A new year, a new you! You resolved to get back in shape, to eat healthier, and to be active more, and what a better way to live your new year resolution than with a sport you enjoy playing?
You may be passionate about rowing, skiing, or tennis, but have you ever thought about giving roller hockey a go?
If not, now’s the perfect opportunity to change your mind. With the new year, new sport season, and the warm summer months ahead, many ice rinks have reopened their doors and are looking for fresh blood in their leagues.
Whether you’ve been missing out on the fun because you were injured or sick, or you’ve always been a fan of hockey, why not give it a try this year? You’ll be riding in no time and will have a blast!
Here’s how to break in roller hockey skates so you can hit the ice this winter:
Get The Right Equipment
You’ll need the proper gear to feel comfortable on the ice. Aside from the standard hockey equipment (stick, helmet, and gloves), you’ll also need special gear for ice skating. Make sure you purchase these from a reputable source and have them delivered to your home.
Hockey Equipment: The equipment you’ll need for playing hockey includes the standard hockey equipment (stick, helmet, and gloves) as well as some specialized items to enhance your performance on the ice. While it is advisable to get a complete hockey set, you do not need to invest in expensive equipment to enjoy playing the game. The key pieces of gear are your helmet, elbow pads, and gloves. The latter pair are designed specifically for hockey players and feature leather palms and an adjustable strap to tighten around your forearms. The best hockey gloves currently on the market come in a pair with an added textured surface on the back and palm in order to improve grip on the puck/ball.
For safety reasons, you’ll also need a pair of safety goggles which are designed to protect your eyes from the glaring cold winter sun as well as a pair of protective earmuffs. Your hockey stick will need to be straight and will need to reach your ankles when you stand with it between your legs.
Join A Leagues Skating Club
The best way to enjoy playing hockey is by belonging to a hockey leagues skating club. These are organizations of all skill levels that meet regularly to skate and to cheer on their members. If you’re looking for a social outlet as well as an opportunity to play hockey, consider signing up with a skating club in your area.
The main advantage of joining a skating club is that you’ll have access to ice rinks which are typically closed to the general public. Another advantage is that you’ll meet people with whom you can share your passion for hockey. Most importantly, you’ll have the opportunity to play and to experience the fun of hockey in a group setting.
Consider Taking A Few Lessons
Even if you’re a beginner, you shouldn’t expect to jump into competitive skating instantly. Consider taking a few lessons with a reputable coach or instructor who can help you acquire the basics of skating. After you’ve learned how to skate, you can progress to more advanced stages with less risk of injury.
A good place to start is the local library or bookstore. Also, don’t forget about the Internet. Many coaches have made themselves available for one-on-one Skype sessions with prospective students who want to learn more about the game.
If you want to play hockey this winter, you’ll have to start early. The earlier you begin your workouts, the better. That way, by the time the winter games come around, you’ll be ready to go. You don’t want to wait until the last minute to train because then you’ll be forced to rush your preparations which could result in injuries.
Practice At A Rec Center
If you’re lucky enough to have a rec center nearby, you can practice at a place that is specially designed for athletic activities. This usually entails using exercise bikes, rowing machines, and/or swimming pools to simulate ice skating conditions. Practicing at a rec center gives you the advantage of getting used to the cold climate as well as the security of having others around if you get skittish or fall down.
Play In The Summer
As we’ve established, the best way to enjoy playing hockey is by skating on a frozen pond. The problem is that the majority of ponds have now frozen over, so you’ll either have to find an outdoor rink or join a hockey league.
If you live in a place where the temperature stays above 75°F, you can play in the summer. Take advantage of the sun and heat to practice your skating skills. Also, instead of worrying about where you’re going to play, you can play in the neighborhoods surrounding your house. This way, you’ll have a rink close at hand for when the ice starts to thaw.
Watch The Weather
Another thing you might want to keep an eye on is the weather. If you play in an area where temperatures stay consistent, you can be sure that the ice will not be too soft or hard for you to enjoy yourself. Check the weather reports before you set your skates on a particularly cold day so you know what to expect. Days when the temperature is above 75°F will cause the ice to become weak and possibly melt away entirely. When this happens, you’ll have to find a new place to practice or consider taking a few days off. This is all subject to change depending on the time of year and the weather in your area. Keep your eyes open for seasonal variations and remember: the best time for hockey is from October to April in the Northern Hemisphere and from June to September in the Southern Hemisphere.
If you followed the advice laid out here, you’ll be able to play hockey this winter season without any problems. This game is not only fun to play but it’s also great exercise and a great way to meet new people. So, if you’ve been missing out on the fun because you were scared to try something new, this year is the year to change that! Get out there and give it a go. You’ll have fun and you’ll realize how much exercise you get while playing. So, hit the snow and the ice with confidence!