It’s never too early or too late to start playing hockey, and there are a number of adults who enjoy this sport recreationally and competitively. Starting a new sport from scratch can, however, be somewhat intimidating, and it’s often best to join a club and learn from others who have experience.
These tips will also give you the edge and help you on your way to enjoying a fast-paced and fun sporting activity that’s a favourite of so many.
Buy the Right Kit
Having the right hockey kit is essential, and this means that you’ll need to do a bit of shopping before you hit the field. You can find a huge amount of gear and hockey shoes online, and you shouldn’t struggle getting hold of the right kit. When it comes to hockey sticks, you’ll also find a wide variety of options available on the web, and it’s suggested that beginners always start out with a composite stick, as they provide more power and better control. Composite sticks may be slightly more expensive than wood, but they will last longer and give you a better feel for the game, right from the start.
Try Out Different Positions on the Field
Not everyone is born to be a goalie or a natural defender, mid-fielder or forward. When you start playing hockey, it’s suggested that you try out as many different positions as possible, until you find the one that feels the most natural. You’ll find your niche on the field, and you may find that it’s similar to the positions you’ve played in other sports.
Watch and Learn
To better understand the dynamics of the game, the strategy and the various styles of play, you’ll need to do some research. This can involve watching live hockey games, practice sessions, drills or any other similar hockey-related media you can find. Always watch the player in your position and see what they do, and try to learn from others and implement their strategic moves into your play. Reading up on the game and understanding every facet of it will also stand you in good stead, and if you can understand the theory, the practical side will come easily. You’ll soon find you are an asset to any team.
Develop Your Stick Skills
Your hockey stick should become an extension of yourself, and you should be 100% comfortable with it in every position. This takes time, patience and practice and is something that even the pro players work on endlessly. Stick skills involve dribbling, hitting dodging, tackling and all other related stick and ball play actions that are crucial to hockey, and practising these will see every aspect of your game improve as time goes on.
Develop the Right Mentality
As a beginner, you’ll need to work hard to ensure you can keep up with a team, and working on your skills and fitness is essential. Hockey is a team sport and morale is important, and if you have the right attitude, you’ll find you do better in the game as everyone works as a unit. And of course there is the question of purchasing the right equipment to take you ahead, be it ordering hockey shoes online or visiting a local store for hockey sticks, socks or grips.
These are just a few tips for beginners, and there are plenty more you’ll find and can implement as you learn how to play, no matter what age you are.