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Old
11-19-2006, 11:20 AM
  #1
SuomiOlli
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Beginner Skater

I have always been a hockey fan, but haven't had the opportunity to play. I have been thinking about picking up a pair of skates, and would like to eventually join an adult league (i'm in my late 20's) here in Pennsylvania. I have skated in open sessions every once in a while, but I am still a beginner. I was wondering how long you guys think it would take to improve my skating to the point that I could hold my own in a league. Do you think if i skated every week this winter, I might be decent enough to join a league next winter? I know its a subjective question, but I am fairly athletic and usually pick things up quickly.

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11-19-2006, 11:27 AM
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Possibly. You have 1 year to learn. Go to some general skates for a while, once you got the standard skating forward and backwards, stopping, cross overs, get your hockey gear and find some skate and shoots. Look for adult clinics, I know my rink has an adult clinic over the winter, even for people that have never laced the skates ever. After they complete the clinic, they are allowed to enter the beginner adult league.

In 1 year going atleast once a week you might be able to, although I would say 2 months before the season starts hit the ice 2-3 times per week if possible.

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11-19-2006, 11:53 AM
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SuomiOlli
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Thanks for your reply. I plan on taking a skating class when it starts up in January. I recently moved to PA, and am not too familiar with the local rinks, and what clinics/leagues they have to offer, but I am looking forward to hitting the ice.

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11-19-2006, 01:40 PM
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Cool stuff.
Good luck.

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11-19-2006, 04:08 PM
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Count of DannyKristo
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Just keep at it even when it's boring and you will improve.

I also want to become a better skater. The thing is my left foot doesn't want to cooperate. I'm very weak stopping with my left and don't ask me to do backwards crossovers with my left leg.

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Old
11-19-2006, 06:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SuomiOlli View Post
I have always been a hockey fan, but haven't had the opportunity to play. I have been thinking about picking up a pair of skates, and would like to eventually join an adult league (i'm in my late 20's) here in Pennsylvania. I have skated in open sessions every once in a while, but I am still a beginner. I was wondering how long you guys think it would take to improve my skating to the point that I could hold my own in a league. Do you think if i skated every week this winter, I might be decent enough to join a league next winter? I know its a subjective question, but I am fairly athletic and usually pick things up quickly.

So many different levels of skill in a league. Just go fot it though! You won' regret it. I play drop-in hockey here in Red Deer Alberta almost every day and we have guys coming out who are literally Major Jr players and we have guys in there first pair of skates...they all have fun
Its amazing how the people who have little to no skating skills find ways to get involved and stay alive out there. Like you said..it helps to be an athlete.
I think if you really worked hard skating once/week for a full winter you'd notice some improvement for sure.
But its tiring and you gotta' want to do it. Good luck.

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11-19-2006, 07:05 PM
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ShawnTHW
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SuomiOlli View Post
I have always been a hockey fan, but haven't had the opportunity to play. I have been thinking about picking up a pair of skates, and would like to eventually join an adult league (i'm in my late 20's) here in Pennsylvania. I have skated in open sessions every once in a while, but I am still a beginner. I was wondering how long you guys think it would take to improve my skating to the point that I could hold my own in a league. Do you think if i skated every week this winter, I might be decent enough to join a league next winter? I know its a subjective question, but I am fairly athletic and usually pick things up quickly.
I am the exact same way. I am only 17 and started playing roller hockey last week. I picked it up very quickly. I go out every other other day just about. I have only skated 4 times and my friend has seen an improvement. Just keep skating and you should do fine.

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11-20-2006, 07:25 AM
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MikeD
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dont discount the summer time. You can find some decent roller blades and work on skating all summer too!

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Old
11-20-2006, 11:45 AM
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DO IT!

i am a newbie at playing hockey at 27.
I started some lessons last spring and am currently in a rec. league and love it! I'm not good, but i have a great time playing.

I found in-line skates helpful, but ice is best. If you can go with lessons on ice through the spring and summer, it will really help you out.

Starting hockey is one of the best things i have done. I am getting in better shape, meeting some people and having a great time.

Play it again sports and ebay are great for used equipment. Read up on stuff online. USA Hockey and lifetimehockey.com have good drills and tips too!

Good luck!

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11-20-2006, 09:17 PM
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SuomiOlli
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Thanks for the tips guys. I am really looking forward to giving it a shot. I have always regretted not picking up the game when I was younger. Like they say, better late than never.

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Old
11-20-2006, 09:35 PM
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I got all my ice gear this summer and started playing ice hockey in September.

Over 2 months every area of my game has improved, especially in the skating department - twice a week of good practice

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Old
11-20-2006, 09:43 PM
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SuomiOlli
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This may be a stupid question, but I'll ask it anyway. I've never been in hockey skates, are they easier/harder to skate with than the regular skate rentals at the local rink? The rentals are usually figure skates, and I have yet to purchase my own pair of hockey skates.

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11-20-2006, 10:00 PM
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Originally Posted by SuomiOlli View Post
This may be a stupid question, but I'll ask it anyway. I've never been in hockey skates, are they easier/harder to skate with than the regular skate rentals at the local rink? The rentals are usually figure skates, and I have yet to purchase my own pair of hockey skates.
Hockey Skates are much much firmer, giving greater support. Also, having your own properly sharpened skates will be so much better than rental skates, which are usually very dull. If you want to learn to skate, you must have your own hockey skates. Good luck!

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11-20-2006, 10:01 PM
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ive never skated on figure skates, but yeah i can notice a difference in the boot and the blade.

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11-21-2006, 02:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toxostoma Rufum View Post
Hockey Skates are much much firmer, giving greater support. Also, having your own properly sharpened skates will be so much better than rental skates, which are usually very dull. If you want to learn to skate, you must have your own hockey skates. Good luck!
In addition, ice rental skates have been formed by many feet and therefore will never fit you properly.

Buy a pair of skates and learn the basics, break it in yourself so the skate is made for YOUR feet

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11-21-2006, 07:16 AM
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I learned to skate when i was 6, but i did teach my little cousins and nephews and the biggest thing is patience and practice. Going slow while everyone's going fast in a general skate doesn't mean your not cool, your learning and you would rather not face plant into the boards sliding on your knees while trying to go fast around the bend.

You might also want to practice lacing your skates up, find the right tension for your boot when laces. You don't want to go too tight where you feet swell up and hurt, you don't want to go too loose where your ankles wobble and you could potentially hurt them doing that.

But as soon as you learn how to skate around the rink doing the simple cross-over and stopping, try it with your equiptment. IF you can't find the times where you can, take your shin pads and jock strap, wear them in the general skate under a pair of sweats or track pants. Those 2 things are the key things in movement with your legs.

As for shooting, you will need to put on the pads and try to find a way to be comfortable when shooting. For this you should go in full gear at some drop in, where it really doesn't matter as long as you try.

And never, i mean NEVER practice with rental skates, your arch and shape of your foot is not the same as the numerous people that rented those before you. Try on as many pairs as you can, of course in your price range and take it from there, comfort is key regardless of how it looks. Skates are not a fashion statement, some idiot skate shops will try to sell you on the "nicer" looking ones saying they are better.

Goodluck.

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11-21-2006, 01:48 PM
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Skate once a week - you do yourself a favor.

Skate twice a week - you will maintain whatever level you're at.

Skate 3 times or more - you shall improve.

When you see guys skating and handling the puck with ease, remember that it will take you years to get to that level. If you persistent in your work, you can get to entry level player (the one that is not a burden for a team) in two years.

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Old
11-21-2006, 05:25 PM
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EmptyNetter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SuomiOlli View Post
I have skated in open sessions every once in a while, but I am still a beginner. I was wondering how long you guys think it would take to improve my skating to the point that I could hold my own in a league. Do you think if i skated every week this winter, I might be decent enough to join a league next winter? I know its a subjective question, but I am fairly athletic and usually pick things up quickly.
I started playing hockey in my 30's. Up to that time I could skate around a rink but didn't know how to stop. IMO the most important thing to learn IS how to stop and how to change directions. Another thing is learning how to turn right -- if all your experience is from skating counterclockwise around the local rink you'll need to learn how to turn in the other direction.

Take skating lessons if available and read as much as you can about power skating technique. I highly recommend this book. If you're obsessed with improving your skating and hockey skills like me, find out how to improve with dry land exercises. Do squats and crunches to improve your balance -- the better you can center your weight the more agile you'll be on skates. Practice stickhandling and shooting with a streethockey ball and stick. When you're ready to start playing, read up on each position and what's expected of a defenseman, wing and center.

I've played pickup games over the last 3 years and now I'm on my first adult league team (D-level). A few players have their hands full staying on their feet, some are strong skaters who don't know how to stop. I'm a pretty confident skater but need to practice stick handling and shooting. You don't need to know it all when you start, but skating should be the foundation and everything else builds off of that. Good luck.

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Old
11-21-2006, 09:17 PM
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SuomiOlli
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Thanks, I think I'll pick up that book. I can see turning right being a problem, I had a similar issue trying to learn right turns on the snowboard.

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11-23-2006, 02:57 PM
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Reading your posts reminds me of the exact situation I was in last year. I'm 22 and wanted to finally give hockey a shot. I couldn't skate, didn't own a single piece of equipment, but decided it was worth it. I went to public skates in the afternoons during the week at my local rink. I did this because no one was there during this time. I'm in college so I didn't have class at this time, it's tough if you work though. Since barely anyone was there I had run of the ice and didn't care how much of a fool I looked. I just kept practicing over and over on stopping, switching from forward to backwards and back again. Finally I practiced backwards crossovers by going around the circles of the rink. After getting my confidence up, I went to open hockey/stick time. I played for about a month and a half until winter ended. I stopped all spring/summer/fall unfortunately and I just played my first open hockey yesterday. I got my *** handed to me by a bunch of 16-17 year old high school kids, but it's my own fault for not playing during summer. I still have trouble with my backwards crossovers on my right foot, and I'm pretty poor at puck handling, shooting, and have absolutely no slap shot (its pretty embarrasing when I try), but I can still play and have fun and that's the most important part. Continually seeing some sort of improvement in your game is very rewarding.

Anyway, keep your head up man. I've had a ball playing, very few people I've met have had any kind of attitude at open hockey everyone just goes to have a good time. It took me about a month of going to free skates about 3 times a week before I had the confidence to go try hockey, and even then it helped having my buddy also playing for the first time. Best of luck to you, I started going to the free skates mid December and was playing hockey in the middle of January. If you're already starting now I'm positive you'll be able to play some hockey this year. Good luck!

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Old
11-23-2006, 09:31 PM
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Good luck Olli!
I started to learn to skate when I was 36 and I've gotten consistently better since. Learning to skate was one of the best decisions I've ever made...I just regret that I didn't start sooner. Balance, posture, confidence, fitness...it's all gone way up. The only thing is that I've received more bumps and bruises and lumps and whatnot in the last two years than I had in the previous 36. Not gonna let that stop me now...I'm on a mission.
}:-)>
Laura Stamm's book is great.
Balance is key...if you can snowboard, I would guess that ice skating isn't a big step. At least you don't have to worry about going downhill.

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