Young children and skating/hockey

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Young children and skating/hockey

Postby Puck » Thu Aug 04, 2011 10:07 am

Hi all,

I have two sons, aged 3 and 5. Both are currently learning to skate. The 5-yr-old could get into a hockey learning program right now, the 3-yr-old would have to wait until next year. They are really only just getting the feel for skating, so I'm kind of thinking a bit more focus on that would be preferential to jumping into hockey right away, but I'd love to hear anyone's suggestions and experiences on the matter.
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Re: Young children and skating/hockey

Postby LotusBlossom » Thu Aug 04, 2011 3:02 pm

Puck wrote:Hi all,

I have two sons, aged 3 and 5. Both are currently learning to skate. The 5-yr-old could get into a hockey learning program right now, the 3-yr-old would have to wait until next year. They are really only just getting the feel for skating, so I'm kind of thinking a bit more focus on that would be preferential to jumping into hockey right away, but I'd love to hear anyone's suggestions and experiences on the matter.


The wonderful thing about the tykes hockey learning programs these days are there is a lot of focus on skating skill and learning to use their body weight for proper balance. I wish they had those programs when I was small and learning to skate, but I was really glad when my now 14 year old had them offered to her at the ages 4 and 5. Best thing to do was to just go out there as much as possible during the skating season to your local rink during the family skates (I find the public skates were a bit too much for kids that age) and let them have at it to compliment the hockey learning program. You'd be amazed how much better they get with the amount of time they spend on the ice.
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Re: Young children and skating/hockey

Postby Aaronp18 » Thu Aug 04, 2011 3:47 pm

Get them rollerblades as well.

There's a lot more place to rollerblade than there is to skate on ice. Yes there is definitely differences but they will learn the basics of balance an weight shifting.

It will make the transition to ice easier. And since they can do it far more often they will learn very quickly.

Just got my 3 year old some rollerblades and she loves it, we've been out almost every night this week and it's amazing how quickly she is learning. By the time winter rolls around and we're ready to hit the ice again she'll probably be skating with no problem by herself.
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Re: Young children and skating/hockey

Postby Topper » Thu Aug 04, 2011 4:18 pm

My guy is 16 months and I'm hoping to get him out on skates this winter though I'm afraid it will e like Mrs Topper's roller blading experence.

Saturday - buy roller blades
Sunday - go roller blading
Monday - get x-rays
10 years later - what the fuck are these brand new roller blades doing in the basement?
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Re: Young children and skating/hockey

Postby rats19 » Thu Aug 04, 2011 4:22 pm

Topper wrote:My guy is 16 months and I'm hoping to get him out on skates this winter though I'm afraid it will e like Mrs Topper's roller blading experence.

Saturday - buy roller blades
Sunday - go roller blading
Monday - get x-rays
10 years later - what the fuck are these brand new roller blades doing in the basement?

:lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Young children and skating/hockey

Postby Aaronp18 » Thu Aug 04, 2011 4:27 pm

Topper wrote:My guy is 16 months and I'm hoping to get him out on skates this winter though I'm afraid it will e like Mrs Topper's roller blading experence.


Yeah but the fortunate thing about kids is they don't have very far to fall, so they really never hurt themselves that badly!

A bruise or scrape here or there is to be expected. My biggest fear is them falling on the ice and getting run over by some other kid with skates on. Roller blades don't cut.
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Re: Young children and skating/hockey

Postby Arachnid » Thu Aug 04, 2011 7:26 pm

Get them full equipment and let them go nuts (just skating, not hockey). Best advice I ever got for Jr. when I coached the young'ns
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Re: Young children and skating/hockey

Postby Puck » Fri Aug 05, 2011 10:50 am

Topper wrote:My guy is 16 months and I'm hoping to get him out on skates this winter though I'm afraid it will e like Mrs Topper's roller blading experence.

Depends on the kid, Topper. My eldest is fairly athletic, but cautious... he slowly eased into skating. The youngest is driven by an intense need to continuously unload slap-shots at whoever will stand in the goal - inside, outside, ball, puck, random object - it doesn't matter. So, he put on skates at the store at age 2 1/2 and walked away in them as comfortable as if they were a pair of socks. When we put him on ice he basically willed himself to stay standing so he could pass a puck with me for the 30 minutes of the session. Crazy.

In the end, Mrs. Puck has put the 5-yr-old in "Mini-Canucks" which is a mostly-skating program with some attention to stick-handling. The 3-yr-old will be in a skating-only lesson. The lessons are concurrent, so that's helpful. I'll take everyone's advice on skating and try to get them out for extra-time.

A level 4 hockey coach friend of mine suggests that if your kid skates 3 times a week from an early age they'll probably play at the AAA level until pure athleticism starts weeding people out; the skating is that important. I have no intention of pushing my kids like that unless they ask me too, but I still see the value in lots of skating as it's so important to your enjoyment of the game (at all levels and ages).
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Re: Young children and skating/hockey

Postby ODB » Mon Aug 22, 2011 1:57 pm

My boy's doing both this winter. Skating lessons start next week. Hockey starts mid Oct so he'll have a good 8 to 10 hours on the ice before he starts hockey. From there we'll continue skating lessons and hockey throughout the winter.

I knew hockey was expensive but wow, it’s really expensive! He’s three and a half years old and we’ll spend roughly $1,000.00 this fall on equipment and fee’s! No wonder parents flip out when their blockhead's don't get equal ice time.
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Re: Young children and skating/hockey

Postby Vpete » Mon Aug 22, 2011 8:33 pm

I've got two kids in hockey, oldest starts pre-season training in a 10 days and the younger guy will just roll into camp as is. Why the difference you may ask? The oldest was my first foray into hockey and as I didn't skate and learned as he did I made all the mistakes- his stride sucks, the younger guy has awesome stride and strength because I learned. No matter who tells you time on ice is important it's irrelevant if what they are doing on the ice is wrong.

After learning to stand, stride and glide without help and with a bit of confidence that mum and dad can got get a coffee and watch the most important part of any hockey investment is skating. Not just doing the circles from end to end but how you place your feet and body in your stride and it should be re-enforced early. Don't send the kid the to the community club where the people show them the route and then wait for them to finish before the next one. Find a program where the instructors show the right technique and help the kids achieve it.

My younger guy can move the puck better than his 5 year older brother because he can skate better. When they play on the ice together the only thing that separates them is size not ability. It's not that the older guy sucks he just does not have the same confidence in his stride and now at 12 he has a hard time 'un-learning' bad habits.

Roller blades are good for that wrote memory of stride particularly cross overs and knee bend position but when learning it's different for stopping and shifting as there are few surfaces you can actually slide roller blades on other than polished concrete. Skates can slide on the ice and when kids have confidence in their stride they can do other things with the puck that promotes advanced movement.

My nephews who play double A hockey say the best skating lessons and hardest was from a figure skating coach and that's what helped them the most.

OD you are so right about costs I am in for 3 grand in two weeks for equipment, fees, and then all the additional team ice times and such. That's why I coach now to make sure my investment is managed well. ;)
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Re: Young children and skating/hockey

Postby Topper » Tue Aug 23, 2011 6:43 am

Anyone know where I can get a deal on a soccer Mom minivan?

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Re: Young children and skating/hockey

Postby Vpete » Tue Aug 23, 2011 6:58 am

Topper wrote:Anyone know where I can get a deal on a soccer Mom minivan?

Fake wood panelling is optional.


Do you need a soccer mom in the minivan or a van to attract soccer moms?
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Re: Young children and skating/hockey

Postby ODB » Tue Aug 23, 2011 7:47 am

Seems like we're on the right track Vpete. Skating and hockey. The coaches are certified so he should learn the right way. If I try teaching him he'll be a mess. All I give a shit about is he has fun and he's not a fat xbox lump! We want him to spend his youth doing in the real world with real people. We'll drop the coin for that. We have no illusions he'll play professional hockey.
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Re: Young children and skating/hockey

Postby Vpete » Tue Aug 23, 2011 8:25 am

ODB wrote:Seems like we're on the right track Vpete. Skating and hockey. The coaches are certified so he should learn the right way. If I try teaching him he'll be a mess. All I give a shit about is he has fun and he's not a fat xbox lump! We want him to spend his youth doing in the real world with real people. We'll drop the coin for that. We have no illusions he'll play professional hockey.


I'm a certified coach and I learned to skate at age 32! Coaching hockey is largely based on fun and games at your son's age rather than skating structure. It's better IMO to separate the two. That being said there are so many hockey options for kids in our neck of the woods that they can play to whatever their interest and motivation level is. As I tell my oldest son, "if all you get out of this is beer league play later in life it's a good investment".

The cool part right now is the older kid is really developing his better/stonger friendships with friends from hockey and camp. Little stud came back with a girlfriend from summer camp!!! Took him to see her at the mall on Sunday with two other camp friends. Vpete's like "Damn, the boy has game, she's gonna be hot" Then I came to my senses and reminded myself that she was 12! :twisted:

Back on topic- as I say to my boys " I don't care what sport you pick but you are going to be involved in one for winter, spring and fall- it's your choice". So far so good.
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Re: Young children and skating/hockey

Postby Benjo » Tue Aug 23, 2011 10:19 pm

Rollerblades have come a long way since I was 9 or 10 where the boot was molded plastic and instead of laces there was 2 plastic straps. Today's skates now have 2 larger wheels in the back and 2 smaller in the front which forces you to lean forward on your toes for a more natural skating stance. The big thing you miss out on though is using edges however there are roller hockey tile floors out where they have perfected the friction so you can complete hockey stops with indoor wheels.

The best skating lessons I've ever had was 1 on 1 with a figure skating instructor. She taught me how to use edges, weight transfer and angles to where I could skate from blue line to blue line on 1 leg. Our coach once brought in one of her figure skating students to teach us a few things and she could beat us from goal line to goal line skating backwards while not lifting her feet off the ground while we were skating forward as hard as we could.

Encourage your kids to play other sports too. Soccer is amazing for cardio because a good deal of practice time is spent doing laps around the field. Gymnastics, even beginner gymnastics for 3-4 year olds is terrific for building balance.

Baseball I can honestly say I got nothing out of except maybe some hand eye coordination. 90% of the game is spent standing around.
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