Beginners: Tips for Beginners

Discussion in 'The Rink' started by pass the bisk, Oct 4, 2010.

  1. Copeland Registered User

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    LOL that sounds great but I have no idea where I'd find a "plastics" store.... Someone mentioned something with a name, I wish I could remember what it was!

    That is precisely what kept happening today... only reason I didn't hit the ice is my great balance (well, and chicken arms) :laugh:
     
  2. kr580 Who knows.

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    I had mentioned the Thrifty White Board. ;) ~$12 for 4' x 8' sheet. A HDPE sheet would be amazing but I don't have that much money to blow, haha.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2010
  3. Copeland Registered User

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    kr580 - yeah that's it (I think...)! awesome, thanks
     
  4. ArcataShark in dubious battle

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    Cool thread thanks for all the tips, any of you guys getting much better?
     
  5. Fanned On It Registered User

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    I have to say the one thing you NEED to do in order to get better (especially if you're playing on a team, whether it's men's league or travel) is TRY YOUR HARDEST. I've only been playing for a year now (I'm 22) and I've made a HUGE improvement. When I started I could skate forward, but I couldn't stop, skate backwards, crossover, mohawk or any of that stuff. Now, I can do all of that stuff second nature (still working on my stopping on my weak foot, which I can do, but it just doesn't feel as natural as my strong right foot). The way I improved was by skating at least 3 times a week, every week, for an hour and a half at a time. I now play on 2 men's league teams, one each in the D and C2 leagues (in a D C2 C1 B A structure) but I really think I'm ready to play C1. My wrist shot has become very accurate in the past year, and now I'm honing in the power. My slapshot is still iffy, and I can do it well in practice, but in games I just leave it to my wrister/snapper unless I have time to set up. I'm a forward btw, I play wing and center. But back to the effort thing... The one thing I notice on my D League team which is full of beginners like me is how much better I am than the other guys JUST BECAUSE I work my butt off out there. I forecheck like a maniac, and skate my ass back into our zone and defend. This creates chances for me and the rest of my team to score and make plays in general. Hockey is all about the effort, having the heart to push yourself even when you feel like you can't go anymore!

    If you can, I suggest finding an Adult Clinic nearby, that's what I did and it realllly helped. I never had a coach (because I never played on a real team growing up) so having someone to show me technique was a real benefit in my development so far. I am actually amazed myself at how much I improved in 12 months! And I can't wait to see how I improve within the next 12!
     
  6. Guffaw Registered User

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    Santini-that's real good advice man. You're right on point. You will get out of it what you put into it.

    If you coast around half speed, spend all your free time on ice shooting, play games only vs. clinics etc. you will be one of those players you see year after year that never gets any better.
     
  7. sanityplease Registered User

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    Once you get into a game situation don't panic when you get the puck, patience is a mark of a good hockey player. Like they said on cbc the other night, "be quick but not in a hurry!"

    For dryland stickhandling practice (developing hand speed) I use a golf ball with a few strips of the narrower black hockey tape around, the tape really reduces the bounce of the ball & is a lot cheaper & more expendable than swedish stickhandling balls. I do 10 mins+ a day of practice with it in my basement, a lot of the Sean Skinner stuff & can move the ball around my body different types of toe drags, stickhandle around chair legs, flip the ball against a wall, & hit it back out of the air, for hand, backhand etc like raquet ball. I've been doing this for a few months & am blown away with the results.
     
  8. Squidriss Registered User

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    the one thing i can say is during a game, give it your all. Your teammates are more likely to pass the puck to you if they see you skating like an animal out there rather than the guy just coasting back to play D.
    I get way more puck time than when i first started just by skating hard:handclap:
     
  9. DJH Registered User

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    Old thread but a few things to add
    Practice things slowly to get it right. You will do it just as well in a game and faster
    Keep your legs moving... Even at half speed
    Take two or three more strides than you think you need or want
    When you get the puck think that it is yours and you wont give up until you have looked around to make a play (which can include skating it)
    Count players. This helps you learn to track what is going on as you play.
    Play D to learn the game faster.
    Practice skating the most
    Ask questions of more experienced players as you sit on the bench
    When in doubt shoot it low on net BUT shoot it.
    And lastly... When you are feeling you're doing better find a higher level of play
     
  10. str8shooter Registered User

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    Start out working on the forward stride and edge control first. Once you do that, crossovers and stopping come much more naturally. After that, backward skating will seem easy too. Just focus on one or two main points at a time for a while.
     
  11. do0glas Registered User

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    i kind of jumped ahead faster than most. i used to do aggressive inline when i was younger and had no problem going forward/backward but the stopping and backward crossovers i think were the same as any beginner.

    i think with anything like that in your skating, get over the idea of falling and just go for it. personally i think that holds a lot of people back. if you dont go all out you are just stalling your progress.

    the best feeling when skating is easy for you is when you are bursting down and score at full speed and instantly stop on instinct rather than any conscious decision. i was used to running into the wall haha.

    as for shooting and stickhandling. i would watch a lot of youtube tutorials at work and then take it to the outdoor rink in the evening. 100 shots is a good rule, but before you start that, focus on the full sequence until you are doing it full speed at least half the time.

    100 bad form shots wont really do much for you, imo. just gonna engrain muscle memory that you dont want.
     
  12. OpenIceHit42 Registered User

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    Not so much a tip but just a little story from a beginner division game I was "supervising" (scorekeeping) the other night..

    Guy takes a penalty, so I put the time up on the board and start the clock once play starts again. The guy in the box starts banging his stick yelling at me to put his penalty time up on the board, so I look down and see that the clock is running. I look at the guy in the box and point to the scoreboard to show him the penalty time is up there.. The rink has two score boards, one that had goals,running time,penalty time while the other just had goals and running time. He was looking @ the far clock with just the goals/running time. I was dying laughing on the inside.
     
  13. mlaws9 Registered User

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    In addition to all the tips regarding getting as much time on the ice as you can -- skating and getting comfortable manipulating a puck -- if you're playing drop-in or pickup, I'd offer this:

    Try to look up and pick out a pass as soon as you can.

    The reasoning: I play drop-in three or four times a week, and what I often see is a kind of vicious cycle: You've got guys of all skill levels out there (at the rinks I play at, it's people who are learning to play all the way up to ex-D1 and -junior skaters), which naturally means your LTP-type guy will get virtually zero time on the puck. When it does happen to land on his stick, this player tends to stare down directly at it and try to hold it as long as he possibly can (not very long, usually), after which his teammates are highly unlikely to share the puck with him again.

    Sad, but true. And I can't say I blame the LTP skater for trying to get as much time per touch as he possibly can; it's just that the thinking needs to be reversed. Play within your limits and establish early on that you're there to learn to play the "right" way, which is to say, passing and catching passes and keeping your head up and trying to position yourself properly.

    Flashy puck-hogging pickup players, even highly skilled ones, are unbelievably annoying to play with. Passing-and-moving is the essence of the game; if you make it a priority from the get-go, a lot of the rest will take care of itself. Plus, your teammates, even at drop-in, are sure to appreciate it. I'd MUCH rather play with an unselfish LTPer than the idiot in the tinted visor who does nothing but admire his own dangles all day.
     
    SundayNiteBlackout and LeifUK like this.
  14. jnk96 Registered User

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    I've got a question about the hockey stop. How did/do you learn it? I know how to skate, skate backwards, make crossovers and stuff but I never really knew how to stop. A few years ago (like 3 or so) I just started practicing it but without a real system. No I'm able to stop but only with my right foot on the inside- and the left foot on the outside-edge. I actually don't know how I finally learned it (just kinda taught myself). Still, I can't do it the other way round, I just can't do it. I watched tutorials on YouTube and stuff but it didn't help... Any advice?
     
  15. mlaws9 Registered User

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    For what it's worth, I remember as a kid being really upset that I couldn't stop very well on my left side. We'd do it in drills and stuff, and I'd dread when the coach shouted out to hockey-stop with the left skate on the outside. I'd, like, ease up in my skating and try to "fake" the stop, or pull a hard rink-turn that effectively meant stopping, and all sorts of other nonsense ...

    But the thing was, when I wasn't thinking about it -- in a game or scrimmage situation -- I had no issue stopping on that side. To this day I have no idea how I might look if I went out there and told myself, "OK, now slam on the brakes with your left side to the boards." I'm just fine on that side during the run of play, so who cares?

    The point being, don't get so up in your head about this! Just play as much as you can in game or game-like situations (e.g., pickup/drop-in). This way, you're not thinking about completing rote drills, but thrusting yourself right into the flow of the game -- you're still developing all those skills you would in drills (and I'm not saying you shouldn't have a rudimentary grasp of some of that stuff by the time you go out for pickup), you're just not isolating them to the point where it's all you're thinking about. To paraphrase "The Simpsons," be in the game, not of the game. (OK, that last part might not make total sense, but I think you catch my drift.)
     
  16. gosinger Registered User

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    What did help me were two key things: a proper skate sharpening (one LHS uses an automated rig - it screwed up every left skate.....) and the following thing: stand infront of the boards, rest your arms on the boards and then start "shaving" the ice with your skate-blades (pushing to the sides hard). Then, once you've learned what angles work for you, skate forward for a few strides, glide and try to do a hockey-stop on the inside-edge of the outside-skate only (lifting the inside up a few cm of the ice and only use it when you risk losing your balance). Try this with both legs till you feel secure stopping with one leg only. Then progress by using keeping the outside-edge of the inside-skate on the ice as-well for the stops and start putting weight on them, slowly increase the amount of weight you put on the inside-skate. This progression really helped me when I was starting out, now stops aren't a problem on any side.
     
  17. jnk96 Registered User

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    Now that you're describing it, I think that's the way how I actually learned it. But I tried many things already and nothing seems to work on that side... And I don't play hockey so it's impossible for me to just do it in game-like situations.
     
  18. nystromshairstylist Registered User

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    Common beginner tips

    Not that I am the most talented, nor most experienced, but I thought listing a few items now that I have achieved a decent skill set of things that beginners should look to correct and improve their games. If others have some additional suggestions, please add to the thread. Some may have alternative opinions, so feel free to share if you have a different one:

    1) bend your knees when you skate, and stay in the hockey stance even if you are relatively stationary. If you think you are - you probably aren't, and this can be confirmed if you can get a friend to videotape you for a few minutes on the ice during a game/scrimmage.

    2) keep your shin pads outside of your skate tongue - doing so will allow you to bend your knees more, and allow the skate tongue to do its job and support your weight as you bend lower.

    3) keep both hands on the stick, unless you are skating at full speed up ice, and just for a few seconds. There are few things easier to do on the ice than to stick lift a noob reaching for the puck with one hand and taking a loose puck away from them. Two hands gives you better control, and means that you are trying to make a play; one hand means you are just happy to get to the puck.

    4) keep your eyes on the puck as little as humanly possible, even if you are about to catch a pass, or chasing after it. Ideally you are looking at the action / movement of players around you to see what to do once you do get control of the puck. Getting comfortable handling the puck purely by feel and not looking down is admittedly an immense challenge for those of us starting the game later in life, but will make you so much more engaged in overall play due to your increased awareness of your surroundings.

    5) Tie your skates in the "over the-top" style, not the under-the-eyelet method used for your sneakers. This will keep the laces tighter, and if you can, use waxed laces, preferably Grafs as they have just the right amount of was without being "gummy" (no relationship with Graf, use another firm's if you prefer).

    6) When tying your skates, tie to the top, and before tying the knot, flex your ankle as far forward as you can (wearing your shin pads outside the tongue is helpful here), and THEN tie the knot. Your skates are there to act as an intermediary between you and your blades, not a gatekeeper. You should be skating with your skates moderately loose, and relying upon your edges to carry your weight - not the boot. Also, by flexing all the way forward before tying, you can usually avoid lace bite - I've been injured or gotten lace bit EVERY TIME I've ever tied the skates too tight.

    So there's a few off the top of my head but after playing this weekend with a bunch of newer players, these items seemed to be the most prevalent and common ones where some help could make a difference right away.

    Add as you see fit...
     
  19. Goonzilla Welcome to my house!

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    I'm interested in what any experts have to say on a couple of matters.

    I find that I can never seem to quite replicate my skate fit or lace tightening in hockey gear as I can when I'm just in skates. Shin inside the tongue too loose and on the outside a little too inflexible.

    Conversely with the lace tightening. With looser lacing I can turn, cut and feel a lot more agile, but with tighter laces I'm a lot more accurate with cross overs and stopping and the like and find I have better wheels.

    Usually I do the bottom laces tight, looser through middle and extra tight up top. I tried looping the laces around up top of the skate before tying them recently, which was a lot firmer, but which shifted my centre of gravity, put me more upright, back on my heels a bit more and felt a bit uneasy.
     
  20. Goonzilla Welcome to my house!

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    In terms of advice, the biggest thing I'm trying to master is perpetually facing the play and puck and not turning my back. I can turn or transition any way I need to to keep facing the play, but old habits die hard and find myself too often instinctively turning to my strong or natural side, which is too often away from the play.

    It's probably the biggest flaw in my game that gets pointed out to me by the guys I listen too so I imagine it's apt to everyone else too.

    I notice it big time watching NHL. Everyone's always facing the play.
     
  21. TheMidnightNarwhal Registered User

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    How to know delayed penalty?

    Ok so I am a goalie for over 5 years but now it's starting to get intense and serious. One of these things is about leaving for the bench when there is a delayed penalty. Now I'm not sure if it is or not but I believe that if the ref with the orange stripe with his hand raised and my team has the puck I'm clear to go right? Just wanted to make sure 100%.
     
  22. MattGTI Registered User

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    Yes.
     
  23. butterflier11 Registered User

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    Maybe try an intermediate stick? I think senior sticks work better for taller and/or stronger guys.
     
  24. kr580 Who knows.

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    Yep. Play will be whistled dead once the offending team touches the puck. Obviously if your team is controlling the puck that means the delayed penalty is on the other team. Just make sure you give yourself a second to ensure you have it right. I've seen beer league goalies take off because they think the penalty is on the other team... nope.
     
  25. mbhhofr Registered User

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    The offending team touching the puck will not stop the play. The offending team has to gain control of the puck to stop the play.
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2014

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