How to start playing Hockey

If you are reading this blog,  I guess you are a complete beginner who doesn’t know where to start. People usually start reading blogs about ” how to play hockey ” right after deciding they want to play hockey. Playing hockey is fun, but learning hockey requires a lot of patience. So let’s just consider that there is a line going on in the back of your mind that ” I want to play hockey “. So we are here to help you out with beginner hockey basics and tips for beginner hockey players.

How was hockey invented :

If you know the background of a sport, you can easily relate to the rules. So if you are learning to play hockey, it will be better for you if you know how it was invented.

The name hockey most probably came from the word hoquet. Which means shepherd’s stick.

Some say the name Hockey came from the stick’s curve which looks like a hook. So hockey from the hook.  No matter what the history is, the basic is to hit something with a stick. It’s a pretty ancient game, so earlier people used to make hockey sticks with bamboo. Rules are equipment evolved constantly and now we have modern hockey in hand.

What to learn first:

Do you know what is most important in the case of learning a sport? It is to figure out what is the first thing that you should learn. So let’s see what are the beginner hockey tips we got for you.

My personal opinion always is to learn to stand first. For hockey, the term should learn to skate first unless you are playing field hockey. In the case of field hockey it will be, learn to run well. So let’s get into how to start playing hockey.

How to skate :

Okay, so we have three different types of hockey. Ice hockey, roller hockey and field hockey.

Ice hockey:

The first rule is to have patience. You won’t learn it in a day or maybe in a month also. At times you will feel like this is not possible at all. But it’s actually something achievable. So when you begin, definitely wear lighter clothes, so that you can move easily wearing them. I know it can be a bit chilly, but once you start moving you won’t feel the cold anymore. Still, to prevent cold you can wear fitted tops and leggings.

Then comes the most important thing, skates. You need to wear skates which are very comfortable and fit really well. To keep your feet warm use socks. But you can’t use the cotton socks due to less moisture-wicking ability. You better use microfiber socks. Then put on a helmet on your head for safety.

Mastering the basics :

  • Now, this may sound funny, but first, you need to learn falling and trust me you will obviously fall while learning hockey. The question is why you need to learn how to fall. The answer is, when you fall with a prepared position, you can reduce the seriousness of your injury. The less injury you face, the more you can focus on learning. So here are some techniques of falling in the right position.
    • Whenever you start feeling like you are falling, bend your knees and shift your body into the dip position (squatting).
    • It’s better to place your hands on the lap while falling forward and roll over your hands and knees.
    • To get up, gently push your body with your hand and stand up.
  • Learn to stop. If you know to ski then it is the same technique. Pull your legs apart and bend it sideways. This will reduce your speed and help you stop within a second. But as a beginner you may fall down while practicing it. So have patience.
  • To be comfortable in the skates keep gliding and keep stroking.
  • Practice swizzling (pulling your feet apart and then dragging the toes together, making an hourglass shape. It will help you improve your skills.)

Roller hockey :

In the case of roller hockey, all the safety measures are the same as ice hockey. All the glides, slides are also the same. The only difference is in the stopping method. 

  • One of the basic methods is to kneel down with one knee and stop.
  • Use the back part to stop (which is specially designed for brake)
  • Use the front block of the skate to stop.

Field hockey :

You don’t need to skate in case of field hockey. We need to run here. Again the safety measures are the same here. All you need to learn is to increase your running speed, practice pivoting (moving your body with one foot only) and keeping the balance while striking

Hockey basics:

While you must be hell level confused with all the other basics and searching everywhere about how to play hockey for beginners, we got Hockey: 101 for you.

Before you learn how to start playing hockey, I want to tell you that hockey is a team game. You need to be a team person first. It won’t matter how good you are in the game if you are not a good teammate. So when you start learning to play hockey, keep working on your mindset as well. Now let’s just jump to the technical things.

Holding and using the stick:

To hold the stick, take your right hand on the middle of the stick, hold the stick with your forefingers and wrap the thumb around. Then put your left hand on the top then again do the same thing with the fingers. That’s how you will get a good grip. Then push the puck and twist the stick. That will do the energy transformation and the puck will move further. Keep practicing this stroke again and again.

Warm-up and make your body comfortable in the outfit:

To ensure safety, you need to wear a lot of bulky things while playing. So do some warm up and obviously proper warm  ups wearing those bulky things. So that you get adjusted with the entire set up and while playing you don’t get injured while playing. Remember the highest probability of getting injured is during the practice time. So never skip the warm up session before practicing.

Practice quick start :

Hockey is a very fast paced game. Your reflexes need to be extremely good. You need to practice starting very quickly. Every single body part needs to be highly reflexive. You need to practice quick striding as well. For the quick start you will have to bend your knees a bit, pull one of your legs apart and kick with that. This will make the energy transfer smooth and you will have a real quick movement.

Practice multitasking and keeping balance:

Hockey is very much of a multitasking game. You will have to keep skating, look for the puck and hit it towards the goal and will have to snatch it from the oponentes as well. So it’s very common in new players that they end up falling hard on the ice or the ground during doing all these together. So it is really important to keep the balance while multitasking. Cause one bad fall can kick you out of the tournament.

Hockey rink and your position:

Okay, so now you know what to start with. Now let’s get into how to start playing hockey. We will now talk about the rink and your position in it.

Structure of the rink :

The rink is divided into three zones; defensive, offensive and neutral. Defensive is the zone where you and your teammates are standing. The middle section is the neutral one. And the opposite side where the opposition party will stand, is called the offensive zone. The attacking way is from the defensive zone to the offensive zone. 

Selecting your position:

You will get 5 players and 1 goalie in your team (depends on the game type). All of them have to stand in the defensive zone. There are different positions for different roles.

  • Goalie: The goalie stands in front of the goal post to prevent the puck from entering into the goal line. If your reflexes are really good and you can remain very alert all the time then you can consider being a goalie.
  • Defense players (left and right): They try to block the opposition party when your team doesn’t have the puck possession. They also block the opposition party from taking over the puck when your team has the possession. If you are not that aggressive player and you have a good blocking skill, then you may try playing from these positions.
  • Forward center: They try to take possession of the puck during every face off. If you are a very aggressive player, then you should try for this position.
  • Forward left and right wing : They have some defensive responsibilities. But they look forward to creating the primary situation of making a goal.

If you are just thinking of, who makes the goal, I want to be the hero of the match! Then the answer is anyone can make the goal including the goalie (rare case). 

So that’s it, that’s how you start playing hockey. But always remember whenever you violate a rule, there will be a negative impact on your team. So always play safe and follow the rules. If you want to know about the hockey rules, click here.

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