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The Hockey Noob Chronicles II (Beginners' Thread)

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07-24-2013, 02:37 AM
  #526
rickjames
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Hello all, first timer as well.

Thought I'd try give things a go after becoming truly addicted this season; bought some Bauer T1s and enrolled on a six week learn to skate course at my nearest rink which is about an hour away. There's 10 levels on the Skate UK curriculum as such, after six weeks I got to level 3 which I suppose isn't too bad. The course has ended now and I'm just going every week until there's a new set of courses up I can continue on.

Main problem is skating backwards and trying to get my legs moving well, so stressful. Seemed to got the hang of sculling OK though, so I guess it's just a matter of practice etc. Yeah.

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07-24-2013, 02:38 AM
  #527
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Originally Posted by stocky View Post
I think you will do just fine. I have never been to an clinics or classes (would like to go eventually), but it from what I here its rare to find one with only "true" beginners. I have only been playing regularly for the last 3 months or so. I play with some guys in a "novice" pickup league most guys have been playing for 5ish years, and my game has improved a lot (not that its great, but still a little better) The most important thing with getting on (or back on) the ice is to just get out there! 99% of the guys out there just want to have some fun and play some hockey, and will be helpful to you if you have any questions. Some classes couldn't hurt though...
Oh good, sounds perfect to what I need! God, this has been such a long time coming. I was fanatical about playing when I was a kid, and it was so heartbreaking when my mum couldn't afford to let me join a team. It's way more expensive to join a club/get gear over here in Australia, which sucks. So I'm very excited to be able to be in America and finally be able to play!

Thank you for being so helpful btw, its so great to chat with people like this. At my old rink, everyone had a really similar attitude of, "you're a skater, I'm a skater, we're family!" which I love. But every rink I've been to since, people are quite stuck up. I hate it!

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07-24-2013, 03:02 AM
  #528
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Originally Posted by rickjames View Post
There's 10 levels on the Skate UK curriculum as such, after six weeks I got to level 3 which I suppose isn't too bad.
You wanna get on a learn to skate for hockey course soon. Also just skate, skate, skate, teach yourself crossovers and hockey stops (both of these on both sides) and you'll be getting yourself ready to play beginner hockey. Are there any 'learn to play' courses near you?

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07-24-2013, 03:18 AM
  #529
rickjames
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Around London? I can't think of anywhere in particular but I imagine it'd be useful.

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07-24-2013, 08:45 AM
  #530
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Thanks man! I'm moving in with a friend who currently lives around near Lawrenceville....I think? Somewhere in that area. But we'll probably be moving by the time I get over there. I'm not so good with American geography yet, but I will definitely come back with more info when I have it!

My problem is, by the time I move over my skating will be up to it's old standards again (pretty strong), but I still haven't played hockey before. Would I be suited to an absolute beginners class? I'm terrified of doing all the classic noob mistakes; holding the stick wrong, looking like a complete idiot haha!
well, the one I'm talking about has a wide range of skating. There are pure beginners, intermediates, and a couple of rink guards/skating instructors in there. Most are new to hockey, but many aren't new to skating. It seems a very easy going group, so I think you'd do fine.

The area around me has lots of adult clinics, and they vary. Here's what I've seen:

Protec Hockey Women's clinic- beginner/intermediate level, friendly small group. pretty even mix of skating technique, beginner hockey, and scrimmage

Protec Hockey Adult clinic- beginner and intermediate mixed. This clinic is very game situation focused. Lots of scrimmaging

Aspen Ice Flemington Adult Clinic- beginner and intermediate mixed. This one is very technique focused, no scrimmaging and limited game situations. Probably about 30 minutes of edge and stride work at the beginning every week

Bridgewater Sports Arena Adult clinic- good mix of technique and game situations. Often a pretty small group, so many times the lessons are oriented around dealing with specific issues people are having

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07-24-2013, 04:50 PM
  #531
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Originally Posted by JagrsMullet View Post
Whoa you bought TotalONE's as a beginner skate? Sorry but that was a bad call.
Care to elaborate?

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07-24-2013, 05:09 PM
  #532
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Well i am close to ending my deployment and i contacted my team captain, even though it looks like they are doing better this season they still want me back! good feeling.

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07-24-2013, 06:14 PM
  #533
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well, the one I'm talking about has a wide range of skating. There are pure beginners, intermediates, and a couple of rink guards/skating instructors in there. Most are new to hockey, but many aren't new to skating. It seems a very easy going group, so I think you'd do fine.

The area around me has lots of adult clinics, and they vary. Here's what I've seen:

Protec Hockey Women's clinic- beginner/intermediate level, friendly small group. pretty even mix of skating technique, beginner hockey, and scrimmage

Protec Hockey Adult clinic- beginner and intermediate mixed. This clinic is very game situation focused. Lots of scrimmaging

Aspen Ice Flemington Adult Clinic- beginner and intermediate mixed. This one is very technique focused, no scrimmaging and limited game situations. Probably about 30 minutes of edge and stride work at the beginning every week

Bridgewater Sports Arena Adult clinic- good mix of technique and game situations. Often a pretty small group, so many times the lessons are oriented around dealing with specific issues people are having
Thanks dude! I might just start with that first one and see where I want to go from there. I have to figure out what rink I'll be closest too, my friend says there's one just around the corner from where she lives. Rinks are pretty common per suburb in America, right? There's only about three here in the whole of Sydney!

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07-25-2013, 03:50 AM
  #534
rickjames
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Whoa you bought TotalONE's as a beginner skate? Sorry but that was a bad call.
I'm an idiot, Vapor TIs. They seemed like the reasonable beginner pair to go for right?

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07-25-2013, 06:24 AM
  #535
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Originally Posted by rickjames View Post
I'm an idiot, Vapor TIs. They seemed like the reasonable beginner pair to go for right?
I don't know how low on the skate stiffness a beginner should get but I do know that too stiff a skate won't let you develop. It comes down to many things including weight, strength, skating ability, and probably more that I don't know. Your instructors should be able to tell you if you have the correct stiffness and also if they are tight enough!

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07-25-2013, 06:47 AM
  #536
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I'm relatively small, around 5ft6, 120lbs, pretty narrow feet. Based on the 8 odd weeks I've had them they haven't felt painful apart from the first week where I had a blister on the left side of my heel. Always tight and everything.

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07-25-2013, 08:00 AM
  #537
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Originally Posted by blackat View Post
Thanks dude! I might just start with that first one and see where I want to go from there. I have to figure out what rink I'll be closest too, my friend says there's one just around the corner from where she lives. Rinks are pretty common per suburb in America, right? There's only about three here in the whole of Sydney!
compared to that, yes. NJ has a pretty decent amount of rinks, though they seem to be a bit clustered. I probably have about 8 within reasonable driving range of me. Which makes life a lot easier in dealing with my son's travel league

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07-31-2013, 03:49 AM
  #538
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Okay, an update for anybody that was particularly interested!

My skates finally got sharpened, and I went today to pick them up + have a skate. I realised very quickly the things that were due to the skates being blunt, the things to do with my skates being ill-fitting, and well....the things that I've just lost the ability to do due to not practicing over the past 5 years or so.

Stops were gripping good, I managed to re-teach myself forward cross-overs. However I was having a lot of trouble finding my edges...I'm not sure if this was because I got a pretty medium sharpen (1/2 I think), or because I'm just horribly out of practice. I was trying to do a lot of figure eights, but my inside edges are eluding me. I've also realised I'm ridiculously shoddy at stopping on my opposite leg, to the point where I'm gonna have to re-teach myself all over again.

I'm also aware that my strides are at times uneven and choppy. Is there a good method for this? I'm pretty tall (5'8) and I'm an athletic build, so I have no problem with long strides. It's just getting a good rhythm. Maybe it's just me being out of practice?

I'm going to try and go twice a week to the rink, two hours at a time. Today was good at first, and then the local school finished and the rink was flooded with all these little figure skaters buzzing around! It got so hard to do anything, I just gave up.

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07-31-2013, 07:19 AM
  #539
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Today was good at first, and then the local school finished and the rink was flooded with all these little figure skaters buzzing around! It got so hard to do anything, I just gave up.
Just back from a morning public session, which was full of kids cos of summer holidays. I nearly gave up too but in the end I did a lot of practice weaving around between em - crossovers both sides, tight turns etc and had a great time.

When life give you lemons, make lemonade.

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07-31-2013, 01:38 PM
  #540
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Originally Posted by AntsSheffield View Post
Just back from a morning public session, which was full of kids cos of summer holidays. I nearly gave up too but in the end I did a lot of practice weaving around between em - crossovers both sides, tight turns etc and had a great time.

When life give you lemons, make lemonade.
Gotta be careful with that though. I did that one time and was rockin along weaving in an out of a bunch of them and this kid just decided to pull a right turn on me out of nowhere. To avoid him I had to jog right real quick and ended up piling right through a line of about 5 U10 figure skaters trying to do some sort of rockettes style line. Oh, the carnage. Little bodies everywhere. And me in the corner trying not to laugh my head off.

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07-31-2013, 07:04 PM
  #541
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Haha, I've done the same thing! I find it's sometimes hard to tell when a figure skater is essentially using the whole rink to practice spins which way they'll go. I bumped into one the other week, and my God the dirty look I got....sheesh!

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08-02-2013, 06:36 AM
  #542
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Around London? I can't think of anywhere in particular but I imagine it'd be useful.
London is an absolute pain for ice rinks and any hockey sessions are generally during unsociable hours. I can't believe how few rinks there are. I think Alexandra Palace, Lee Valley in north London and the temporary rink in Brixton in the south (now that the old old Streatham rink has been demolished) are the most accessible if you live centrally. Outside of that, you're talking lengthy trips to Gillingham, Braknell, Romford etc. I've not been skating since the Streatham rink closed 18 months ago, my skates are gathering dust and I really want to get back involved

....maybe I'll check out Brixton over the weekend?

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08-02-2013, 10:49 PM
  #543
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Just got back from my first (informal) ice hockey game...what. A. Blast.

I'm 24, been a hockey fan for years and years and finally got the equipment and found some time to go play. It was an informal scrimmage type deal, probably 16 to 18 people. I was the worse one there, of course, but still had fun. Skated real hard the first two shifts then realized what poor shape I am in . Should be going again next Friday, gotta keep at it if I want to improve! Might try and get some open skate time before the just to get my wind back.

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08-10-2013, 01:44 PM
  #544
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Went out for my first 'real' hockey (inline) session this morning and had a lot of fun. Still trying to get used to shooting from the left but the stickhandling control I get is worth the trade-off until I strengthen my left hand up.

Got roped into an informal pickup game at the end by some other guys who showed up. Didn't do a whole lot and was a bit gassed by then, but it was fun regardless.

Only downside is my feet ached for about 20 minutes afterwards. Hoping that it's just a case of needing to break these skates in, as I've only been out on them a handful of times so far.

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08-10-2013, 07:48 PM
  #545
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First "Stick-Time" session today

I'm 26 and just started an Adult clinic last week. I've never played hockey and just finished taking basic skating lessons. I've been working on my skating for about 6 months now, and I'm progressing, slowly but surely.

Anyway, today was my first "stick-time" session and I noticed something; while skating during a public skate, I'm fine with balance, posture, etc. but once I add the stick and try and work with the puck it all goes out the window.

I have no idea what I'm doing wrong, any advice would be greatly appreciated. Also is there any way to work on this issue off the ice?

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08-11-2013, 08:37 PM
  #546
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Originally Posted by JPT387 View Post
I'm 26 and just started an Adult clinic last week. I've never played hockey and just finished taking basic skating lessons. I've been working on my skating for about 6 months now, and I'm progressing, slowly but surely.

Anyway, today was my first "stick-time" session and I noticed something; while skating during a public skate, I'm fine with balance, posture, etc. but once I add the stick and try and work with the puck it all goes out the window.

I have no idea what I'm doing wrong, any advice would be greatly appreciated. Also is there any way to work on this issue off the ice?
I'm not an expert and hard to know without seeing as your description of the problem is vague but I'm thinking 1. your stick might not be the right length for you and that could be throwing you off as you receive/pass the puck, and/or 2. you might not be bending your knees enough and you're throwing your center of balance off when you reach for the puck. Lastly, adding the stick and puck adds a whole new layer of complexity and it could just be a as simple as you need time to adjust. The puck has a sneaky way of not going exactly where you want it (e.g., in your skates) and managing your balance while trying to get the puck is not easy at first. You might also be holding your hands too close to your body, your should be holding your hands in front of you and not tight to your body.

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08-12-2013, 08:49 AM
  #547
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Maybe it has something to do with where you are looking? Without the stick/puck your head is up and your focus is down ice. I would guess at sticktime your head is down and you're focusing on the puck - it is throwing off your balance/posture/etc. I tend to do the same thing.

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08-12-2013, 10:19 AM
  #548
redbranch
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Maybe it has something to do with where you are looking? Without the stick/puck your head is up and your focus is down ice. I would guess at sticktime your head is down and you're focusing on the puck - it is throwing off your balance/posture/etc. I tend to do the same thing.
this definitely happened to me. I still do it, though not as bad. I practiced a lot of stick handling while watching tv, to help me keep my head up while using a stick. It also helped to remember to lower the hips, not bend at the waist while stick handling

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08-12-2013, 03:14 PM
  #549
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Thanks for the advice

Thanks for all the great advice, I'll definitely give it a try.

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08-13-2013, 12:55 AM
  #550
Sureshotte
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Looks like I figured out my skates problem, and I must give huge kudos for Hockey Giant for their help and patience.

Took them (XR2s) in yesterday and explained the problem. They said they'd bake & punch them and I could come back to pick them up tomorrow. So, I went in today, and unfortunately after a 5 minute skate, noted that the outside of my feet were still experiencing pain.

First port of call was to try an insole based on the CCM 'heat chart' (which said I had medium arches). Had another 5 minute skate on those and didn't notice an improvement - the pain returned.

So, they said I should try on a few more pairs of skates. I tried both Tour LX5s and Reebok 5ks and found that I had no pain with either after another 5 minute skate on each - awesome! In the end, I went for the 5ks and walked out happy in the knowledge my feet would no longer be in agony on my hockey-playing quest. Bearing in mind I've had my XR2s for about a month, they were fantastic in allowing me to exchange them without qualms.

For anyone else in my situation (particularly those with Vapors) - try some other skates! Possibly at Hockey Giant, if you have one nearby?

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