Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Hockey Tips for Beginners

Hockey Tips for Beginners

If you're a beginner hockey player looking for a few tips on how to improve your game, you've come to the right place. This blog if full of great hockey tips for beginners.

Here's a few tips to get you started, or try the search box in the right column.

Beginner Hockey Tip #1

Try all your new hockey equipment on before you go on the ice for the first time.
Try putting your equipment on in this order:
  • Jock, Shin Guards, Hockey Socks
  • Skates, Shoulder Pads, Elbow Pads
  • Jersey, Helmet, Gloves

You might feel kind of silly with all your gear on inside, but you'll feel a lot worse if you put something on backwards in the dressing room at the rink. When you take the gear off, load up your hockey bag in reverse order, so the equipment you need first is on top.

Beginner Hockey Tip #2

Warm up Before You Play. Get the blood moving to prevent injuries. Get to the rink around 1/2 hour before your ice time so you're not rushed. Soon you will only need 15 minutes to get dressed. Be one of the first players on the ice so you have plenty of time to warm up. Start skating around the rink the same direction as everybody else. If it's a proper game you'll only be skating in your half of the rink, otherwise you'll have the entire ice surface. Here are a few warm up exercises for beginners:
  • Place your stick in front of you at shoulder height and rotate your upper body
  • Swing each leg behind you and in front
  • Do some tight turns
  • Do some Hockey starts and stops
  • Stick handle the puck
  • Take a few wrists shots on the goalie
  • Do some stretches


Beginner Hockey Tip #3

Find out which gate (door) to get in and out of the bench. You won't be expected to jumps over the boards when you first start, but you will be expected to know which door to use. Sometimes in a pick-up game you'll simply enter the bench in the door closest to your goalie (defense) and go back on the ice through the offense door.

In a proper game (with a ref), the defense usually use one door and the forwards use the other. When the teams switch after each period, you'll likely switch doors as well. It's not a big deal, but you may avoid an unnecessary collision if you know which door you're supposed to use.

Beginner Hockey Tip #4

Take Short Shifts. Skate hard when your on the ice, then come off quickly for a rest. If you've been assigned to a set line, (usually on wing with another winger and a center) make sure you change lines when they do. By taking short shifts, you'll make lots of friends and you'll always be rested up for your next shift.

Beginner Hockey Tip #5

Shoot the Puck up the Boards. With so many options once you get the puck, it's hard to know whether to pass, shoot, or skate with the puck when you're still learning the game. When in doubt, shoot the puck hard up the boards down the ice. Another forward on your team may be able to chase down the puck. If the other teams gets to the puck first, at least they'll be farther away from your own goal along the boards. If you shoot the puck up the middle and the other team gets it, they will be in a far better scoring position, especially in your own end.

Beginner Hockey Tip #6

Keep Your Head Up. You'll be able to see what's going on around you, and it will be far easier to make a good decision. Playing with your head down is a hard habit to beak, so start this import habit now!

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