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Learn How

How difficult is it to learn how to play ice hockey as an adult?

I am 29 years old and soon to turn 30 and want to start learning how to play ice hockey. I never had ice hockey in my town growing up but always wanted to learn. However, I'm wondering how difficult it is to learn how to skate and some of the basic skills involved in order to play at the recreational level with no prior experience. I was quite athletic and played sports growing up such as basketball, football, baseball, and floor hockey, but have not played organized sports in about 8-10 years. Am I kidding myself trying to learn how to play ice hockey now at 30 years old?? It sure seems like a great hobby to take up.

As a Hockey Father and long time player I can tell you there are many middle aged and older people learning hockey. There are several steps to take first - learn to skate. This can be done on roller blades or at the rink. See if your local rink has a learn to skate program and enroll. We see retirees learning at our facility. If not, see if during open ice you can skate while holding a chair in front of you - offers the chance to maintain your balance.

If you choose the ice option, get fitted with a good pair of hockey skates, not rentals. There is no greater deterent to skating than trying to learn on ill-fitting skates and killing your feet.

If you opt to learn roller blading, again get your own skates. Once you have the skating basics down, most ice rinks have a basics hockey program. We have one for adults at our facility that starts with the basics; skate stops, turning, skating backwards and then progresses through stick handling, shooting and advanced skills.

Whatever method you choose, when you start wear a helmet, wrist, elbow and knee guards to protect yourself. We have in Chicago a well known financial king that learned to skate and play hockey when he turned 50 - Sam Zell. Also, most over 30 adult leagues are non-checking leagues to protect the players. Ask your rink about Rat Hockey nights as well.

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