You’ve recently taken up the exhilarating and exciting sport of hockey. You have all the hockey gear, and maybe have even joined a local team. How do you go from being a passionate newcomer to developing into a reasonably good ice hockey player?
In the following post we will offer some tips and tricks for those new to ice hockey.
Tips Relating to Equipment
Unless you have already made the commitment to the sport and bought a whole lot of kit, it is best to rent it, borrow it or even just buy cheaper, used stuff to make sure you are going to stick at it before you start investing more money.
Height is important to remember when choosing the best hockey stick. A stick that is too short or too long, will force you to stress your body unnecessarily. You can find help from a specialist ice hockey store about what the best height and stick will be for you.
When you first start wearing all the kit you need to wear when playing ice hockey you need to get used to the idea that it won’t be fun at first. Your mobility may even be impeded to an extent. You need to allow yourself sufficient time so you can familiarize and normalize yourself while wearing it. No matter how uncomfortable you feel, always make sure you play wearing the appropriate safety gear.
When looking for the ideal skates, you want that magic spot where they are tight enough that they are snug and don’t slip from your feet at all; but that they are not so cramped that your toes get blistered and damaged. Ankle support is important, so always make sure you invest in a pair that provides this. As a general rule of thumb, your skate size will be around half or even a full size below your normal sneakers or shoe sizes.
For better support and increased comfort, it is best to lace your skates up using the criss-cross technique. To allow proper circulation to the toes, keep the bottom 3 eyelets semi-loose. Ideally, the rest should get progressively tighter as you work towards your ankle.
Avoid wrapping the laces around your ankles as this can cause restrictions in how quickly you can react and your movement on the ice in general.
Once you have definitely decided that your life is now ice hockey, you could consider even investing in a skate sharpening machine.
Tips To Help You Play Better
Play street hockey with some inline skates to work on some of the basics. This gives you more training time when you can’t get to the rink and as skating with inline skates is similar to hockey skates, you can better perfect your skating skills.
Be sure to watch as much professional ice hockey as possible, and watch what they do to have a better understanding of the tactics and positional plays involved in the game. If you have a preferred position on the rink, then it makes sense to watch very closely professionals who play in that position.
Remember to keep your stick on the rink at all times, apart from when you are aiming to deflect the puck. Skating while holding the stick in the air means you will not be ready to shoot or successfully take a pass given to you. It’s also, obviously, safer when all players keep their sticks sliding across the rink.
The training you do off the rink is just as important as what you do on the rink. You can improve your agility, aggression, coordination, balance, speed and overall strength by going to the gym, participating in other sports or doing some running.