So you got your hockey kit and you know all of the rules, you still need to learn some of the in’s and out’s to prepare yourself as well as possible.
Equipment – What To Do and What To Avoid
When you are just getting started, you will want to try to acquire equipment for a reasonable price. Whenever getting started with a sport, you want to try to save some coin. That way, you can figure out whether or not the sport is for you before you make any hefty investments. When you are choosing a stick, you want to factor in your height. After all, if the stick is either too long or too short, it could force you to put a lot of unnecessary strain on your upper and lower body. You should be able to find a specialist in-store to fit you for the right size.
As you are trying out your gear, you will want to be aware that you are likely going to feel somewhat uncomfortable before getting used to it. Give yourself some time to get familiar with the feeling and to stretch it out a little bit. If you find that it is far too uncomfortable and restricting, it might be too small and you may need to look for alternatives. You always need to wear a protective kit to maintain optimal safety while playing.
When you are searching for skates, you want to ensure that you have a fit that is ‘nice and snug.’ However, avoid having a fit that is too tight that will cause your toes to be unnecessarily cramped. You want to find ones that offer good ankle support, as well. You will likely find that your skate sizes are typically either a half or a full size smaller than the regular shoes you wear.
You should be using the ‘criss-cross’ method when you are tying your ice skates. That way, you will be able to get a secure fit with good ankle support. You want to keep the bottom three eyelets somewhat loose to avoid strangling your toes and cutting off blood circulation. From there, you want to make each eyelet increasingly tighter until you get to your ankles. Don’t completely wrap your laces around your ankles because it can cause your movement to get restricted and you won’t be able to make quick cuts because of it.
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You want to begin working on your technique when you are playing on the street, If you are using inline skates, it can be a good tool to practice your technique. That way, you can focus on your skating, but also your stick handling during drills.
You want to begin to watch a lot of professionals not only skate but play. You should be able to glean a lot of tips from them by simply watching how they move and the type of position they take.
You want to keep your stick on the ice at all times. Keeping your stick in contact with the ice can be critical. However, when you are trying to cause a deflection, you will want to lift it. If you happen to skate with your stick in the air, not only will you be unable to pass and shoot, but you will also be at risk for a high sticking penalty.
Getting better doesn’t only require practice. You will need to improve your physical fitness and gain some muscle if you want to get better at hockey. Try to work out in the gym and do a lot of cardio to ensure that you can enhance your endurance to levels hockey players need to be at to succeed.