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Ice Skating for the First Time

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07-06-2013, 06:52 PM
  #1
Stereo Dice
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Ice Skating for the First Time

I'm 13, and last night, I went ice skating for the first time. I had no idea how to, and I basically held onto the boards the whole time. Everybody I know who plays hockey says they love it, and I want to play it too.

How long does the learn to skate process take?

Thanks

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07-06-2013, 08:14 PM
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AIREAYE
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lol I know you're just 13, but sit back, re-read your question and think about it.

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07-06-2013, 08:20 PM
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ean
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Originally Posted by Stereo Dice View Post
I'm 13, and last night, I went ice skating for the first time. I had no idea how to, and I basically held onto the boards the whole time. Everybody I know who plays hockey says they love it, and I want to play it too.

How long does the learn to skate process take?

Thanks
Hockey is a lot of fun, and being a good skater will only help you be a better hockey player. I would go to public skate as much as possible and take ice skating lessons. Be comfortable skating forwards, backwards, crossing over, starting and stopping. Then sign up for hockey.

Good luck

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07-06-2013, 08:33 PM
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Stereo Dice
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lol I know you're just 13, but sit back, re-read your question and think about it.
Haha, very funny.

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07-06-2013, 08:47 PM
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AuraSphere
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I started skating 2 years ago, well... just recreational skating. I go skating about every other week (it's been like 2 months since I haven't gone), and I'm not really the best. I can skate, but I can't skate backwards, do cross overs, or none of the fancy stuff.

If you want to play hockey, you'll need to take lessons, with lessons, you'll slowly get better and better, i'd say it should take you about 2-3 years if you practice hard to get good enough for some ice hockey.

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07-06-2013, 10:06 PM
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AIREAYE
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Haha, very funny.
It'll come to you eventually

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07-06-2013, 11:06 PM
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Miami Panther
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I started skating seriously in January (I had skated 10-15 times over the course of as many years) and can stop on both sides, skate backwards and crossover forwards and backwards. Granted I work at an ice arena, so that obviously greatly accelerated my development. If you are serious about playing hockey, I would skate 3-5 times a week for 1-2 hours. It is very important to push yourself within reason and not be afraid to fall. Falling happens to everyone (see Chara a few weeks ago at practice), its how you get better.

edit: forgot to mention that you should pick something to work on each time that you go out to the rink. If you skate around mindlessly, you are wasting your time and not really improving.

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07-07-2013, 02:36 AM
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JoeCool16
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As Miami Panther pointed out, work on something when you're there... when you're just starting, it might be as simple as making sure you cross over each time you each the end boards and turn, if you're just doing public skates. At first they'll seem like an unnecessary chore that just throws you off balance, but eventually they'll become habit and you'll rely on them to keep your speed up.

What'll really help is if you have a lot of space. Just pick a faceoff circle and cross over around and around and around it.... switch to go the other way too, if possible. Go around the entire rink backwards, and then start integrating crossovers there too. Spend an entire session learning how to transition from forwards to backwards and back.

And if there's ever anything you don't know how to do (like, say you don't get how a backwards crossover works) there IS a lesson on youtube that'll show you

But I can't agree enough that you should always go with a plan of what you'll work on in mind. If you're able to go to stick and pucks that'll help too, as you can wear full gear! I find I'm always willing to take more risks training when I'm covered in pads!

I've been skating for ~3 years and I can do it all now (stopping both sides, crossovers forward/backwards, transitions etc etc) although I've got a long ways to go polishing up everywhere. It'll take you probably a few months of fairly constant hard work to get the basics down, and then a year or two before you start to get comfortable I'd say.

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07-07-2013, 04:37 AM
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Regarding falling: skate with some protective equipment, that will take a lot of anxiety away. I used to were an inline girdle and shinguards (the knee-cap is the important piece here) under very wide pants and elbow pads beneath a large hoodie the first few times on public skates, later I switched to wearing them in the open. If you try to reach your limits you will fall, so protect yourself - the style of skating you want to learn is something different from most people at a public skate who want to be able to go in slow, large circles while holding hands (which is legitimate as-well).

: You might also try inline-skating, a lot of the motion carries over between those plus you can do it anywhere.


Last edited by gosinger: 07-07-2013 at 04:39 AM. Reason: Added roller-skating
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07-07-2013, 01:25 PM
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Good tip regarding wearing pads. I see people wearing girdles, shin guards and elbow pads underneath athletic pants and tops/hoodies. You would never know that they are wearing pads until you see them taking the pads off after their skate.

I will second the drills that JoeCool mentioned. I like to skate around each faceoff circle in a figure 8 pattern. I would also definitely recommend looking up some drills on youtube once you find your balance and start to get the hang of it.

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07-07-2013, 02:55 PM
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I got lucky. I grew up rollerblading so when I stepped on the ice for the first ever time (I was around 10-11 years old, even though I didn't start hockey until I was 16) it felt really natural for me to just skate and use my edges pretty well.

Of course, once I got into hockey I had some technique issues to fix, including learning how to actually hockey stop, but I was a halfway decent skater from the get go.

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07-08-2013, 01:49 AM
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Lots of factors go into it. The will to learn is one of the biggest one.

When I first started, I was determined that I would be a great skater. Never once held onto the boards. after about 4-5 public skate sessions i started snow plowing and eventually learned how to stop. Thus, the beginning of my hockey career.

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07-08-2013, 07:42 AM
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#1) wear pads like the others suggested including a helmet. you may get a few folks snickering but you've just got to ignore them. when I was learning to skate I took a spill while transitioning backwards and knocked my head really bad. got a wicked concussion out of it.
#2) if you've got friends who play hockey invite them out to skate with you and ask them to show you the basics. most hockey players love to spread the love of the game around.

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07-08-2013, 09:23 AM
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tarheelhockey
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It really depends on whether you take lessons, or decide try and teach yourself.

If you take lessons, I think you can go from 0 to beginner-level hockey in about 6 months to a year. Depending on how often you practice and what skills you're being taught. It really isn't so bad once you get the fundamentals down -- stride, crossovers, stopping, backing up.

If you decide to teach yourself, it's going to take A LOT longer unless you're literally going out there every day to work on it, and even then you are going to end up with holes in your game. I recommend against teaching yourself if your goal is to play hockey. Not just because you won't be as good of a player, but also as a matter of protecting yourself and others.

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07-08-2013, 11:15 AM
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Jarick
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If you're good at other sports, you'll probably pick it up quickly. Especially if you work on it. I couldn't focus on stuff at 13 like I could in my 20's so I wasted some potential. But if you can get lessons or advice from your friends and keep at it, you should make big progress every time you skate.

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07-08-2013, 08:00 PM
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Stereo Dice
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Miami Panther View Post
I started skating seriously in January (I had skated 10-15 times over the course of as many years) and can stop on both sides, skate backwards and crossover forwards and backwards. Granted I work at an ice arena, so that obviously greatly accelerated my development. If you are serious about playing hockey, I would skate 3-5 times a week for 1-2 hours. It is very important to push yourself within reason and not be afraid to fall. Falling happens to everyone (see Chara a few weeks ago at practice), its how you get better.

edit: forgot to mention that you should pick something to work on each time that you go out to the rink. If you skate around mindlessly, you are wasting your time and not really improving.
I would, but I really can only get to the rink once a week. plus admission is $6 plus $2 skate rental.

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07-08-2013, 08:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Stereo Dice View Post
I would, but I really can only get to the rink once a week. plus admission is $6 plus $2 skate rental.
You can always rollerblade if you are not on the ice. It is different but you will be able to get the stride down, balance, crossover turns to build up speed, etc... Whenever you ice skate take what you learned on roller blades and try to apply it to the ice. It will be a good starting point. From there you can begin learning how to stop and all that good stuff. I feel like it is easier to ice skate than roller blade now because you have more control, meaning you can turn sharper and stop faster. One thing that will really help you on ice is skating with hockey gear on. It will allow you to skate hard and not worry about yourself badly when you fall. You will be able to try things with more confidence than before in pads.

Good luck, and keep skating! All it takes is practice.

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07-08-2013, 09:35 PM
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There must be a kids beginner hockey program in your area - see if your parents will sign you up! There's always kids your age in the beginners program here, and they pick it up very quickly.

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07-09-2013, 07:46 AM
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shoeshine boy
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I would, but I really can only get to the rink once a week. plus admission is $6 plus $2 skate rental.
ok, goal #1 needs to be "buy a pair of semi-decent hockey skates"
not only are rental skates typically low-end skates but they're usually sharpened about once a year. you don't need to spend $800 on the top of the line skate, especially if your feet are still growing but you'll need to plan to spend around $150 to $200. if you have some hockey shops around you go see what they have and see if you can get a skate model from a few years ago on clearance.

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07-09-2013, 08:03 AM
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Depending on how much you want to improve there are also some off ice drills/exercises you can do. youtube is your friend here as well.

Skating is the number 1 skill, but if you want to practice other aspects of hockey buy a cheap stick with a plastic blade and practice stick handling in your driveway or street. You don't need fancy balls or pucks but the green biscuit or smart hockey ball are both nice training aids.

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07-09-2013, 09:45 AM
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tarheelhockey
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stereo Dice View Post
I would, but I really can only get to the rink once a week. plus admission is $6 plus $2 skate rental.
That being the case, you should save up for a pair of skates (as mentioned above) and ask your parents to put you in lessons. It would probably still only be once a week, but you'd get MUCH better MUCH more quickly.

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07-09-2013, 09:51 AM
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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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07-09-2013, 12:43 PM
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Here are a few things to remember.

You will fall as you practice and it's the only way to learn, getting away from the boards.

Also, like other things like riding a bike or skiing, getting a bit of speed actually makes it easier to hold balance and turn as opposed to going slow.

Start by just trying to kick with one skate and glide on the other skate for a bit. Then kick with the other skate and glide.

If lessons and such are a problem cost wise, ask your buddies who do play hockey to come out with you on the rink and give you some pointers. Heck even perfect strangers are happy to help out most of the time.

Find a cute girl who can skate and that's even better.

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