Novice Ice Hockey Skills
Ice hockey is a difficult sport to learn because skating is not exactly the easiest thing in the world to master immediately. The good news is that all beginners start at the same level, and there are many skills that can be practiced and perfected to build confidence and improve ability. Let’s focus on novice ice hockey skills that are fundamentals of the sport.
Being able to skate without losing ones balance is essential to being able to learn about the sport. There are many ways for novices to practice balance, but perhaps the best way is simply to turn a plastic garbage can upside down, hold onto the bottom with both hands, and then practice skating around the rink using the object to help keep your balance. You cannot begin to learn novice ice hockey skills until you have mastered your balance and are able to skate without falling.
Shooting is necessary for scoring goals and winning games, and this skill can be a challenge for beginners. Novices often lose their balance or miss the puck altogether when trying to shoot the puck. The best way to practice the skill of shooting is simply by lining the players up all around the rink and having them shoot the puck against the boards in front of them for practice.
Passing is an important skill which is necessary for teams to work well together as a unite. The best way for beginners to practice their passing skills is to break them up into groups of two and have them take turns passing and receiving passes. This will improve accuracy and coordination. Remember to instruct all players that it is necessary to always have their sticks on the ice in order to receive a pass.
Stick handling is necessary in order to protect the puck from the opposing team. Beginners often push the puck too far ahead instead of keeping it close to their stick. One of the best drills to improve stick handling skills is to line up cones and have the players stick handle the puck between the cones. This drill will also improve skating and turning.
Learning How to Get Up:
Falling down is an evitable consequence of learning how to play hockey. Players must learn the proper technique in order to get back onto their feet, otherwise they might never be able to get off the ice. Teaching players to use their sticks for balance and getting up onto one knee first will enable them to learn the skill of getting back up. Have the players practice this many times, since this is perhaps the most important part of learning the sport, since falling will happen often.
Stopping and Starting:
Stopping and starting drills teach players the skill of being able to stop and start up again when necessary. By turning both skates ninety degrees and bending the knees, beginners can get the feel for what it takes to stop and then to start up again. Stopping is one of the most essential novice ice hockey skills.
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