blue hockey stick tape and white hockey stick tape

Hockey for Beginners

Hockey is a great team sport to get involved in.  It is a good cardio workout for your entire body.  Hockey engages your core and improves your coordination, flexibility and balance. Because the game play is so fast, it will also help to improve your reflexes and reaction time.  

Hockey Practice

You should definitely try to spend as much time as possible practicing on the ice.  Unless you’re being paid to play, this is probably not often enough for your liking.  Luckily, there are many ways you can work on your skills, even when you’re not at the rink.

Rollerblading is a great substitute for practicing ice skating.when you can’t get to the rink.  Rollerblading requires much of the same balancing skills and movements.  Rollerblading can actually help to improve single leg control and agility, as well as helping to develop leg power.  

You can practice your stickhandling with your stick, a puck or ball and a flat surface. You can practice dribbling and experiment with different angles.  If you are playing with a rubber ball, you can also hit it against a wall and defend against it as it returns to you. Any type of makeshift goal will improve your accuracy as you attempt to hit your target. 

During your practice sessions, you should also experiment with different ways to wrap your hockey stick. There are many methods for taping your stick, and all have different advantages and disadvantages.  

You can find some tips for taping your hockey stick- here.  Using VukGripz hockey grip tape is a great option because it is durable, waterproof and reusable. 

Any type of cardiovascular exercises or weight training will be beneficial as well.  These will help you to become stronger, giving you more power, and also will help you to improve your endurance.  

Hockey Gear

Making sure that you have good quality and well fitting hockey gear is essential to playing better.  There are many different types of hockey gear that you need, and each one is important to ensure that it fits well. 

Your ice skates should be laced up tightly, so you need to get a size that fits you well so that you don’t develop foot pain.  They should give you good ankle support and be in good enough condition to withstand the ice and heavy contact.  Keeping your skates sharp will make you glide across the ice more easily.

Wearing a helmet is extremely important, as hockey is a very aggressive sport, with potential for serious injuries.  Your helmet should be certified and should have a full face mask with a protective chin cup and chin strap.  It should fit properly and should always have the chin strap fastened and tightened to make sure it stays in place. 

The better quality your pads are, the better you will feel in the time following your games.  You should definitely make sure that they are in good shape and fit well.  

Another important part of your hockey gear is wearing a mouthguard.  A mouthguard protects your teeth, lips, cheeks and tongue, and is essential to wear anything you are practicing or playing.  

Hockey goalies require a whole different set of equipment to ensure their safety.  Their gear is much more substantial than the rest of the team, as they are usually seeing more consistent action.  

From Beginner to Professional

As with anything, the more preparation you put into something, the better the results.  Playing a team sport is very fulfilling and putting in the work practicing and finding good fitting gear will help you on your path to becoming a great hockey player!