I'm learning to play hockey

standingThis year, I am going to learn how to play hockey.

There, I said it. Heck, I even wrote it for all of you to see. No backing out now; I really have to commit to this.

Back in 2010, the Red Eye newspaper featured an article about adult hockey lessons, which got me thinking about learning how to play the world's coolest sport.

Since then, other commitments have kept me too busy from trying to play. But now I finally have some time. Earlier this month, I took the plunge and signed up for adult hockey lessons.

I'm 38 years old and have loved hockey ever since I was 14. I even tried playing back in the day, but it was hard to be a "hockey noob" in your teens. I was up against kids who were faster, better coordinated and more experienced. So, my attempt back then was short-lived and unsatisfying.

Now things are different. Being an adult (at least physically), I am stronger and better coordinated than I was in my teens. And today, there are many different leagues and skill levels for adults -- even for those just learning how to play. I have no delusions of grandeur. In fact, my long-term goal is to play on a D-level recreational league team (with D being just a step above beginner level).

Hockey is the hardest sport to play. Unlike other sports that are played on terra firma, hockey is played on a slippery sheet of ice. Balance is easy on a baseball diamond or soccer pitch, but it's a whole different game (literally) when wearing metal blades strapped to your feet and navigating a foreign surface.

falling

Hockey also is overwhelming if you are without any prior knowledge of playing the sport. Where do I start? What is playing even like? How much should I spend on skates? What kind of helmet do I need?

A few times each week, I will talk about my experiences of learning how to play and hopefully finding my way onto a team. I will also discuss how to make informed decisions about equipment and lessons, and will solicit advice from experts on skating and playing.

If you've never played hockey but always wanted to -- or tried it before but were discouraged -- then this is the blog for you.

Learn with me and laugh with (or at) me. I am the Hockey Noob.


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Filed under: Hockey Lessons

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