is more confident in his ability to stop. Think about it, it makes sense.
5. Equipment wise, you can skimp on most stuff IMO, but do try to get some help from someone who knows what they are doing about sizing. I think the thing to pay the most attention to is the skates. You don't need to get top of the line but you need to make very, very sure they are going to fit comfortably after you break them in. Take your time with that part. Can't really offer specific information about skates because some brands are better for narrow feet, others better for wider feet, etc. Over at The Rink you can get great information.
6. Good luck. Again, it's worth it. Everyone who ever played has done something embarrassing at some point. It's slippery out there and those skate blades have a way of doing funny things. Don't worry about it. Put the pads on and have fun.
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