ALL ABOUT STICK-AND-PUCK HOCKEY SESSIONS
Ice time is a valuable commodity for any hockey player, as it offers the opportunity to get better at skating, stickhandling and shooting. But during practice or team play, a player may not get the opportunity to practice many of the specific skills he is trying to improve. Fortunately, many rinks offer weekly “stick ‘n puck” sessions designed to give children and parents the opportunity to train in a non-competitive setting or to simply burn off a few calories skating – without worrying about hitting a child or a skater the first time. . If you’re interested in growing as a hockey player, there’s no substitute for spending time on the ice, playing with hockey sticks and puckers.
STICK AND PUCK RULES AND APPROVAL
While the equipment requirements for stick-and-puck sessions vary from arena to arena, most will leave you on the ice as long as you have hockey sticks and chips, hockey gloves, and an approved helmet. Often, players – especially those under 18 – are required to wear masks as well. In most cases, no play is allowed, as it can be dangerous, take up too much space on the ice, and distract those wanting to train on their own. If you’re looking for pickup games, consider going to your neighborhood pool for some fun. Make sure you check the rules for your local arena.
One golden rule of “stick ‘n puck” etiquette is that you bring your own puck or puck: “borrowing” someone else’s puck counts as a degree of rudeness. Also, it’s important that you share your ice and goals with other players. For example, if you’re working on a shoot, take your practice shot and then let someone else have their turn before you arrange to shoot again.
Always raise your head and be aware of other players’ positions on the ice, especially when you are shooting or picking up chips from the net. Even in this relaxed state, the flying puck and the collision between the skaters are a real danger.
WHAT TO USE
Players who choose to wear minimal gear usually complement the look with sweatpants or wind pants, paired with a t-shirt or light jacket. Be aware that, in many arenas, it is considered uncool to wear blue jeans, which is considered a beginner trait.
Some stick and puck regulars choose to wear shin pads and cups to protect against the wrong puck. If you are a relatively new skater or plan to practice some new skill, such as crossing backwards or changing directions quickly, you may want more padding – ice hockey pants and elbow pads at the very least – that will allow you to focus on what you need. You do this without fear of falling and injuring yourself. It’s okay to wear your full padded pad to simulate playing conditions, if you wish, although many players throw away shoulder pads for convenience.
Any ice time is good ice time, but stick-and-puck sessions are especially useful because they are specially designed to allow players to practice their hockey skills. Check the schedule at your local arena, and take advantage of this opportunity. Your extra effort will pay off when the puck drops during real matches.
Tip: If you want to bring a lot of pieces to practice shooting, you need a way to enclose them on ice (and prevent others from stealing them). If you do not have a puck bag, cut the lid from a large plastic trash can in half. This will help keep all your pieces in one place, and you can reach under the hole with your stick to pick up the pieces one by one when you’re ready to shoot.