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Adult Clinic Woes

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Old
05-01-2013, 11:26 AM
  #26
ZajacsShakes
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Where are you located?

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05-01-2013, 11:45 AM
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JoeyB
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I'm in the suburbs outside northeast Philadelphia.

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05-01-2013, 11:47 AM
  #28
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I'm in the suburbs outside northeast Philadelphia.
Don't really know much about the hockey scene there. If you where in Atlantic Canada/Maine, I could help you find a group.

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05-01-2013, 12:58 PM
  #29
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Originally Posted by JoeyB View Post
This is definitely something I've noticed as well. There is very, very little around here that seems directed towards beginner players. The overall vibe is one of, if you didn't grow up in the sport, we don't have anything for you.
This is both the blessing and the curse of hockey culture. It has a strong core-community that keeps the game accessable at a grass roots level, but the core-community is so insular that it inhibits the growth of the game.

I think the problem is not that the game is inaccessable to beginners, its that it is inaccessable to adult beginners.

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05-01-2013, 01:45 PM
  #30
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Originally Posted by JoeyB View Post
I'm in the suburbs outside northeast Philadelphia.
Sorry to hear about all your issues. Maybe beginner classes will start picking up at the rinks in your area. Keep looking around for ones as new ones seem to be popping up around Chicago all the time and it was not always like that. When I started playing 3 years ago there were only a couple adult clinics and now it seems like every rink in the area has one.

The main rink in Chicago has 3 levels of clinics and they break it up into skill levels. If they think you are too good they will bump you up or kick you out and refund your money. They'll tell you that up front. They have 101, 102, and then Instructional. The classes are so popular that they have to do a lottery for new guys. I'm in their Instructional class now and when I first took it the class was full of ringers who were all buddies so I know how ****** that can feel. The class has actually gotten better over time and I really enjoy it now but it was a tough go at first.

Don't let these guys get you down about hockey. Find a place to keep playing.

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05-02-2013, 02:24 PM
  #31
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Man that's pretty brutal. Especially the scrimmage thing, it should be a universal rule that if guys are leaving and one bench gets short then you swap players to even it out.

In comparison I had a really good experience starting out my hockey career in Calgary. Starting out with power skating lessons I went to a place called Tucker hockey run by a guy who I think played a bit in Europe, awesome skater but only 5'5". There were always 4-5 other instructors on the ice to assist you with drills as required, and while it was a mixed group with some variety of skills - pure beginners to a few decent skaters, you were giving a coloured jersey at the start of the program so skill level was dispersed between the two sides randomly. Scrimmaging was held for the last 15 minutes of every class, playing 4 on 4 and posts to score (no goalies). There wasn't any on ice instruction but they kept things running smoothly because every minute the instructor would blow the whistle and everyone on the ice would change up. So you got a two minute rest then went back out their for your minute, was a great way to start getting the hang of the game and add a little bit of fun to each class.

Then when I joined my first league, HNA Calgary, they had an awesome beginners intake program. Probably helped a lot that there always seemed to be plenty of new players, enough to make a few teams each season. They take all the new guys and randomly sort them into new teams, then run you through a 12 week training program with your team where your on the ice with one of the other new teams before being placed in the beginners division. In the training your on the ice with your team and one of your fellow new teams, where they run you through some basic individual power skating and a variety of team drills before letting you scrimmage against the other guys for the last 20 minutes.

In my case I was able to join in January, there were enough guys to make 3 new teams for the beginners intake program, and one training was done we got to play the last 8 games of the winter season. Even if there were some lopsided games against the more experienced beginner teams we got plenty of competitive games against the other two new teams who we were already familiar with.

Only downside in my experience was that my team got the bad luck of the draw for our goalie, the guy was just horrible . Not because he was a complete beginner and just flat out sucked, it was actually worse than that. See the guy played a long time I think and probably used to be a decent goalie, you could certainly see signs of it, but he was just getting too old for it and his body couldn't hold out for more than a few minutes before he stopped moving. I mean have you ever seen a goalie play a breakaway going into the butterfly on his goal line? The first winter season was okay but in the summer season we started losing games by 15 goals so it was time to switch goalies.

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Old
05-03-2013, 10:19 AM
  #32
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Originally Posted by RandV View Post
Man that's pretty brutal. Especially the scrimmage thing, it should be a universal rule that if guys are leaving and one bench gets short then you swap players to even it out. ...
Man I'm jealous of what you guys got going up there in Canada!

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05-03-2013, 02:23 PM
  #33
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My personal experience is that most hockey players don't really care about the experience of other players, especially those that are below their level.

You yourself can do something about your experience, change jerseys and go to the other team.

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05-03-2013, 03:36 PM
  #34
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Got a black jersey? At least you have an option of going to a clinic. My area doesn't have any adult clinics. Every hockey camp here has an age cap of 17. It's terrible. I'm not an absolute beginner as I played as a kid, but I would love to go to a power skating camp to improve my technique.

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05-05-2013, 01:15 PM
  #35
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Originally Posted by Wooty View Post
My personal experience is that most hockey players don't really care about the experience of other players, especially those that are below their level.

You yourself can do something about your experience, change jerseys and go to the other team.
I have a black jersey, so I could jump ship, but what would be the point? I'd just be stacking the other bench even higher, and it's unlikely that the high-quality players are going to pass to me when they could just pass to each other.

Plus, it seems like a pretty cheap way out.

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05-05-2013, 01:19 PM
  #36
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Originally Posted by PinkEye View Post
I've been thinking all day about how I want to word this so here it goes.

This is coming from the perspective a more experienced (but not necessarily skilled) player.

My advice to you is to just keep practicing. With time you'll slowly start progressing and at the very least keep up with us guys who have played our entire lives. I work 9-5 Mon-Fri like most people and sometimes the only extra ice time I can find are during the adult clinics. Do I get some sort of sick joy out of playing against guys below my level? No. I'm just like you, still trying to get better even to this day so I need all the ice time I can get. I'm not out there to coach or coddle other players I'm out there to have fun and work on my game. I play on a rec team just like a lot of other players so sometimes my teammates/friends will come out with me and we want to play together to work on chemistry.

Anyways, just wanted to offer my insight from the other side of things.
There's nothing wrong with experienced players coming to beginner clinic, and there's nothing wrong with them bringing their friends. What's wrong is when an entire team is made up of those players, every week, and the other team is not. Then it's no longer about you "working on your game", it's about either A) the coaches not giving a ****, or B) You getting your jollies off.

This is not a one-time thing. This is 7 straight weeks now of complete lopsided domination.

As for coaching and coddling, well, as a skater I'll never ask you to. But if you show up to something advertised as a beginner's clinic, and you start smoking people on the ice, the coach might want to step in or you might think about toning it back. I don't know about your area, but there's plenty of ice team around here for experienced guys and very little for beginners.

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05-06-2013, 12:01 AM
  #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PinkEye View Post
I've been thinking all day about how I want to word this so here it goes.

This is coming from the perspective a more experienced (but not necessarily skilled) player.

My advice to you is to just keep practicing. With time you'll slowly start progressing and at the very least keep up with us guys who have played our entire lives. I work 9-5 Mon-Fri like most people and sometimes the only extra ice time I can find are during the adult clinics. Do I get some sort of sick joy out of playing against guys below my level? No. I'm just like you, still trying to get better even to this day so I need all the ice time I can get. I'm not out there to coach or coddle other players I'm out there to have fun and work on my game. I play on a rec team just like a lot of other players so sometimes my teammates/friends will come out with me and we want to play together to work on chemistry.

Anyways, just wanted to offer my insight from the other side of things.
I understand your point and I don't want to sound like an A-hole or anything... but an "Adult Beginner's" clinic isn't meant for you, right? You and your friends aren't "adult beginners". It'd be one thing if you were just there working on drills and stuff, but once the scrimmage starts it kind of ruins the integrity or the point of it, no?

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05-06-2013, 05:43 AM
  #38
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What if you all wore black jerseys... Do you think they are self aware enough/care enough to get the message?

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05-07-2013, 01:28 PM
  #39
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Originally Posted by Fanned On It View Post
I understand your point and I don't want to sound like an A-hole or anything... but an "Adult Beginner's" clinic isn't meant for you, right? You and your friends aren't "adult beginners". It'd be one thing if you were just there working on drills and stuff, but once the scrimmage starts it kind of ruins the integrity or the point of it, no?
I agree with this.

If you show up to this with your buddies and you all play on the same team then you are part of the problem.

No one expects you to coach, but you should not be loading up with your buddies for a scrimmage. This is not the place to work on your chemistry. In fact it would probably be counterproductive because it will seem like you have better chemistry against beginners and that probably won't carry over against better ones. You and your buddies should be splitting up on either side so you can challenge each other.

Why does it seem like guys always forget what it is like to just start out at this game and how uncomfortable it feels to be getting blown away by guys better than you? If a beginner goes to an open rat or plays in a league it is on him or her. If they go to a beginners clinic they should expect to play in a comfortable environment without sandbaggers.

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05-07-2013, 02:56 PM
  #40
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Originally Posted by ChiTownHawks View Post
I agree with this.

If you show up to this with your buddies and you all play on the same team then you are part of the problem.

No one expects you to coach, but you should not be loading up with your buddies for a scrimmage. This is not the place to work on your chemistry. In fact it would probably be counterproductive because it will seem like you have better chemistry against beginners and that probably won't carry over against better ones. You and your buddies should be splitting up on either side so you can challenge each other.

Why does it seem like guys always forget what it is like to just start out at this game and how uncomfortable it feels to be getting blown away by guys better than you? If a beginner goes to an open rat or plays in a league it is on him or her. If they go to a beginners clinic they should expect to play in a comfortable environment without sandbaggers.
Yeah that's pretty much how I look at it.

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05-29-2013, 01:10 AM
  #41
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Originally Posted by Jarick View Post
Had the opposite happen to me. Signed up for a 10-week clinic to work on intermediate skills and half the class was beginners with a few that couldn't skate.
This is my issue and the fact that I can't find anything for adults other than "learn to play". The only thing I've found in my area are clinics with high school kids or doing one of the 3 adult hockey camps that I know of which are expensive.

It seems that most adult players just want to play games. Probably why the majority never get any better.

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05-29-2013, 09:45 AM
  #42
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I've done the odd true beginner clinics for ice time and I absolutely hate the scrimmages. I just sit back on D and pass the puck. I'm there for the drills not the scrimmage.

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05-29-2013, 09:48 AM
  #43
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Originally Posted by Guffaw View Post
This is my issue and the fact that I can't find anything for adults other than "learn to play". The only thing I've found in my area are clinics with high school kids or doing one of the 3 adult hockey camps that I know of which are expensive.

It seems that most adult players just want to play games. Probably why the majority never get any better.
games are more fun obviously but I try and do at least a 1:1 ratio of games to clinics. I even dropped one league for the summer so I could focus on a clinic and doing a Laura Stamm powerskating session. I'm getting a bit better but it's much more incremental than when I started 3 years ago when I made a lot of progress. Unfortunately I'm aslo fighting age as I'm in my late 40s . . .

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05-29-2013, 10:43 AM
  #44
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Originally Posted by windycity View Post
I've done the odd true beginner clinics for ice time and I absolutely hate the scrimmages. I just sit back on D and pass the puck. I'm there for the drills not the scrimmage.
kinda with you on this one. I don't mind scrimmaging at the end, but if it's kept short. I blow out my energy on the drills, and when you only have 6-8 skaters anyways, what's the fun in scrimmaging for an hour?

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05-29-2013, 10:58 AM
  #45
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kinda with you on this one. I don't mind scrimmaging at the end, but if it's kept short. I blow out my energy on the drills, and when you only have 6-8 skaters anyways, what's the fun in scrimmaging for an hour?
QFT. That is one thing I really didn't like when I was doing the clinic that the OP mentioned. It's one thing to scrimmage for 15-20 minutes after an hour of drills/learning, but they do 6 weeks like that and then 6 weeks of what is basically open hockey for twice as much as you'd normally pay for open hockey.

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05-29-2013, 11:43 AM
  #46
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I've done the odd true beginner clinics for ice time and I absolutely hate the scrimmages. I just sit back on D and pass the puck. I'm there for the drills not the scrimmage.
I agree. I do a couple of sessions a week where it's drills followed by a bit of scrimmage.

Drills are great. I focus on my own skating, stickhandling, etc. I try to do things slowly and properly rather than rushing through just to get them over with (unless, of course, it's a speed drill). This is my time to challenge myself and actually get better.

Scrimmage...meh. I play two league games each week, so that's really enough game time for me. In the league games, people have lines, positions, they pass, etc. The scrimmage after the beginner class - well, let's say that it's a bunch of bees flying wildly after the queen. People line up for the faceoff, but after that it's usually at least 8 people chasing after the puck. The other 2 are usually people who have an idea of how to play and they try to play positional, but eventually give up - if you stay where you're supposed to be, you'll NEVER see the puck because it never occurs to the other people on your team that passing is an actual thing, to be used in game situations. Sure, we do passing drills all the time - but it's one of those things that's fine in theory but never to be used in a game situation!

I don't want to practice skating at the puck for an entire shift, I want to practice giving/receiving passes, cycling the puck, looking for teammates in a better position to take a shot, etc. But that's not really what post-drill scrimmage at a beginner class is about, is it?

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05-29-2013, 01:30 PM
  #47
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Sorry to hear that. There are definitely dickish players around that need that sense of elitism. Here in northern NJ we have a clique of players that have ruined open morning hockey for the most part. You would think its the university players but its older guys, 40 and up.

I've become a worse player going to it but it fit my schedule. Now I'm happy to have dropped it as there's always more hockey around.

No matter what level you're at steer clear of the negative.

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06-01-2013, 01:16 PM
  #48
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games are more fun obviously but I try and do at least a 1:1 ratio of games to clinics. I even dropped one league for the summer so I could focus on a clinic and doing a Laura Stamm powerskating session. I'm getting a bit better but it's much more incremental than when I started 3 years ago when I made a lot of progress. Unfortunately I'm aslo fighting age as I'm in my late 40s . . .
Glad to see there's another old guy tryiing to get better You've got me by a few,but I hear u on the age thing. Ill be 41 in October. I swear that my game gets a little smarter and more patient every year, but that I also lose a fraction of a step every year. It seems to balance out with me remaining the same level player

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06-07-2013, 08:53 AM
  #49
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Hey JoeyB, I'm curious how things ended up. Did you say anything? Did things improve at all (whether or not you decided to voice your concerns)?
I'm thinking about doing the next round of their clinic since FSZ seems to be giving up on adult skills for the summer and I'm getting frustrated waiting 2-3 weeks between ice times.

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06-13-2013, 11:42 AM
  #50
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Well, to revisit the original post again, I did end up going to the clinic this past Tuesday. I found it a little different form the last time I had done it (there's a new hockey staff in place) but it was still a good time in my experience. There was a mix of skill ranges from a few guys who could pretty much barely skate to a couple guys who were solid B-league level and most of the group in between those extremes. The coaches were giving individual attention to the more beginner-level guys who were having trouble executing skating maneuvers, which I thought was cool (even though in my case it meant that I didn't really get any pointers, since I seem to be just good enough to be kind of getting it, but not good enough to be doing the best I possibly could).

I recognized a few faces from a couple years ago, and I didn't see or hear any sh-t talking. Scrimmage (I wore a white jersey) was fairly balanced, with a slight advantage to the "dark side" but nothing over the line.

I do know that the turnout changes after 6 weeks when it's just basically an open hockey session, so I'm just going a week at a time, but it seemed all right this session.

Maybe it's because I was finding myself solidly in the pack skill-level wise, but I didn't experience any problems. JoeyB, if you see this, maybe give this session a shot.

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