In a country like Canada, widely known for its snow, ice skating, and hockey is a culture. If you’re thinking of learning how to play, whether professionally or just for fun, you should know some things about the process. So, how long does it take to learn to ice skate for hockey?
It’ll take several hundred hours to learn how to ice skate for hockey. This could be a few weeks or several months based on some factors such as the trainer, previous sporting experience, and time commitment. You’ll first need to know how to ice skate. Then you can learn how to skate for hockey.
Becoming a hockey player requires that you first be a good ice skater. So, you can’t skip that part of the process. While you’ll need to learn to skate first, hockey players don’t skate the same way as regular skaters. For hockey, what’s most important is explosive power. Here, we discuss how to skate like a hockey player and the factors that could determine how long it takes to master it.
How to Skate
The first step before even playing hockey is knowing how to skate on ice. Learning that will take you at least a month, depending on various factors. Here’s how to skate:
1. Understand How the Skate Works
Before you step on the ice, you need to understand how skates work. So, lace up your skates and stand on them. That’ll let you see how wearing them affects your balance and what you need to do to maintain that balance. Skates have two edges, and when flat, you’re standing on both edges. So, you need to practice leaning on both the outside and inside edges without losing your balance. You’ll need this for when you finally step on the ice.
2. Step on Ice and Stay Low
When you finally step on the ice, stay low with your knees bent to avoid falling. Your skates should be spread apart based on your shoulder width to get into the ready position. This position allows you to maintain your balance, and it keeps your muscles alert, making it easier to react fast.
3. Use Your Edges
Once you’re in the ready position, it’s time to use your skate edges. Lean the skates to the inside edges and apply more weight to dig in. Then you can start pushing with your other foot and gliding. You’ll be using the skate edges to move around on the ice. It’s all about the practice, of course.
How to Skate like a hockey player
Here are the steps to follow if you want to skate like a hockey player:
1. Step 1
The first step is to get low and bend your knees. Adopt a position as if you’re about to sit. This allows you to get as much speed as you need because the speed and power come from your legs. You can’t get that without bending your knees. It’s also important to keep your chest and head up to maintain balance.
2. Step 2
Next, push out one leg and use the other to glide. Push back at a 45-degree angle to get better speed and power instead of straight back. The goal isn’t to run on ice, so push from at least a 45-degree angle to get your skate edges into the ice. When pushing, make sure you stay low to get the full power from the push. Don’t stand up while pushing, as this will reduce the effect of the push.
3. Step 3
Once you’ve achieved the push, recover and do the same for the other side. It’s a repetition of this process that amounts to skating. Always keep the glide leg bent so that you’re ready to push as soon as you recover. Of course, these steps are just the basics, and there are still several skills and techniques that you’ll need to learn to become a pro at hockey.
Factors That Could Affect the Duration of Learning
The amount of time it’ll take you to learn how to skate for hockey will depend on several factors. This includes:
1. Your Trainer
The person training can determine how easy and fast you learn to ice skate for hockey. If you’re being trained by a professional or someone who knows how to ice skate for hockey, you’ll learn faster than if you’re doing it on your own. So, you should try and find someone who has experience. Since hockey is a team sport, you should find people to train with.
2. Prior Experience
Your own experience can also determine how quickly you learn to ice skate for hockey. For example, if you have prior skating experience, you’ll only need a few lessons to adapt what you already to about skating to hockey. But if you’re just getting started. You’ll have to first learn the basics of skating before even learning about hockey. So, you can expect it to take more time. Experience in similar sports and being active and agile will also help you learn quickly.
Closely related to this is your physical ability too. If you’re someone with a natural talent and ability for sports, you’ll find learning easier.
3. Time Commitment
The amount of time you commit to learning will also influence how soon you master ice skating for hockey. Like almost anything you’ll do, practice is what makes you perfect in ice hockey. So, you have to dedicate your time and be consistent if you want to learn as fast as possible. Generally, it requires hours of practice to learn, but consistency is also important. So, someone who spends 4 hours every week will learn faster than a person who’s spending more hours but without consistency.
Skating for hockey is different from the regular figure or roller skating. In hockey skating, it’s all about speed and power. You’ll also need to learn how to skate in different directions, including backwards. So, it might take months to learn the basics. But to become a pro will require at least a year or two of constant training.