Ice hockey is an exciting sport for the old and young, and learning how to play can be one of the best forms of exercise. Having all the right equipment and knowing what to expect will help prepare new players for the ice. Here are some ice hockey tips for beginners.

Consider Renting Equipment

Hockey equipment can be expensive, and renting equipment instead of buying it can often be a better choice in the beginning stages. Some people find that hockey isn’t for them after trying it and spending a lot to purchase expensive equipment will ultimately be a waste of money. It’s sometimes possible to find equipment that’s available for rent from a local hockey club, or a new player can try borrowing some from a person they know.

Keep Stick on the Ice

A hockey stick should be left in contact with the ice at all times during a game except when shooting a puck. Skating with the stick held in the air will make it more difficult for the player to be ready to receive a puck when it’s passed. Holding the stick in the air can also pose safety hazards for other players.

Learn Proper Skating Techniques

Rushing into ice hockey without learning the proper skating techniques first will make playing a game nearly impossible. Many ice skating rinks offer learn to skate classes that teach aspiring hockey players as well as figure skaters and speed skaters the fundamentals of ice skating, which are useful in all disciplines of skating. Once the basics of ice skating are learned, skaters who are interested in hockey can start taking learn to play hockey lessons.

Practice Off-Ice Drills

Many of the skills that are needed to be a good hockey player can also be practiced off the ice. Age-specific dryland training drills can be found online and include exercises like jump roping, proper puck handling, and footwork exercises using a ladder. It’s also important to include weight training in off-ice workouts to build the muscular strength that’s needed for hockey.

Learning to play ice hockey the correct way from the beginning stages can help players master the game easier. The right equipment and training techniques help build solid foundations that can benefit players as they progress.