Beginners: The Hockey Noob Chronicles II (Beginners' Thread)

Discussion in 'The Rink' started by Jarick, Apr 18, 2012.

  1. Goonzilla Welcome to my house!

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    I'm jersey, socks, skate socks, jock, leggings and everything straight in the machine as soon as I walk in the door.

    Skates wiped down and tongue forward and protective gear all hung up to dry and air, I have a gym room and hang everything off the end of bars and seats and the like.

    Fire up a couple of fans in there for a few hours if I need a quick turnaround before using again.

    My stuff doesn't smell too bad because I wash or air it immediately and never store it in the bag.
     
  2. elmariachi227 Registered User

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    Same here, everything gets washed or air dried the second I get home.

    I tend to re-tape if the tape has a few big rips. It's been happening so much lately that I've been re-taping before every game- and its become more of a ritual than a necessity.
     
  3. pennstaterlz Registered User

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    Thanks for the input folks! Air dried everything as soon as I got home and threw clothing items in the wash the next day since I don't get home until late.
     
  4. beltjones Registered User

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    Noob here. I'm about two weeks into a "learn to skate" program and having a great time. I'm not sure where this will take me, but I'm a big hockey fan, and at the age of 36 I figured it was finally time to give the sport a shot.

    So far stopping is getting a lot easier, I can cross over, skate backwards, and I pulled off some mohawk turns on each side last night. My goal for every class is to fall at least three times.

    Today I'm going to work on backward crossovers and get better at mohawks. It will be at a possibly crowded public skate, so I probably will try not to fall down. Thanks for the very informative thread!
     
  5. Sinistril Registered User

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    Hey all, not so much a beginner chronicle, as I had some years of hockey under my belt before quitting for a long time and coming back, so more like a born-again chronicle.

    I played religiously until I was 13 years old. Ball hockey up to 12 hours a day every day in summers, rolley hockey every year, ice hockey every year. Then, when I moved, I quit. I continued to follow the sport, especially the NHL, but I didn't get back into actually playing until last winter (after a 14 year haitus).

    At first, I was surprised to find out that I could barely skate. How embarassing, I thought; maybe I should have skated a couple times before playing. I look like I fool out here, I thought. Luckily, my work shipped me back to British Columbia for a week to take care of some business back home. I did a few drop-in skates when back there, and started to remember the basics. Still, I could barely stop and felt unbalanced and uncertain of myself out there.

    That first year was pretty hard. My team was poor at first, and our goalie never gave us a chance to stay in any games. Many players in the league are good; quite a few with former junior backgrounds, and some who played in university. I was out of place defensively. I couldn't take a pass. I was shooting with both my hands about a foot apart because it was such an unnatural movement. If I ever had the puck, I'd immediately turn it over. But, slowly, I started to feel better on my skates. Towards the end of the year, we got a really good player back from injury on our team and we started to win games. He played on my line and offset my badness. I scored a goal with a game left in the regular season. I don't think I had any assists all year.

    When playoffs came, my positioning slightly improved. Offensively, I was driving the net, defensively I was covering the points. I scored 2 goals, and got a couple of assists. We started to win. In the semi-finals, we won an upset in spectacular fashion: tying the game with 6 seconds left and the goalie pulled. In the finals, we won the first game convincingly, before losing the final 2 games to place second in the league.

    That was last year, and this year I was determined to get back to the skill level I had as a kid. At the beginning of the year, I took power skating classes. I actually didn't learn anything from them -- No, I remembered things. Suddenly, fundamentals that I just DID as a kid, I thought about. Stopping on a dime, crossovers, pivoting. After just two classes, I was significantly better at skating and the best in the, albeit a beginner's, class. But I skated more on my own and improved a lot more. My speed came naturally, and that improved every part of my game. Skating, I forgot, was so supremely important in hockey both offensively and defensively.

    So far this year, I have played in every game and skated on my own 2-3 times a week or more, often playing pickup hockey with whoever is at the rink. I've played in net for my team several times (I had always played goalie) and have gone 2-3. Not great, but my team is suffering a lot of injuries and we aren't winning. When playing out, I have over 10 points including a few goals.

    I shortened my stick to shoulder height and my stickhandling drastically improved to where my hands are as good as they were as a kid. I've worked on my shot -- something that took some practice considering I had only ever used fibreglass/wood sticks and never composites. But the shot came quick, and while I am still adjusting it since cutting my stick down, my wrist shot is very good now. My snapshot is alright, my slapshot is improving and my backhand is improving.

    Just the speed I've gained since power skating has helped a lot, and having my hands where they were as a kid is amazing. I can actually dangle people now, and handle/protect the puck with ease.

    The thing that amazes me the most is how quickly I'm improving. Being an adult, it is much easier to self-evaluate, and truly think about little things that can improve my game. As such, progress comes much faster. Instead of hours of trying things out like as a kid, I am thinking about my game and improving fast.

    The part that impresses me the most is my on-ice vision is better than it ever was as a kid. I am anticipating plays, and always have my head up.

    I feel great this year, and hope to continue improving as my physical conditioning gets better (I just quit smoking, again) and my shooting improves. I think the thing that helped me the most was really sitting down and thinking about how I skate. Skating is huge, and if you have a step on everyone, or at least aren't a step behind, improves every other part of your game.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2014
  6. JKinCLE killing time @ work

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    I just registered for the Beginner's Hockey school through Hockey North America, where I will be learning to play from Cleveland hockey legend Jock Callandar. I will be 25 years old in Feb, and never thought I'd get a chance to learn the game this late in life.

    I took a beginning ice hockey class senior year of college which was able to help me feel comfortable on the ice, but unfortunately still was never able to learn to stop. I probably wasted any opportunities I had to get better by cheaping out and buying used skates since I was on a college budget. So I will be purchasing new skates and keeping them fairly dull to hopefully learn to stop.

    Either way, can't wait to be part of a hockey club and play some real games.
     
  7. PlayoffBeard365 Registered User

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    I have been searching out some biz or individual within 30 miles of me (Cape Cod Ma) for a private skills instructor. I have had a private power skate instructor for almost a year which has been incredibly beneficial. Now, I need help with passing, shooting, dangling and positional tips.

    Unfortunately, I have found nobody to help me. I have the money and daytime hours but nobody is willing. Total bummer!!! Especially considering MA is a hockey hotbed compared to a lot of states. I've called all the local rinks, found places that specialize in exactly what I want but only teach kids or young guys turning pro, etc but nothing for adults. Only learn to play programs that has 30 people in it. I'm looking for private lessons.

    Of course I can watch YouTube And read forums/books and then attempt to replicate but I'm 39 and want to bring my stick handling skills up to par with my skating skills ASAP! I don't need a pro just someone with experience.

    Anyone have any ideas?? (PS, Im not interested in a camp).
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2015
  8. jnk96 Registered User

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    I know this isn't what you want to hear, but if it's impossible to find what you are looking for, YouTube videos actually help so so so so much! I just started playing hockey a year and a half ago. I had never been on the ice with a stick before. So I played in a midget house league where everybody except for me had played hockey for many years (that's Canada, duh!). And as you may know, they don't really do a lot of practice of the basics there. It's some skating and passing drills, and then a scrimmage. All I could do to get better was watch videos and try to transfer what I had seen onto the ice. I'd watch (and still do) hundreds of videos on everything there is. First the basic skills, then the more advanced stuff. Extremely important here, as crazy as it sounds: imagine yourself doing what you want to do. Practice in your mind. You can actually get a better feel for everything through imagination. The first few practices I was completely unable to lift the puck off the ice on a shot. I watched videos over and over again, and imagined myself shooting pucks. The next practice I lifted every shot off the ice and roofed some with an accuracy I couldn't have seen myself shooting with. Call me crazy but it works. Using my imagination was HUGE for me. That's just my two cents.
     
  9. Goonzilla Welcome to my house!

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    The YouTube stuff is helpful to a point. It might assist you in knowing what to do, but actually getting and doing or executing it properly without anyone watching, critiquing and showing while you're skating is more difficult.

    Self teaching anything can result in developing some bad habits. You might think you're doing it right, but you can 't actually see yourself skating.

    I would hope that a skating instructor had played a bit of hockey in their time too and would be available for some stickhandling and shooting sessions too.

    Is there a notice board at your rink you can advertise for help on?
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2015
  10. jnk96 Registered User

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    That's true, but in my case I still had coaches around me that'd help me when I needed help, and tell me when I did something wrong. Still, it was huge for me. And I thought that maybe at 39 you might've reached an age where you just want to be decent as quickly as possible, even if that means that you don't do everything the proper way.
     
  11. blueducati Registered User

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    Hey all, I'm new here, so here's my quick story. I'm 35, and I live 45 minutes north of Detroit. I grew up playing organized baseball, basketball and football, but would play a lot of street hockey with my friends from middle school all through college. I played one mini season of intramural ice hockey in college, but that was only a few games. Right now I'm really into (road) bike racing, I'm on a competitive race team and will probably race a dozen times this year, and maybe do some mountain bike races too.

    A month ago, we got my 5 year old daughter into ice skating with her Daisy troop and she loves it. We've gotten her private lessons and she's going to join the local synchro team in the fall. Going out to practice with her, I realized how much fun I was having. So I decided to just buy all new gear (except skates) and give it a go. I still don't have all my gear yet, so I've just been skating. My skating is ok right now, probably better than most newcomers, from rollerblading when I was young. I can skate pretty fast, can cross over, mohawk, and I can skate backwards pretty well. My hockey stops need work, though. I can do them at moderate speeds, but at high speeds they are a bit iffy. I'm also a lot better stopping on my right skate than on my left skate.

    My plan:

    Being a smaller guy, I've always relied on my speed and quickness, so becoming a good skater is going to be my main focus. From all my cycling, cardio and leg strength hopefully shouldn't be an issue. I want to keep skating 3 or 4 times a week (there are a lot of outdoor rinks by my house and work) and once I get all my gear, practice some stick handling. Unfortunately for me, sticks and pucks at the local indoor rink is at a bad time of the day for me, but if they change the schedule, I plan on going to those when I can. And then once I feel confident, go to some drop ins. I've heard it can get pretty competitive around here, so I want to be able to at least skate and handle the puck before going out there. And then after that, hopefully I can join a league.

    This is a really great sub-section of this website, it's given me a ton of confidence that there's other adults that are just getting into rec hockey. The gear reviews, technique discussions... everything is so helpful. And it really seems like a supportive group of posters. Looking forward to learning and playing!!

    -Steve
     
  12. Goonzilla Welcome to my house!

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    Everybody is stronger or more natural on one side or skate than the other to some degree, like being left or right handed.

    The biggest strides I've made in improving my skating have been through working on evening up that weaker side. I don't think there's anything as important as evening the two up and being able to balance on either or transfer your weight between skates comfortably.
     
  13. landstuhltaylor Registered User

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    Where exactly? The leagues get more competitive the further north you go. Rochester area is going to be tougher for a beginner than somewhere like Royal Oak.
     
  14. blueducati Registered User

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    Yeah, Onyx. I'm in Oakland Township.
     
  15. landstuhltaylor Registered User

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    I end up reffing there a lot. Just for reference a C league at Onyx is going to be a C/B league in Troy and B in Royal Oak. It's pretty much the same for drop in as those bigger rinks have a bigger pool of competitive players that show up. Royal Oak is also cheaper and gives you more ice time generally, but it is a decent drive from where you are.

    Edit: Spring signups in Troy are starting now. We have one guy on our team who can barely skate but he still shows up and has fun in C. It really shouldn't stop you from starting in the lower leagues.
     
  16. Dirty Old Man NHL: AZ Belongs Sponsor

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    Your story is similar to mine, the difference being I grew up in Florida, the son of a roller skating instructor who stopped teaching when I was 9...so any skating skill I'd acquired was dormant for 20 years until the rollerblade craze hit, and then 7 years later in 2000 I took up ice hockey at age 35. I was smaller but fairly fast (on land, anyway).

    I'm now pushing 50, a 15-year 'vet'. May you get as much out of the sport as I have so far.
     
  17. blueducati Registered User

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    oh cool, thanks for the info! Do you have any opinion on the breakfast club thing they run there? I didn't see it on their website, but some guys at work have told me about it.
     
  18. blueducati Registered User

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    Awesome man. I'm glad to hear that it's worked out for you. With all the indoor and outdoor rinks around me, I really have no excuse for not getting a lot of skating in. I'm really getting excited now!:)
     
  19. landstuhltaylor Registered User

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    I've never heard of it before. If that's something to do with the early morning skates it's not for me. I roll out of bed ~7 minutes before I have to leave for work in the morning.
     
  20. blueducati Registered User

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    Supposedly it's an adult skills clinic that goes in the early mornings. A few guys at work have told me about it, but I don't see it on the calendar right now. They told me they do coaching/drills and then break into teams and scrimmage. I'm not a morning person either, but with 2 kids under 5, I don't have a ton of free time.
     
  21. TheRedShadow Registered User

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    This. After 2.5 years I'm just starting to get two-sided and it feels really good.
     
  22. Campoli Registered User

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    100000% this!
     
  23. steevdeadman Registered User

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    Hey everyone...

    I just started skating/hockey about a year and a half ago... I'm comfortable going forward, got my hockey stops (only on the right), forwards crossovers, can transition from forwards to backwards (only on my right side) and can skate pretty decent backwards (can't do crossovers yet). My stickhandling, passing and shooting are passable... What I was asking is that am I ready to try to drop into open hockeys or get into a lower level league? I have some friends that play that say I'm ready, but I just don't wanna stink up the place too bad. Being in NYC, there are A LOT of good players around and I don't wanna go and get relegated to the bench for most of the time because I can't keep up.
     
  24. PlayoffBeard365 Registered User

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    Do it. Pick up is for everybody. And D league is for you too.

    I jumped into pick ups after 3 months of skating and I was a mess. But the guys, of all levels, were very patient (well 95%) and positive. Now I'm the one being tolerant of the "new guy".

    Seriously, u should just go for it. You will not regret it.

    Have fun!
     
  25. backcheck7 Registered User

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    When I was starting out the nicest people to me were the best players.
     

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