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07-09-2013, 09:51 AM
  #22
Cursed Lemon
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I know that you're probably looking for some very specific, ultra-useful advice on how to fast track yourself into being a great skater, and I'm sure there's a tip here and there that can get you over some hurdles, but learning to skate is just like any other thing in life in that while you can be taught by a good instructor, 95% of the learning comes from just simply doing.

If you want to learn to skate, you have to skate a LOT. It's a practice thing - skating is not a natural thing that your body knows how to do. You need to develop strong ankles, and then you need to learn how to balance yourself with a stick in your hand, which is a lot like a forward-facing "tail" really. Then you'll learn the right kind of stride, the right kind of pumping motion for your arms, how to C-cut in the ice correctly, how to pivot and turn, how to stop. There are such things as skating lessons from instructors, which is absolutely something you could look into.

People giving you advice here are going to want, above anything else, for you to learn to skate the RIGHT way with proper form. So the number one thing they'll tell you is don't take any shortcuts. When you're learning to skate, you're going to get tired, and you're going to get a little sore, and sometimes it's going to feel like you're not making any progress. Speed comes with strength, strength comes with constant practice, so if you skate often enough for long enough, you're going to get big legs.

My bit of "useful" advice here would be to try to focus specifically on your balance when you're on the ice. Skating is about striding, gliding, and turning. Striding is the easy part, but in order to be a smooth and efficient skater, you need to learn what the skates on your feet are capable of at different speeds. At the same time, trust your skates - the worst thing that can happen to you is that you'll fall down. Bend your knees, lean your body and cut the ice up, try and test what you can get away with.

Most of all, however, you need to be extremely sure of how far you want to take your interest in hockey. Is it a passing hobby? Would you like to skate in a house league? Do you want to play in juniors some day, is hockey a "dream" for you? That will determine how much time and money you invest into this - and believe me, it's a LOT of time and money if you want to play competitive hockey. There's also a difference between knowing how to skate and shoot and all that, and knowing how to "play hockey," which you can only learn from playing on a team.

You're 13 now. You have about five years to learn if you want to do something like college puck. I started playing when I was five years old, but I didn't actually develop until I was about your age, so don't let the time frame discourage you.

Remember, everyone on this board is here to help you. Any questions about ANY aspect of the game, we can answer for you.

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