Hockey is a phenomenal sport. It is probably the most exciting sport to watch even if you don’t completely understand all the rules. It’s never too late to start learning! Let’s say you have zero experience going in but have always dreamed of gliding across the ice. Even as an adult, you have the ability to learn the essential skills of becoming a skilled player. Hockey is more about technique than athleticism. And don’t worry, all that fancy hockey equipment isn’t necessary for a beginner. Once you pick up and learn the basics you can start looking at equipment.
The first pieces of equipment you’ll need to start off with are a hockey stick, skates, shin pads, and a helmet. At the least, you get a helmet, skates, and a hockey stick. These are very easy to purchase online. If you do some research, you can also find a lot of used hockey gear for cheap. Also, if you’re not so sure you’ll want to make such a strong commitment, most ice rinks will offer skates and sticks for rental.
You ever hear the saying, “if you want to learn how to walk, you need to learn how to crawl first”? I’m sure you’ve heard some variation of this in your life. This especially applies to learning hockey. The three most important skills you need to learn when starting out are skating, stopping, and turning. The best way to learn is to just practice, practice, and practice. You can practice skating by yourself. Look up where you can find the closest ice rink. It’s also best to avoid going during peak hours. You’re going to want some space to make mistakes without having to worry about causing a collision.
Ice rinks will typically offer skate lessons for beginners. If you are unsure as to how to start, we recommend you get some basic lessons to smooth out the learning process. There is also a host of free resources online on YouTube and other sites. You can definitely find lessons taught by professionals, although, we believe that getting lessons in person is a better way to learn. There are different drills you can do to improve your agility on the rink once you stop falling down. Once you master the ability to turn, stop, and accelerate on a whim, you are ready to start shooting and passing.
Your shooting and stickhandling skills are both things you can develop off the ice rink. You can even practice it at home. All you need is a hockey stick, hockey puck or rubber ball, and something to stop the puck. Street Hockey is a popular type of hockey and the skills definitely translate. You don’t even need a hard surface, many players have started out by practicing passing and shooting in their backyard. Before focusing on the strength and speed of your shots, you should focus on accuracy. Being able to deliver crisp passes is an essential skill in hockey.
There are a number of online communities and platforms where you can find free resources on practice drills to continue developing your hockey skills. Hockey is an incredibly fun sport to play. It may seem intimidating when you watch, but hockey is a sport that’s easy to learn.