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Old
08-15-2011, 12:12 PM
  #1
Wilch
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For those who started late...

And I mean the people who started after they've stuck to a sport for a while, so generally 17+. I'm just taking my skating lessons right now, and I'm 22. Was wondering how long it took you guys to become a competent skater? I try to practice skating whenever I can (about 2-3 times a week, 1.5 hour or so each time).

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08-15-2011, 12:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wilch View Post
And I mean the people who started after they've stuck to a sport for a while, so generally 17+. I'm just taking my skating lessons right now, and I'm 22. Was wondering how long it took you guys to become a competent skater? I try to practice skating whenever I can (about 2-3 times a week, 1.5 hour or so each time).
I started learning how to skate and play ice hockey at the same time when I was in collage (20 yr old) or so, and I would say it took me about 1 year to be able to skate ok going forwards, cross overs, but only able to stop on 1 side. This is with about 2 hours of ice time per week at public skates. After that, it took much much longer to progress and learn to stop on my other side, backwards skating, backwards cross overs, transition from forwards to backawards. I think we tend to make huge leaps at the beginning and then your learning kinda slows down, but keep at it.

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08-15-2011, 12:49 PM
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SaintAnton
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If you have someone to help you and that kind of practice you could be feeling pretty good about your skating in 1-2 years. I've seen a few guys start up from scratch work hard and become better than average skaters in that time both had very high fitness levels.

I assume if you can go pretty hard for 90minutes straight you'd be in good enough shape to pull it off. All luck to you.

Also don't be discouraged if it doesn't happen quickly I know guys who have been skating over 4 years and still struggle with some basics like stopping on both sides (very tricky without a lot of practice thank god for line drills as a kid ).

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08-15-2011, 01:39 PM
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I started when I was 28, last August, so I am just coming up to a year on skates. I would say that I am close to competent. I can stop great on one side and ok on another, but I just need a little more practice on the one side and should have it soon. I can do forward crossovers, but not backwards ones. I play in a beginners league and in game situations I would say that I am in the top 10 of skaters in the league. I think in another year I will be very strong on my skates in almost all situations. I would say that I skate at least once, more often twice, and sometimes three times a week though. And I have not taken a week off without skating yet. So it has been a lot of hard work, but there is nothing like being able to play ice hockey after watching it for so long.

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08-15-2011, 01:39 PM
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Wilch
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Thankfully I'm not starting from scratch. I skated a bit when I was in elementary, but stopped skating since then. And yeah, I find that my left leg isn't as dexterous as my right. I find it a tad harder to do stops with my left foot. I think it's a lot easier to learn skating when you have your protective gear on in an ice rink with very few people.

Right now I'm taking lessons, hopefully that'll speed things up for me a bit. Was wondering when you guys found it adequate to start playing hockey? I was thinking as soon as I get my hockey stop for both feet and backwards skating right, I'm going to start picking up hockey.

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08-15-2011, 01:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wilch View Post
Thankfully I'm not starting from scratch. I skated a bit when I was in elementary, but stopped skating since then. And yeah, I find that my left leg isn't as dexterous as my right. I find it a tad harder to do stops with my left foot. I think it's a lot easier to learn skating when you have your protective gear on in an ice rink with very few people.

Right now I'm taking lessons, hopefully that'll speed things up for me a bit. Was wondering when you guys found it adequate to start playing hockey? I was thinking as soon as I get my hockey stop for both feet and backwards skating right, I'm going to start picking up hockey.
I think you can probably start soon so long as it is a beginners league or you could get discouraged by the pace of play. I have guys on my team that don't know how to stop or skate properly and I view them as a liability so you don't want to be that guy. I am sure you'll know when you are ready though.

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08-15-2011, 03:05 PM
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if you have the funds, and the space to do it don't forget that rollerblades will allow you to work on some of your skating. crossovers, foreward and backward, transitions, even edge work, (as far as balance) can be replicated off ice. now obviously you can't work on stops but these other things will help you accelerate your own learning curve.

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08-15-2011, 03:28 PM
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If you can skate forward and stop then that's plenty enough to start playing as a winger.

Don't worry about being defence until you're alot more confident in your skating. Which pretty much means you can skate backwards and transition between forward and backwards while in motion.

Also, just depends on the group you find to play with. If it's geared towards beginner then you're probably ready to start playing.

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08-15-2011, 03:52 PM
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The Spicy Shrimp
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If you can skate forward and stop then that's plenty enough to start playing as a winger.

Don't worry about being defence until you're alot more confident in your skating. Which pretty much means you can skate backwards and transition between forward and backwards while in motion.

Also, just depends on the group you find to play with. If it's geared towards beginner then you're probably ready to start playing.
Tell this to the guys in my league! It's beginner, but some guys who play D can barely skate forward.

To contribute, I learned how to do most everything (crossover, two foot turns, stops and starts) before I ever picked up a stick. Take that year or so and get the basics down so you won't fall on your face when you try to pass or shoot (like some of the other guys in my league).

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08-15-2011, 04:50 PM
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I learned to play & skate in my mid 20's. I played only 1 game a week for about 30 weeks each year and was on and off for 2-3 years at a time due to previous injuries. Now in my 40's I've felt better and have been playing 1x week and practicing(stick time/lesson/adult skills classes) 2x week the past year. I've also practiced stickhandling/shotting drills off-ice (get a shooting pad,net,pucks and a green biscuit,smarthockey ball,golf ball). My skill level has increased dramatically in 1 year due to this. Best thing to improve fast is to get on the ice as many times each week as possible and make sure more of those times are practice/skills sessions. Just playing games will limit how fast you progress. Good luck, it's fun to see how much better you can become with a little extra practice time.

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08-15-2011, 05:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Wilch View Post
Thankfully I'm not starting from scratch. I skated a bit when I was in elementary, but stopped skating since then.
I was the same way, and it was a huge advantage over people who started late the way I did (27 for ice). You'll be fine as long as you get on the ice at least 2x per week. Shoot for 3x.

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08-15-2011, 06:35 PM
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I'm still learning and havn't played a single game yet. The path I'm taking is - I'm taking all the standard classes I can (adult beginners hockey, adult hockey 2 (adds skating w/ sticks), and then adult hockey 3 (hour long class doing drills I guess)). After all that, I hope I'm not the guy that gets stuck playing defense because I can skate backwards. At the age of 37, I have to go to work the next day and so will everyone else. I don't want to get hurt or end up hurting someone else because my skills arn't there. Not to mention that classes and leagues both cost money and plenty of it so I might as well wait till I can get the most for my money.

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08-15-2011, 07:25 PM
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I don't want to get hurt or end up hurting someone else because my skills arn't there. Not to mention that classes and leagues both cost money and plenty of it so I might as well wait till I can get the most for my money.
Why don't you look into a low level pickup and go at your own pace? Nobody's gonna get mad at you if you take it easy to start. I noticed my skills improved MUCH more rapidly by playing in actual games, rather than just practicing.

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08-15-2011, 07:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wilch View Post
And I mean the people who started after they've stuck to a sport for a while, so generally 17+. I'm just taking my skating lessons right now, and I'm 22. Was wondering how long it took you guys to become a competent skater? I try to practice skating whenever I can (about 2-3 times a week, 1.5 hour or so each time).
That's a good amount of practice, so you should see progress every week, I'd think. The more you push yourself to do the things that are harder for you, the more quickly you will get your legs to figure it out.

I started playing hockey about 6 months after I started working on my skating, and I was able to do alright. It's been about a year for me now, and while I'm still not as fast as I'd like to be, the transitions just about automatic, which I think is one of the hardest parts. I'm signed up for an intermediate hockey class which will start next week, and I'm curious to finally have some formal instruction and see how I can improve.

The skating lessons should help a lot. When you're at public skate, make sure you're not just going in circles - hockey skating has a lot of changing directions fast. When I practice I like to zig-zag alternating backwards and forwards all around the rink. Or do the figure eights where you're always facing one direction and have to keep doing transitions. I often see new hockey players just doing laps and I think it's kind of a waste of ice time. Put on some padding and force yourself to do the hard stuff and you'll be a great skater in no time.

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08-15-2011, 10:53 PM
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Albino14u
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Originally Posted by kr580 View Post
Why don't you look into a low level pickup and go at your own pace? Nobody's gonna get mad at you if you take it easy to start. I noticed my skills improved MUCH more rapidly by playing in actual games, rather than just practicing.
Right now I'm going to Father and Son stick and puck time with my 4 year old and we're having a blast. I'm going to mix in some non-kid stick N puck times real soon and then do some pickup games before I enter a draft for a low level league. I don't think they distinguish between low level pickup hockey here and any other level of pickup hockey, its just first come first serve.

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08-15-2011, 11:18 PM
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Wilch
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That's a good amount of practice, so you should see progress every week, I'd think. The more you push yourself to do the things that are harder for you, the more quickly you will get your legs to figure it out.

I started playing hockey about 6 months after I started working on my skating, and I was able to do alright. It's been about a year for me now, and while I'm still not as fast as I'd like to be, the transitions just about automatic, which I think is one of the hardest parts. I'm signed up for an intermediate hockey class which will start next week, and I'm curious to finally have some formal instruction and see how I can improve.

The skating lessons should help a lot. When you're at public skate, make sure you're not just going in circles - hockey skating has a lot of changing directions fast. When I practice I like to zig-zag alternating backwards and forwards all around the rink. Or do the figure eights where you're always facing one direction and have to keep doing transitions. I often see new hockey players just doing laps and I think it's kind of a waste of ice time. Put on some padding and force yourself to do the hard stuff and you'll be a great skater in no time.
Yeah, I think one of the biggest issue for a lot of people who wants to practice is the amount of traffic in the rink, which is why I usually go either 10am or 6pm where there's a lot fewer skaters on the ice. Having a pair of hockey pants and paddings certainly allow some to improve faster too, as they can spend more time worrying about techniques rather than about not falling on their faces.

I'm currently in China, and my shipment of hockey protective gear is just about to arrive. I'll definitely be wearing those to my skate sessions.

Right now I'm working on getting my backwards skating balance right and hockey stops. I'm hoping I can master those by the end of September then I'll be moving on to transitions and tight turns.

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08-15-2011, 11:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wilch View Post
And I mean the people who started after they've stuck to a sport for a while, so generally 17+. I'm just taking my skating lessons right now, and I'm 22. Was wondering how long it took you guys to become a competent skater? I try to practice skating whenever I can (about 2-3 times a week, 1.5 hour or so each time).
I'm 26 and started skating in December. I'd say I'm fairly good now and above the curve for sure. I put in similar time to you and it will pay off eventually. Rollerblading as a kid helped... especially with crossovers and the forward stride. After 8 months, I'd say I've gotten everything down except backwards skating + backwards crossovers. I haven't practiced them as much though.

Keep working at it and you will be blowing by your beginner colleagues in no time.

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08-15-2011, 11:56 PM
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I played a high level of roller hockey in high school then stopped when I graduated. I then picked up ice hockey 10 years later (I'm 28) and it took me about 3 months before I was able to hold my own.

I did around 10 free skates, just to get the hang of things. Doing snow plows, and the simple stuff. Then I did stick time a few times a week for a few weeks, then jumped into a level 5 (lowest is 6) beer league where I was the worst player in the league. By game 10 (game a week) I was on the top line.

So the learning curve is very steep (for me at least).

Main thing is to find empty sheets of ice so you can make an ass out of yourself and not feel self conscious.

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08-16-2011, 01:04 AM
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kr580
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Albino14u View Post
Right now I'm going to Father and Son stick and puck time with my 4 year old and we're having a blast. I'm going to mix in some non-kid stick N puck times real soon and then do some pickup games before I enter a draft for a low level league. I don't think they distinguish between low level pickup hockey here and any other level of pickup hockey, its just first come first serve.
Oh, that's too bad if hockey is just lumped into All-Level. Stick N Pucks are definitely good too.

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08-16-2011, 06:15 AM
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Why don't you look into a low level pickup and go at your own pace? Nobody's gonna get mad at you if you take it easy to start. I noticed my skills improved MUCH more rapidly by playing in actual games, rather than just practicing.
I'm not saying your wrong, but traditionally this is not the case. Look at your ice time, shots taken, and especially actual seconds handling the puck during a game. You'll be surprised at how low it is.

Games= Show what you've learned

Practice= Where you improve your skating, passing, shooting, and stick handling.

If I'm off during the day I try and find the lightest turnout open hockey I can and do my own thing. Practice isn't fun, but it's how you get better.

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08-16-2011, 12:28 PM
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I'm not saying your wrong, but traditionally this is not the case. Look at your ice time, shots taken, and especially actual seconds handling the puck during a game. You'll be surprised at how low it is.

Games= Show what you've learned

Practice= Where you improve your skating, passing, shooting, and stick handling.

If I'm off during the day I try and find the lightest turnout open hockey I can and do my own thing. Practice isn't fun, but it's how you get better.
I think you're both right. During stick and puck, I will get a lot more experience with the actual puck, but during games, I'm forced to skate faster and make quick turns. It's harder to replicate that pressure in practice by yourself. So just do both!

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08-16-2011, 07:36 PM
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I think you're both right. During stick and puck, I will get a lot more experience with the actual puck, but during games, I'm forced to skate faster and make quick turns. It's harder to replicate that pressure in practice by yourself. So just do both!
That's a good point and I'll agree that you need both to become a better player

Skating is the skill that gets the most work during a game. On the other side look at stick handling and shooting. I take about ~3-8 shots a game and have the puck on my stick for under a minute total. Studies have shown that in 60 min. youth games the average player handles the puck for under 30 sec. a game.

Everybody just wants to play games and that's why most people don't get any better. Men's leagues don't practice so for me it's find a corner of a deserted open hockey, camp/clinic, use my time in warm-ups, or do something off-ice.

People that practice skills get better. People that play games only go from that beginner level to intermediate and stay there forever. I know because I'm one of them. Signed- need practice time!

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08-16-2011, 10:15 PM
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The key to going to a stick & puck time is to bust you arse out there. Don't lolligag around, shooting the puck softly. That's what 90% do. Do skating drills, shooting drills, skate/pass and a shot drills to mimic game situations and skate as hard as you are capable of. When you shoot, shoot as hard as you can. Bury that puck in the net. Watch drills on youtube or buy a drills book and take it with you and do them. Doing them as hard and fast as you can will push you so when those faster and harder times occur in a game it is now instinctive. If there any adult skills classes take them. Coach will run you ragged. Or bring a friend to stick n puck to be your personal drill sergeant to make sure you push yourself.

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08-17-2011, 01:35 AM
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kr580
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I'm not saying your wrong, but traditionally this is not the case.
I didn't say it was the case for anyone else, just that's what worked for me. I know what you mean though. Sadly there's not a lot of practice to be had here. There's only one sticktime session a week and it's packed with no room to do anything very useful.

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08-17-2011, 02:41 AM
  #25
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I learned how to skate a year ago. Started goaltending as well, played only shinny and averaged 2x a week (since school ended 3x a week), and now i'm competent enough to compete for a spot on a Jr. C team.

As for skating I can only skate backwards via C cuts, no cross over yet. Going forward i can only cross over to the left, and not to the right as well.

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