Author Topic: A total noob to Ice Hockey - sore and loving it  (Read 4598 times)

AndyinSwindon

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Re: A total noob to Ice Hockey - sore and loving it
« Reply #77 on: June 30, 2017, 08:33:49 AM »
GOOOOOAAAALLLLLLLL!!!!

As Leif says, throw enough mud at a wall, and some of it will stick!  And last night, some of it finally stuck!

This week I've been spoiled, spending upward of 10hrs on the rink due to a compatible shift pattern, and so the lunchtime skates have been available.  Monday & Tuesday saw me at the rink in full gear (minus body armour) for that extra confidence kick.  However, with the other more casually attired on the rink, I felt like the guy that turns up to a black tie party in fancy dress!  As a result, the rest of the week saw me with just the helmet (stop..... I know where your mind is going!).

Something, somehow seems to have clicked with the hockey stops, and I'm starting to get them. The nice graceful glide to the line kind now comes quite easily (dependant upon ice quality), but I am yet to be able to spray snow everywhere (more on that in a moment).  I am still not great at forwards to backwards transitions, but this is more of a mental block at speed, so I'm working on it.  I can also do a very (VERY) basic mohawk, again, working on it!

And so to last nights session.  All went superbly, and on the warm up lines I surprised even myself my racing to the goal line, and doing the mother of all hockey stops and sending a spray of snow!  Now I just need to get that dialled in for consistency.  The drills were pretty good - I was vastly improved on the one-on-one, stick/puck handling at considerable speed and agility, with good puck protection and giving my opponent a run for his money.  My tight turns are still laughable (think the turning arc of a London bus), but again, I felt a massive step change in my confidence and footwork.

And then, in the scrimmage, it happened.  The puck came my way, I took the shot, and it found the net!  Ok, I'm overshadowed by the guys that score 5 or 6 goals in the scrimmage, but I was pretty damned pleased with it.

All in all, I've felt massive progress this week.  And it reinforces my theory that I seem to learn and progress so much more on the quiet lunchtime skates than any other session (excluding the hockey sessions).

And it also raises a question.  My skating ability vastly depends upon the ice quality.  When I skate on a freshly resurfaced rink, my hockey stops, crossovers, and general stability are pretty good, but after about an hour, my turns, stops and crossovers go to pot.  I guess a good skater can skate on pretty much anything, but I can't help wondering how a pro-hockey game would develop if the ice wasn't resurfaced after each period.  The puck would obviously be slower, but I wonder how a pro's skating ability would be affected?

And here endeth my post :-)
Started skating 07.01.17
Currently working through NISA LTS Levels.
Currently wobbling through hockey LTP sessions.

Leif

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Re: A total noob to Ice Hockey - sore and loving it
« Reply #78 on: July 04, 2017, 01:32:49 PM »
Hello Andy

Congratulations on the hockey stops etc. I also find that my skating depends on the ice quality. I can do a nice backwards hockey stop whatever the ice condition as I've done them so often, but it makes it tough to learn new moves, and even when doing moves I know well I can fall on bad ice, all it takes is hitting a crevasse, and I'm over. An ex-pro ice hockey player I know sometimes leaves a public session early if the ice is really bad. When I fell heavily a few weeks back, a coach asked if I was okay (I was, I had pads on), and she said she fell in that area as it was bad! I was pretty surprised to hear that a coach falls over.

The ice was so bad recently that one area was fenced off with bollards as it was so thin, and a steward was applying water with a watering can. I suggested to him that it'd be quicker if we all pee'ed on the ice. I'm sure he appreciated the suggestion and passed it on to Anita, the rink manager. He certainly smiled his appreciation.

Basingstoke rink did a wet cut last weekend, the first time in living memory. If they thawed the ice, woolly mammoths would pop up. The local paper sent reporters around to get the scoop on the wet cut, much to the annoyance of a herd of unicorns who were hoping for fame and fortune only to be pushed off the front page.

Anyway, the ice was brilliant. I started to get the hang of the forwards one foot slalom. Wobbling around is easy, the hard part is adding momentum and not slowing down. But for some reason I still struggle with the ACW forward hockey stop which is not up to scratch. I can do CW, as well as CW and ACW backwards! In fact backwards hockey stops is my party trick, albeit for cold and wet parties.

BTW quite a few people at our local stick and puck can't do hockey stops so I think you are really doing rather well.  :)

AndyinSwindon

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Re: A total noob to Ice Hockey - sore and loving it
« Reply #79 on: July 04, 2017, 03:34:02 PM »
Hi Leif,

As always, you have managed to put a smile on my face with your witticisms!

I'm stuck in Dublin this week, and am dismayed to find that the only permanent rink is up in Belfast, so no skating for me until Saturday.

My one foot backwards glides were laughable on the LTS session last Saturday, but I am determined to nail them.

Comically, on the warm up, we were asked to start off just skating across the rink, which I did rather confidently, ending with a lovely hockey stop on the other side.  One of my classmates commented 'very good....but it's a bit showy offy isn't it!'. 

Damn right it is ;-)  O0
Started skating 07.01.17
Currently working through NISA LTS Levels.
Currently wobbling through hockey LTP sessions.

AndyinSwindon

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Re: A total noob to Ice Hockey - sore and loving it
« Reply #80 on: July 19, 2017, 08:21:52 AM »
Feels like a long while since I was on here, so time for an update.

Having had a week of non-skating in Dublin, a weekend of non-skating (other than a 30 minute lesson) due to other events at the rink, followed by a week of non-skating in Edinburgh (incompatible shifts!), I wobbled onto the ice on Saturday for my weekly lesson, having missed two weeks of hockey training.  I felt like a new born foal on the ice, a bit wobbly, but it soon started to come back to me.  What surprised me was how much my skates hurt after not having worn them much for a couple of weeks. 

Still not that confident on my backwards one foot glides on edges (inner and outer around the circle).  We have to hold these for a count of 3 to pass.  I started off with a 1/2, now I'm up to 2 1/2....I just wish she'd count quicker!  Slowly getting there, but it feels like a real wall.

Outside edge 3-turns, well the tight half circle is there, and I am starting to perform the turn itself, but again, a major confidence wall there.  I just hope it'll come in time.

The coach had us trying forward cross-rolls last weekend as a change in pace.  They look pretty simple, but are deceptively tricky for a chap like me with 2 left feet.

On to the real skating....

Having spent some time skating in the company of a young upstart that has been skating for about 2 months, and is already skating like a pro, I have learned an awful lot from him, and he has been kind and generous with his time in providing some excellent and valuable feedback.  As a result, yesterday I managed a forward to backward move faster than I had previously, have started to do a (very) basic mohawk, can do a very clumsy and wooden tight turn (just a matter of practice), and my hockey stops are coming along nicely.

Hoping to get to the practice session on Thursday evening to see how it goes, so fingers crossed!



Started skating 07.01.17
Currently working through NISA LTS Levels.
Currently wobbling through hockey LTP sessions.

Leif

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Re: A total noob to Ice Hockey - sore and loving it
« Reply #81 on: July 19, 2017, 01:23:17 PM »
Cross rolls are definitely worth mastering, they will work wonders with your outside edges. Try them slowly with a wide curve and fast with tight curves. Backwards cross rolls are another one for you to try.  :D A friend can do them, along with many other tricks including the penguin stop, one of my favourites which I cannot even begin to attempt.

AndyinSwindon

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Re: A total noob to Ice Hockey - sore and loving it
« Reply #82 on: July 21, 2017, 07:42:46 AM »
Post LTP update time!

After a 3 week break, it was back on the ice last night for LTP.  In the interim I have worked on stops (coming along nicely), basic mohawks, forwards - backwards turns, and a bit of edgework.

Got off to a great start, laps around the rink to warm up, and decided to try one of my much improved stops.....only to find myself catching an edge on the freshly cut ice, stumbling, and flying / sliding shoulders first into the boards.

From that point on, my stops felt like they had gone backwards by two months.  My skates felt ok, not too tight or loose, but I just had no edge control.  My performance on the drills was lacklustre at best, my shots on goal during the drills were laughably slow and without power, my stick handling was all over the place.  Just couldn't get it together.

Was a very frustrating session.  Even on the scrimmage game in the second half of the session I struggled to read the game, didn't seem to make myself useful at all, and felt like I was just out on the rink having a 'bit of a skate around' a bit detached from the game, almost like a spectator on the ice, despite trying to place myself in useful positions.  On the odd occasions that I did get the puck, it was so unexpected that I either threw my balance a little, or ended up just deflecting it.

Maybe I was just having an off day, or was over-tired, but whilst it was an enjoyable session, I felt more like the comic relief than a potential player.

Oh well, it can only progress from here, surely?
Started skating 07.01.17
Currently working through NISA LTS Levels.
Currently wobbling through hockey LTP sessions.

AndyinSwindon

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Re: A total noob to Ice Hockey - sore and loving it
« Reply #83 on: July 31, 2017, 06:55:06 AM »
It's that time again....

Last weeks LTP session was pretty interesting, half an hour of drills, followed by a half hour scrimmage.

The drills were good, basically split into 4 lanes, one with passing, one with stick handling, one with bouncing the puck off of the boards around cones, and the other skating backwards around cones with the puck (I surprised myself with that one).
The scrimmage was interesting, a good mix of skill levels, and I have started to find myself getting a lot more involved, even managing a breakaway at one point...well, I got possession of the puck, and was so surprised at it, that I travelled a few metres and then passed it on, not realising I had a lot more clearance from the opposition than I thought I did.

The Saturday morning LTS session also went well, my backwards one foot edge glides still aren't there, but the 3 turn is slowly, very slowly, progressing....and I really did notice just how blunt my edges were, which didn't help one bit.  So got them sharpened on the way home.

And so to the following day, back on the ice, newly sharpened blades....and I feel like I have gone back 3 months.  My stops have gone completely, my crossovers are solid due to the re-grind, but they are pretty much unskateable.  I had a 1/2" grind, which is what I have had before, but am going to go back and get them cut to 5/8".  I think maybe my skating style has changed since my last grind, and I need a shallower ROH.  Either that, or I'm in for a tough few weeks!
Started skating 07.01.17
Currently working through NISA LTS Levels.
Currently wobbling through hockey LTP sessions.

Leif

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Re: A total noob to Ice Hockey - sore and loving it
« Reply #84 on: July 31, 2017, 01:12:02 PM »
Hello Andy

I used to have difficulties skating after a sharpen, and I always take a bit of care when I first go on the ice. How many hours skating is it since your last sharpen? I generally do ~25 hours. Maybe you let your skates get really blunt, if so the sharpen will make a big difference. It is also possible that you don't have a 1/2", but a 3/8" RoH despite what they told you. And of course it is possible that the sharpen was not good and you have uneven edges. I bought a ProSharp blade angle tester (BAT) which means I can know for sure if the edges are even or not.

I normally go for 5/8", but after one sharpen from a chap in a shed a mate likes, they just felt wrong and I had them redone by my preferred sharpeners. However, several really good skaters go to this chap, so I'm not sure what was wrong if anything.

AndyinSwindon

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Re: A total noob to Ice Hockey - sore and loving it
« Reply #85 on: July 31, 2017, 05:58:14 PM »
I've just been to my trusted grinding source, and he's on holiday until the weekend.  So looks like I'm stuck with the 'blades of death'. :-(  They were getting very blunt, but the 1/2" is just too much edge for what I need nowadays. I need to go back to a 5/8", which I tried once before, but at the time needed a bit more confidence on my edges for learning X-overs. 

It's surprising how few skate grinders there are around.  I googled Bristol sharpeners, as I am spending some time there this week with work, but everyone seems to come to Swindon to get it done.
Started skating 07.01.17
Currently working through NISA LTS Levels.
Currently wobbling through hockey LTP sessions.

Leif

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Re: A total noob to Ice Hockey - sore and loving it
« Reply #86 on: July 31, 2017, 08:54:26 PM »
I recently tried a 1/2" and was surprised that it was not much different from 5/8", there was just a bit more grip. In the past I found a 1/2" much too grippy. I reckon the better you get, the more able you are to cope with different hollows as you learn to use the edges properly, and I've improved loads since my first experience of a deeper hollow. That said, all the lads at the local rink use 3/8", even those who are not as good as me. It might be because they are mainly freestylers, so sideways sliding is not needed, they need grip for the grapevine and other fancy moves.

But at heart I'm a 5/8" person, I'm a slippery character who doesn't like to get a grip on life.  :o

At the risk of stating the obvious, you could ask the lads at the Bristol rink where they go for a sharpen. Anyway, I hope you sort out your blades soon. I'm aching to pick up a Sparx machine when they (hopefully) sell them into Europe next year. Pricey, but convenient, and there's no point saving money only for it to be inherited by others.

AndyinSwindon

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Re: A total noob to Ice Hockey - sore and loving it
« Reply #87 on: August 04, 2017, 09:05:08 AM »
And the saga of the 'blades of death' continues....

Having resigned myself to spending the week on the reground edges, I ventured out on Tuesday with an aim to try and get them doing what they used to do.  Helped by one of my skating buddies (and when I say helped, it's funny how us guys help each other out sometimes!), I was 'encouraged' to practice my stops by his faux-body checks and stopping in front of me....most of the time I just swerved, though towards the end of the session we collided and pulled off a convincing ice-based tango!  I managed to stop once or twice, though on one occasion I sailed past my stopping point, and towards the coned off area that was being used for lessons.  I had to grab hold of the side in order to prevent myself ploughing into a group of kids in the middle of a coaching session.  I did have a couple of close calls with groups of kids skating in front of me, and I was terrified that I was going to hurt someone.

My crossovers were the best I've ever done though, so there's that!

And on to LTP last night.  Dreaded it.  Our first part of the session was lanework, end to end with the puck, and each time, I completely failed to stop at the end of the run.  This varied from an embarrassingly long snow plough, to a full on collision with the boards (and once or twice an awkward coast through my fellow players ...."excuse me, coming through, sorry about that").

Finishing with a scrimmage, again my crossovers were great (still only forwards), but my lack of confidence in stopping really hindered my game.  I got some puck time (one of my fellow players is very generous in getting the puck to me to give me some exposure), but did notice that I rarely got passed to by many others, most of my puck time was opportunistic.  I tend to rely on my slide to get myself from forwards to backwards, and this, coupled with my inability to stop with my edges so sharp is a real handicap.  But I got through it, still not feeling like a worthy player, but nevertheless, a good session.

Started skating 07.01.17
Currently working through NISA LTS Levels.
Currently wobbling through hockey LTP sessions.