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I am 32, overweight, and can't skate!! However, I have fallen in love with hockey, and I am determined to play! I am losing weight, working out, and skating 2-3 times a week in order to join the local women's team (they waid all I need to do is be able to go forward and stop!). What else can I do to prepare? Are there specific exercises I can do, books I can read? Any and all advice is very welcome! This is the coolest game on earth!! Anna
-- Anna Huthmaker (AHuthmaker@aol.com), December 27, 1999
Hi Anna! It sounds like you're doing exactly what you ought to be if you want to learn how to play good hockey -- you're skating! That's the first and most important step, and it's a great workout. So I'd keep up with that and don't worry about being able to do anything fancy. Just take your time and get comfortable on the ice and the rest will come. Once you get some gear, you can be more bold with backward skating and hockey stops. Because once you've got pads on, falling won't hurt at all!
For books, I'd check out _Gold Medal Ice Hockey for Women & Girls_, by Katie King and Tricia Dunn, two players from the US women's national team. It's a great introduction to the sport. Here it is at amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1886284377/
-- Ann (email@example.com), January 09, 2000.
Good For You Anna, One thing that helped me learn to skate is learning to skate without using a stick. It gives you better balance and more confidence. When you become more advanced you will learn you have a stong side, so always push yourself to use you weak side for stopping and turning. Good Luck. If you have questions please E- Mail me.
-- JEN VARANI (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 10, 2000.
I play ice hockey in Australia, so the amount of rinks we have are really limited and free ice time with pads and a stick - forget it! I decided I wanted to play hockey about 18 months ago, so first thing I needed to do was learn to skate. Because we can't get free ice time with pads and gear on, I had to learn how to skate and fall and stop and turn in regular clothes (many bruised knees,hips and elbows!) I found what really helped was a few private ice-dancing lessons. I know it sounds lame, but it REALLY helped me with edge control, turning and speed, I also got to skate around gazing into the eyes of (and being held up by) a very cute ex-ice dancing champ!
Also for puck handling: roller blade around on the smoothest bit of concrete you can find, with a heavy ball and cheap roller-hockey stick. It really works. In addition I've found that kitchen floor lino is a good approximation of an ice surface- good for shooting pucks, I usually set a banana lounge up across the doorway to the kitchen (I haven't trashed the place too badly yet).
But whatever you do, keep skating, keep practicing and keep playing...this game really does rule!
-- Sarah aka 'scary' (email@example.com), June 06, 2000.
I feel your pain! I'm 25, getting out of shape, and yearning to return to the world of hockey.
As a supplement to my workouts and diet, I now go play pickup hockey on Saturday evenings. Yes, I have lost a few steps and I feel like falling dead afterwards, but I figure getting out and doing it is the best way...good luck!
-- GB in SC (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 02, 2002.