Beginner Hockey Clinic at Niles Outdoor Rink

Coach Matt Smith is teaching the clinic in Niles.

Coach Matt Smith will teach the clinic.

There’s a new opportunity for beginning hockey players who are looking to improve their skills. Starting this Monday in Niles is a weekly hockey clinic which offers to help beginners with skating, stick handling, shooting and positioning. The class runs from November 17, 2014 to March 9, 2015. What makes this an enticing opportunity is that you do not have to commit to the whole 17-week program; you can try a single “drop in” class to see first if you like it, or a ten-lesson pass if you know that you can’t commit to 17 Monday nights in a row.

The class will be taught by Matt Smith, a former college player and Level IV USA Hockey coach who has over 15 years of coaching experience. The clinic is organized by the Chicago Outdoor Hockey League. The class will be  at the Niles IceLand Skate Complex on their outdoor rink. I have not seen this rink yet myself, but from what I understand it is fully refrigerated (like an indoor rink), has a roof/canopy and locker rooms.

Two different skill levels are being taught: Beginner and Intermediate. The differences in the classes are explained on the COHL website:

Beginner, Monday Nights 7:30 p.m. – 8:40 p.m. – Geared towards players with lesser defined skating and stick skills. These players must have less than 3 years experience. Players should be comfortable skating forwards, but likely have plenty of work to do to improve their skating, stick handling, shooting, and positioning skills.

Intermediate and Above, Monday Nights 8:50 p.m.-10 p.m. – Geared, at a minimum, for players that are comfortable skating both forwards and backwards, and can easily perform a “hockey stop”. These players have played at least 2 years of organized hockey and have a complete understanding of the rules of play.

The cost for this clinic are as follows;

One drop-in class: $27
10 sessions: $220 ($22 per class)
17 sessions: $340 ($20 per class)

Niles IceLand Skate Complex is located at:

8435 West Ballard Road
Niles, Illinois  60714
(847) 297-8010

I am considering the Beginner clinic with some of my Blades of Steel teammates. If you see a guy with out there with a garish, gold-colored jersey, it’s probably me, so be sure to say hi.

For more information on, or to register for, this clinic, visit the COHL website here.

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