I'm 23 and I've played football all the way until the end of high school when I got hurt. I've missed playing sports and thought I'd never really be able to play a contact sport again. I found hockey as an option after my nephew told me about pick up games and rec leagues, ect.
I've been watching it for a year or so now. I know the rules and the jobs of each position. I just have no experience on the ice. I understand hockey from a viewer standpoint, but very far from a players standpoint.
I just want to play a contact sport again. I don't want to be gods gift to the game, but it would be nice to be competent enough to play in a house league. I'm from the east coast of the US, MD.
Any recommendations for skates for a starter and where to order them?
I can go around the rink on skates, but thats about it. Should I do classes as often as possible?
Here's my quick response.
Skating is everything. You can't do anything else if you're skating is holding you back. That has as much to do with proper fitting skates as it does technique. Go find a local hockey store, and get your skates properly fitted. Next advice is to just skate. Skate as much as possible. I took some classes and it helped big time.
I was almost exactly in your position. Never played before, started about a year ago (age 23), played football etc. feel free to pm me with questions.
The best advise is to start with skating. Attend a skate school, even if it is a figure skating based one as you will learn the basics and most importantly the beginnings of edge control. The school we have here in Australia, while figure centric, takes you from basic to getting ready for hockey (yes they branch of into a hockey 1 and 2 level). The only problem I found is that as an adult they push you through the levels a little too quickly, as soon as you show you can do something once, that is it they move you up.
I started when I was 40 and had never skated before, I started practising hockey about 6 months after I started learning to skate and was at a position where I didn't have to think about the basics of skating, mind you I still think about a few things now (just over a year on) rather than puck handling, but that happens when start playing and learning positional play as well as more advanced requirements of skating skills
While you are learning to skate you can always do off ice practice with puck and stick handling, either with a golf ball, green biscuit or puck on a shooting pad. This gets you used to the feel of the puck on the stick.
Note I am by no means an experience skater or player, but these are the things that have helped me. I also do ice hockey practice once a week with the club I play with and also an additional power skating / skills training with a power skating coach. Every little bit helps.
Skate a lot like other posters have said. Don't even think of contact until you're a good enough skater to handle it. I started skating at outdoor rinks at 15 (I'm 20 now) and I still don't know if I'm ready for contact lol.
It's really the funnest thing you can do. There's hundreds of outdoor rinks here in Edmonton scattered everywhere so I go almost daily. Learning a lot of skating techniques is tough but its well worth it (Backwards crossovers and weak side stops are being a ***** to me right now, lol.)
I've never done classes but I've heard power skating classes can be very helpful. Also, Youtube videos are a good resource, I learned a lot about skating through them.
If you're close enough to Washington DC, there is a Hockey North America league there. What is nice about those leagues is that they have an adult learn to play hockey class, and then that class forms a beginner team, and you play other teams that have formed in previous years. It's cool to learn the game with a group of guys (and girls) and go through the losing together and gradually get better as a team and start winning.
It's a non checking league for the beginners, but non checking does not necessarily mean non contact.