The 6 Most Important Tips for Playing Youth Hockey: A blog about getting your child started in the game of hockey along with common issues.
Hockey is a great way to teach kids lessons that can be applied both on and off the ice. As a parent, it is not always easy to know what the best course of action is to help your child succeed. This blog will provide you with some tips and tricks to help you along the way!
The 6 Most Important Tips for Playing Youth Hockey
1. Having fun! This is very important! If your child is not having fun, he or she will not want to continue playing hockey. Most youth players fall in love with the game during their first year of playing. The best thing you can do is let them have fun and enjoy the game. The rest will take care of itself.
2. Keep it simple! Don’t try and over coach your child in the beginning. As mentioned above, most young players fall in love with the game on their own and just need a little time to get used to skating around and having fun on the ice.
3. Take care of equipment! This is extremely important as a player’s equipment is what protects their body from injury while playing a contact sport like hockey. Without proper fitting gear, injuries can occur very easily; some which may be career ending.
4. Eat Right! A good healthy diet will help your child grow up healthy and strong which will allow him or her to stay active and play sports much longer than those who do not eat right and stay in shape through exercise.
5. Listen to your coaches, but don’t listen too much! The best players are
The 6 Most Important Tips for Playing Youth Hockey
copyright: 2013, The Hockey Source
1. Have fun! This is the most important tip. If your child is not having fun, they won’t want to continue playing. It’s as simple as that. Ask yourself what you can do to ensure your child is having a good time out on the ice. Are they learning? Are they getting enough ice time? Is it too cold in the rink or are their skates too tight? You don’t want any of these things to be a reason why your child doesn’t want to continue playing hockey.
2. Don’t compare them to others. It’s easy to compare your child’s skill level and ability to other players on the team and even worse, your friends’ kids who play hockey. However, everyone develops at different rates and your child may not be ready to play at the same level as others yet. However, that doesn’t mean they won’t develop into an amazing player in a few years.
3. Be patient! Your child may not learn all the skills right away but with time and practice they will improve dramatically over time. Just because he or she didn
Hockey is a great sport for all ages, but it’s a little different than other sports at the youth level. It’s played on ice, there are more players per team, and the equipment is more expensive.
If your child has never played hockey before, or if you want to give them an advantage while they’re learning, here are 6 tips for playing youth hockey.
1. Start Young
The younger your child is when they start playing hockey, the easier it will be for them to pick up the skills needed to play. A lot of young players start in house leagues that focus more on teaching basic skills than on competition. Even if your kids aren’t quite old enough to play in a house league yet, you can always help by taking them skating or by shooting pucks at them in the driveway.
2. Wear Proper Equipment
One of the biggest differences between hockey and other sports is the equipment needed to play safely. While it’s important for kids in every sport to wear protective gear like helmets and pads, this is especially true for hockey. In addition to basic protective equipment like helmets and shin pads, most kids will need skates, gloves, and sticks once they’re ready to start playing organized games. Hockey can be an expensive sport because
1. Don’t push your kid to play hockey. Have them pick a sport they want to play. It’s important they want to play the game, not that you do. The moment you force them to participate, they will lose interest fast.
2. Buy used equipment when possible. Most youth leagues have used gear for sale or can tell you where to buy used equipment. There are some things you don’t want to buy used such as skates, helmets and shoulder pads, but if you can find a good deal on gently used gear it will save you a ton of money.
3. Don’t overspend on your child’s first stick – unless they are planning on playing travel hockey right away – then get whatever stick the coach recommends for their team (usually supplied by sponsor).
4. Make sure your child is properly fitted for their equipment. Getting the right size helmet and shoulder pads is crucial for safety reasons and getting the right size skates is crucial for comfort reasons..
In my last blog post I talked about some of the biggest mistakes parents make while getting their child started in hockey. This blog post is a counterpoint to that one. In this one I’ll talk not about what you shouldn’t do, but what you should do to help ensure your kids have fun playing hockey and give themselves the best chance at success on the ice.
1) Take the Long View
The most important thing to keep in mind is that your kid is not going to be an NHL superstar when they are 6 years old. Or 7 or 8 or 9 or even 10. Many kids will play at a very high level by the time they are 18, 19 or 20 years old… but if they aren’t a top player by age 12, it doesn’t mean they won’t ever be a top player. If you watch any NHL game, take note of when the players were born (you can find their birth year next to their name on the back of their jersey). Most NHL players were born between September and December. That is because those are the cut-off dates for youth and junior hockey in North America and in many parts of Europe as well. The kids who are born in January, February, March and April are often at a disadvantage because they
There is a lot of misinformation out there and one of the biggest problems I see with beginner players is what I call “the hockey stop”. This move, when done correctly, can be an extremely powerful tool to help you change direction while skating. However, when done improperly it can lead to injury and many bad habits.
The way most coaches teach the hockey stop is to have the player skate while parallel to the boards and slam on the brakes as hard as they can, thus causing them to slide along the ice in a straight line. This works because of friction between your skates and the ice. The problem is that there are other ways to stop that are much simpler for a beginning player and do not require such an abrupt move. In fact, this kind of stopping puts a tremendous amount of strain on the knees and tends to cause players to get their feet too close together (which leads to tripping).
The first thing a beginner needs to learn is how to slow down or glide from side-to-side. If this sounds too simple then you either never taught yourself or you’ve forgotten what it was like for you as a beginner.