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Advice for a total newbie?

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02-17-2010, 10:37 AM
  #1
tarheelhockey
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Advice for a total newbie?

Ok, so yesterday I took the plunge and bought my first hockey stick. I'm 28 and have wanted to play since I was a teenager but circumstances never permitted. I have a boy who is old enough to play now and the time seemed right for both of us to start.

I picked up a wooden Sher-wood 5030 PMP with a Bouchard blade at a bargain price, honestly not sure how it compares to the rest but it feels comfortable enough and I won't feel too bad about abusing it.

Aside from noodling around and practicing my shot, what can I do to improve at a reasonable pace? What equipment should I buy next? Anything I should know before heading to the rink? Thanks for any and all suggestions!

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02-17-2010, 10:43 AM
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FloPoErich
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I'm 24 and brand new too. I play in a floor hockey league that helps me learn about positioning and how to move around and get open. The next question is if you can skate? I bought a nice pair of skates (not too expensive) and have been hitting up public skates to work on my form and the basics, turning, stopping, crossovers (sorta). I hope to take some skating classes in the next month or so and eventually end up in a beginner league.

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02-17-2010, 10:48 AM
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MJAYK
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Whenever you start working on you're crossover's, remember to work on the weak side more than the strong side. God it's silly that i crossover like a pro to the right. To the left it just feel's unnatural. Same goes for backward's. I crossover perfectly to the right hand side and almost uncapable of crossovering to the left.

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02-17-2010, 11:06 AM
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TinofGrizz
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I turn 28 in 2 days and have been playing since I was about 6, it is nice to see you made your way into the sport! If I were you when you do make the plunge into a beginner league I would explain to whoever is running it that you are just starting out and see if they will waver you up into a 30 and over house league if that is available at your rink.

If you start out in the 18 and over house there is most likely going to be a lot of younger guys who have been playing for multiple years and the talent level is going to be a little higher. It is going to be a lot more fun for you if you can get started out at a more level playing field with guys that are closer to your own age.

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02-17-2010, 11:13 AM
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FloPoErich
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MJAYK View Post
Whenever you start working on you're crossover's, remember to work on the weak side more than the strong side. God it's silly that i crossover like a pro to the right. To the left it just feel's unnatural. Same goes for backward's. I crossover perfectly to the right hand side and almost uncapable of crossovering to the left.
I'm good at going to the left, but suck going to the right... I can't do any backwards yet...

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02-17-2010, 11:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tarheelhockey View Post
Ok, so yesterday I took the plunge and bought my first hockey stick. I'm 28 and have wanted to play since I was a teenager but circumstances never permitted. I have a boy who is old enough to play now and the time seemed right for both of us to start.

I picked up a wooden Sher-wood 5030 PMP with a Bouchard blade at a bargain price, honestly not sure how it compares to the rest but it feels comfortable enough and I won't feel too bad about abusing it.

Aside from noodling around and practicing my shot, what can I do to improve at a reasonable pace? What equipment should I buy next? Anything I should know before heading to the rink? Thanks for any and all suggestions!
Congrats, I was 41 when I started, my daughter was playing and got me going on our pond. I'm of the belief that buying equipment right off is the best thing you can do. Falling sucks and it hurts, the equipment makes falling less painful so you think less about it and can enjoy skating more. Go to stick practices and practice but also watch what others do and try and copy them. Work on hockey stops on both sides, don't just favor your good side. Everything you do you'll have to do to both sides so make sure both sides are equal. Keep going with your boy, you'll be amazed at how fast he advances and you'll get to enjoy it first hand.

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02-17-2010, 11:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FloPoErich View Post
I'm good at going to the left, but suck going to the right... I can't do any backwards yet...
Yeah i played a few year's of hockey as a junior. Haven't been playing since 2004 i think.

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02-17-2010, 11:46 AM
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My advice is going to run contrary to what many people might tell you but start working with the puck as much as you work on your skating immediately. I'm not a very good player at drills, I'm not that fast and I'm not that big, but with or near the puck, I have a strong level of confidence and desire because I know what to do and how to do it. This makes me thought of as a good "in-game" player and that counts more than drills anyway.

Basically, I'd recommend you work on skating while on the ice and stick handling off the ice. Golf balls and tennis balls work on almost any surface and are good practice. If you can get to stick times, or stick n puck sessions as they are also known, that's probably the very best thing you can do once you get basic skating down.


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02-17-2010, 12:29 PM
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Originally Posted by donGjohnson View Post
My advice is going to run contrary to what many people might tell you but start working with the puck as much as you work on your skating immediately. I'm not a very good player at drills, I'm not that fast and I'm not that big, but with or near the puck, I have a strong level of confidence and desire because I know what to do and how to do it. This makes me thought of as a good "in-game" player and that counts more than drills anyway.

Basically, I'd recommend you work on skating while on the ice and stick handling off the ice. Golf balls and tennis balls work on almost any surface and are good practice. If you can get to stick times, or stick n puck sessions as they are also known, that's probably the very best thing you can do once you get basic skating down.
This is what I've been doing... I have yet to make it to a stick and puck, as most of the local rink only do them for those 16 and under.

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02-17-2010, 01:16 PM
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Rob Brown
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FloPoErich View Post
I'm good at going to the left, but suck going to the right... I can't do any backwards yet...
Skating backwards can be tough at first, but once you get going and start trying it's not too bad. When you aren't on the ice I'd actually recommend throwing on some roller blades and start working on the crossovers and backward skating. Start without a puck and then once you feel more comfortable try it with one.

To the OP, congrats on finally getting involved. Good call on getting a wooden stick first as well. I don't know if you already have skates, but I'd recommend buying them next as you can always go to your local rink for free skate events (if they have any). Once you're more comfortable on the ice and once you're ready to start playing in a game setting I'd then purchase the rest of the equipment piece by piece.

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02-17-2010, 01:21 PM
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I'm in the same boat as you except I have even less hockey experience. Besides playing some street hockey on rollerblades as a kid I have no experience. I'm 25 now and enrolled in my first skating classes that start next month and have been trying to hit the public skating sessions to get used to skating again.

I hope you'll keep this forum updated with how you progress. I know it would interest me as this is kind of an intimidating process. My main problem being that even once I learn to skate better I'll have to take hockey classes and whatever else because it seems every rink has their stick and pucks or whatever during the work days.

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02-17-2010, 01:31 PM
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Best option is to enroll in hockey classes for adults. They are a bit pricey, but you get to learn the ins and outs of playing and often get a bunch of games. Plus you meet a ton of people and usually form a team and friendships that can last years.

If you've got about $50, I recommend getting the Brett Hull shooting DVD and the Robbie Glantz skating DVD. Tons of stuff to practice on the pond. Just make sure to wear a helmet and some pads when you work on skating, you don't want a concussion or broken bone.

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02-17-2010, 01:44 PM
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MJAYK
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Something i'd like to say that i forgot to mention in the earlier post, even you are an adult and propably well aware of this:

ALWAYS USE A HELMET!

Even when practicing. I remember slamming the back of my head on the ice when i turned around for some backward's skating and my blade got caught on a hole in the ice. Even i had my helmet on it hurt like hell. My skull would easily had cracked wide open at that speed without a helmet.

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02-17-2010, 02:09 PM
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tarheelhockey
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Thanks for all the great advice so far... I have a long way to go but it helps to know that there are fundamentals that can realistically be learned in the short term. Watching elite players all the time sets a high imaginary standard, so it's good to know I'm not the only adult getting out-skated by the 16-year-olds at the rink!

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02-17-2010, 02:14 PM
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FloPoErich
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tarheelhockey View Post
Thanks for all the great advice so far... I have a long way to go but it helps to know that there are fundamentals that can realistically be learned in the short term. Watching elite players all the time sets a high imaginary standard, so it's good to know I'm not the only adult getting out-skated by the 16-year-olds at the rink!
Not at all... happens to me every time I hit the ice. Look into getting a hockey ball or using a skill pad to work on your stick handling. It's fun to do and very helpful.

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02-17-2010, 02:21 PM
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I am new to ice hockey as well. I used to play roller hockey and I ice skated a bit when I was a kid. This year I started playing pick up ice hockey with my friends and we try to get out there every weekend. The nice thing about that is I can get out there and play without going to rat hockey or something else that is really intimidating. It has helped me work on my skating as well as stick handling and my shot. Unfortunately for you being down in Carolina I dont think it is consistently cold enough for outdoor rinks.

Like some others have said I also play in a floor hockey league in Chicago and it is very difficult and at times I find it harder then ice. The court is so small that you really need to be on target with your passes and it also forces you to play with your head up and get rid of the puck quickly. I would recommend one of these if there are any in your area as it has really helped me improve. I actually got my first hatty last night!

My final piece of advice would be to take Adult Beginner Hockey Lessons. I am starting one of those up this spring and when I asked the instructor about the classes he said that every class is an hour and he said more than half of that time is spent on skating b/c that is the most important thing in hockey.

Good luck and have fun I know I am.

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02-22-2010, 08:38 PM
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Is it okay to use my stick on the concrete? I have a tennis ball I can use in the backyard but I'm so protective of my new stick that I don't really want to ruin it on the concrete.

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02-22-2010, 08:50 PM
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Originally Posted by SabreTooth3539 View Post
Is it okay to use my stick on the concrete? I have a tennis ball I can use in the backyard but I'm so protective of my new stick that I don't really want to ruin it on the concrete.
I would just get a cheap woodie, going to have to cut it down a few inches too.

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02-22-2010, 09:07 PM
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I would just get a cheap woodie, going to have to cut it down a few inches too.
That's good advice, thanks. I will pick up a wooden stick here soon and use the cardboard box technique in the backyard.

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02-22-2010, 10:35 PM
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Originally Posted by MJAYK View Post
Something i'd like to say that i forgot to mention in the earlier post, even you are an adult and propably well aware of this:

ALWAYS USE A HELMET!

Even when practicing. I remember slamming the back of my head on the ice when i turned around for some backward's skating and my blade got caught on a hole in the ice. Even i had my helmet on it hurt like hell. My skull would easily had cracked wide open at that speed without a helmet.
Agreed.

As someone who recently started just last summer at age 33, my philosophy from experience is this. There are 2 types of people learning to skate. Those who wear protection, and those who haven't been to the E.R. yet.

I've lost about 45 lbs since I started last summer, and my skating attire is my "fat guy" clothes under which I wear my shin/knee pads and elbow pads. It just isn't worth it to run the risk, and getting used to skating with some/all gear on will help you eventually get where you want to go. Skating in gear also helps you learn a bit faster. You're more willing to take risks and push the envelope and hence learn faster when most of the fear of falling has been taken away.

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02-23-2010, 08:09 AM
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tarheelhockey
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SabreTooth3539 View Post
Is it okay to use my stick on the concrete? I have a tennis ball I can use in the backyard but I'm so protective of my new stick that I don't really want to ruin it on the concrete.
I had the same anxiety about tearing up my blade on asphalt, so I just bought a fairly cheap wooden stick that I expect to only last a short while.

So far the biggest problem has been shredding the tape on the bottom of the blade, and eventually chipping off splinters, so I'm double-layering it on the bottom to slow down the wear and tear. Fortunately I also have a concrete pad in my basement that is much smoother and doesn't cause as much damage. That's a good place to practice some of the high-friction stuff like shooting.

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02-23-2010, 11:30 AM
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Originally Posted by tarheelhockey View Post
I had the same anxiety about tearing up my blade on asphalt, so I just bought a fairly cheap wooden stick that I expect to only last a short while.

So far the biggest problem has been shredding the tape on the bottom of the blade, and eventually chipping off splinters, so I'm double-layering it on the bottom to slow down the wear and tear. Fortunately I also have a concrete pad in my basement that is much smoother and doesn't cause as much damage. That's a good place to practice some of the high-friction stuff like shooting.
I have a big garage too that has smooth concrete, that might be a better place to practice. How much do wooden sticks run?

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02-23-2010, 11:33 AM
  #23
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Originally Posted by SabreTooth3539 View Post
I have a big garage too that has smooth concrete, that might be a better place to practice. How much do wooden sticks run?
Is this place close to you? Phone them

http://maps.google.ca/maps/place?hl=...97370982671319

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02-23-2010, 11:39 AM
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tarheelhockey
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Originally Posted by SabreTooth3539 View Post
I have a big garage too that has smooth concrete, that might be a better place to practice. How much do wooden sticks run?
Mine cost $40 brand new, I felt like I overpaid a bit but it had by far the best feel of the ones I tried. From what I have seen on craigslist and ebay, you can easily find a wooden stick for $20 or less.

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02-23-2010, 11:48 AM
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Check your local rink to see what level beginner really is. The rink I am at has a Beginner league that truly is a beginner league and then a slightly elevated Beginner Plus.

Doesn't hurt to go talk to someone at the rink or even sit and watch one of the games. Just watching the game you should be able to tell if it is something you can participate in.

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