Tips for Becoming a Better Hockey Player

Part of the Hockey For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Make sure you’re prepared before you hit the ice to play hockey. Understanding the rules of ice hockey is only the first step toward becoming a great hockey player; you also need to know how to play safely and to show good sportsmanship:

  • Learn to skate properly, even if you’re playing goalie. You can’t do anything in hockey if you can’t skate.

  • Make sure your equipment — whether it’s your skates, your stick, or your sweater (that’s what the pros call a hockey jersey) — fits well.

  • On the bench, be alert. Watch what the opposing team is doing, and be prepared to play both ways, offensively and defensively.

  • Don’t be a puck hog; pass to your teammates.

  • Don’t stay out on your shift for too long. If you’re working hard, an average shift on the ice should last no longer than a minute. Come off when it’s your turn.

  • Be ready when it’s your turn to go onto the ice.

  • Wear a helmet. But remember: Just because you have head protection, don’t think you're invincible.

  • Be careful with your stick. Just because everybody wears headgear, don’t think they’re invincible either.

  • Don’t check people from behind.

  • Keep your head up when you’re going into the boards. If it’s tucked in, the chances of a serious head injury rise if someone hits you from behind.

  • Don’t yap at the ref or the other team. It’s okay to be emotional and pull for the people on your team, but don’t give the ref or the opposing players a hard time.

  • Get yourself in good physical shape.

  • Practice your shooting and passing.

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