Have learned a few things taking up hockey again at age 40 having not played since age 13.
- Skating is the funnest thing ever
- Hockey positioning and physics is an art
- Adult safe beer leagues and training leagues are great
- Youtube is a great supplementary coach
- Culture could be better
- If you learned as a child, you have an advantage
Skating is fun
There is nothing more freeing than whipping around the ice with power, grace and efficiency. Has become more efficient since I was kid.
Biggest skating lessons
- The cross-over is dead, focus on the cross-under and the power of the behind leg
- the 10 & 2 (mohawk) is useful for puck protection and escaping
- power skating starts intense and should be full body twist at max speed
- Toe drags and heel anchors help tremendously with quick directional changes
- Can generate stable adaptable forward momentum with “the corkscrew”
- Have a weaker side and strong side
- Hockey stance is critical for balance: knees slightly bent over toe, wide for more stability
- The rule “keep your head up” and still applies universally: your head will control your direction in full body twists
- hip walls control the puck
- Maximimizing efficiency without stopping is necessary: being able to transition from direction to direction without stopping and always moving
- knowing the duties of positions for offence and defence will make you a better teammate and in the right place at the right time
A years worth of Instructional League is helpful. The coaches teach and then a quick practice game at the end. Was fortunate enough to already have hockey sense ingrained in my child brain.
The beer leagues themselves are competitive as expected. Do not enjoy competition but the levels are bearable.
I experienced a games with fights and accidental hits. The adrenaline makes it seem like nothing. Useless to winning or losing.
I have a few goals under my belt and penalty minutes too. All good fun!
The culture is a bit weird and gross sometimes - a mix of men with a manly identity, spoiled star required winners, grumpy intollerant older men, and womanizers. Who cares. I like to skate.
I do not have the same energy level as a young man, but am regiment about practicing and keeping my core strength up. Often of the upper echlon of players in shape. Arm strength comes in handy for shots, but don’t want to take up energy and speed with muscle mass.
Sometimes it would be nice if the games slowed down a bit so the game flows smoother while remaining competitive.
- outside and inside edges of the skate: mastering both is key
- “Get a grip” to let it rip: the slingshot of the wristshot, the towel flick of the snapshot and the straight arm slapshot
- The knob handle hand does most of the stick handling and shot work
- Fake stickhandling is real stick handling (wave magic wand) to keep the puck direction without risk
- Punch turns are frigging hard (have not mastered yet)
- “Where the nose goes it goes”: the nose of your stick is your aim, but also applies to the nose of your skates and face.