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marka

Learning hockey at 20 years past an advanced age

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Howdy,

First post here, but I've been browsing and reading etc. for a bit now.

I'm 46 years old, with a just about to be 9 year old son. A year or two back, a buddy of his invited him up to watch him do a Learn to Play practice near our house at The Ice Zone in Boardman, OH (just south of Youngstown, OH, home of the USHL Phantoms). My son thought that looked fun, asked me if he could do it, and I said "sure, why not?"

I'm not entirely sure I'd have given the same answer had I spent a little time researching costs. :-)

But anyway we go hit up a few Play it Again stores, get him some gear, and he does a Learn to Play. He likes it well enough (not consumed by it, but goes and tries to do well, etc.). I get a pair of skates and a stick too. First time I'd been on ice skates since I was around his age back where I grew up in Maine, playing 'hockey' with my friends on ponds with whatever equipment we could scrounge up.

Turns out... I like it. I'm awful, mind you... I start off being able to move around the ice and mostly not fall, can sorta do crossovers turning left, can do a hockey stop turning left, but that's pretty much the extent of any skill I have. Muscle memory from when I was 35 years younger only goes so far and its not like I could skate then either.

I keep gathering some equipment and keep going skating. Skates in particular were / are an issue as I really don't want to pay $300 for a pair of skates, plus even though the skates feel decent in the store, when I skate with them my feet hurt like hell (arches / underside of the middle of my foot). With my first pair it was bad enough that after about ten minutes the only thing I can think about is how much longer I have to keep doing this so that I can stop the pain. Those skates were Easton Stealth 7.5, D width. Still I soldier on with it for a while.

I decide that I like doing this enough and that its good for me (the whole "being 46, need to have something active to do" thing), and that I'll get some skates that don't hurt my feet. That pair is a set of CCM Tack 2052's Size 8, D width. They feel great in the store. I get home, go skate in them, and in 15 minutes... Tons of pain. Life is not great, I've just spent another $130 and my feet are still killing me. Read a lot, play with lacing, play with insoles, play with a heat gun, etc. etc. I keep skating, and it gets better, but never what I would call "good". I'm still getting more and more equipment as well.

My son meanwhile is also getting a little more comfortable. He's no phenom... Hell, he's not really even any good. But he goes from that initial Learn to Play program where he can't stand up on the ice in the first class through a couple rink-run learn to skate programs, a couple private skating lessons, then back into the rink's version of the learn to play program. Meanwhile I'm sorta jealous... I want to do that learn to play program too! :-)

At one of the learn to play programs last year, turns out there's another dad and he's actually out there with his son. I was already considering going out there too and that's enough of a push. I sign up. My 100% overriding concern for my first class was whether or not I'd fall over, crush a 6 year old, and have every parent there kick my ass.

That doesn't happen. :-) Its fun. The other dad signed up for the new session too, and we make jokes about being ancient and all, but its good times. Kids don't seem bothered by having big people out there, my son is doing it with me and its a chance for him and I to be "teammates" rather than "father and son", etc.

Meanwhile I'm skating when I can as well.

to be continued...

Mark

Edited by marka
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Howdy,

So, that all wrapped up at the end of last year. Now I've decided that I want to keep doing this for me, not just as something to do with my son. So... for xmas I buy myself more gear. Hockey pants, yet another pair of skates (CCM Ribcor 46k 8D, feet still hurt some), shoulders, a cage for my helmet, a couple sticks, tape, wax, laces, and whatever else. Its a bit of a pain in the ass, as there's literally no hockey stores near us in Youngstown. But we're also lucky at the same time because Pittsburgh is about 45 minutes away and hockey fever is going strong there. And now when we go anywhere, I always look to see if there's a hockey store or a play it again in town. :-)

At this point I can do forward crossovers in either direction and 'sorta hockey stop' with either foot forward ('sorta' because I'm still working on getting my rearmost foot in on the stopping action, particularly with my left foot forward). I can skate backwards some, and I've just started working on backwards crossovers which are firmly at the level of "hey watch that guy, he's likely to fall over / run into you". My puck handling skills are non-existent... I can mostly go down the ice, but crossovers with the puck result in leaving the puck behind about 95% of the time.

I'm doing the new session of the local rink's learn to play program again with my son... First one of those was last night. I've also started doing an adult hockey skills class in Pittsburgh at the RMU Island Sports Complex. I'm also dragging along a new buddy... Guy I met through our church and knew casually for a few years and who's daughter is a year younger than my son. She had some switch turned inside and she _wants to play hockey_. In the past year has gone from "can't stand up" to "is one of the better players on her Mite team". Anyway, I browbeat her dad into doing both the local learn to play and the adult skills class with me and with one class in for both... Huge fun.

So.... That's it for now. There's a local group of older guys (it blows me away that "senior" in hockey means like 18+... :-) that plays every week... I'm going to try and get in with them when they start their spring session. And I'm going to try to put together an adult hockey skills class locally. My goal is that this spring I want to be playing real hockey with a team once a week. We'll see how that goes. In addition to not being able to skate or handle the puck well, I have only a very tenuous understanding of the rules. :-) Still, I can learn.

As a mid-life crisis, so far this has been pretty fun.

Mark

Edited by marka
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Good on you and keep it up!! Played my first "real" hockey game a little over a year ago(I'm 45) and now play on 2 different teams(Rookie League & D-League). I'd play 4-5 nights a week, plus weekends if I could swing it.

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Howdy,

Let's see if I can do this right... Theoretically this is a photo of me and my son from last night.

Hu30Q3x.jpg?1

Mark

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Mark, i really applaud you for writing this up... and the best part is that you and your son get to share a really big experience together.

My 11 year old is also doing the come-and-try session here. Its a government funded program, so the kids and adults who want to try can sign up for free and enjoy about 4 ice sessions before really deciding whether they want to keep going. Gear is on loan from the local club.

I signed up for the same sessions so that I could spend some ice time with my son. Its been a real blast, and he's enjoying it. I doubt he will want to pick up the sport seriously as he's already involved in many other sports at a much higher level, but I just wanted him to just give it a shot.

Just a word about you and your skates. I went through very similar times, never really getting comfortable with the skates. They just didnt feel right, and skating would always be painful. After spending a lot of time on MSH and trying to self-diagnose the problem, I realised that I had very deep instep that needed a skate with more volume. Trial and error (local LHS is about 2000miles away), and finally got some skates that give me good support and dont feel like i've got them in a clamping vice. I did have to tweak a few things like lacing, but seem to be ok for now. I might have them punched out in a sore spot later on, but at least I can skate for more than a few minutes and not have to think about them.

Just looking at your lacing pattern in your attached pic, you ever think about skipping a few eyelets at the top? Its all personal preference of course, but might be something to consider. I've always been a lace-all-the-way-up guy, and never modified my gear... until MSH, and now I skip the top two eyelets, and modifiy virtually all the pieces of gear that I've got.

Thanks for sharing your experience, and it keeps getting better especially when you have someone you love share it with you.

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Howdy,

Hmmm. Interesting. No I never really considered skipping eyelets at the top. What's the benefit of doing that? I seem to like the ankle area as tight as I can get it, but I'm also super new. I did notice that the instructor at the adult skills class seemed to be able to flop her skate over way more than what it feels like I can.

In terms of foot pain now, I'd say I'm at the "truce" stage perhaps.... As long as I don't get the laces too tight over the arch area, its more of a dull aching that I can mostly ignore. Still not anything like "good" but I can live with it. I actually think in some cases its self induced as I have more pain when I'm doing stuff I'm not comfortable with... I think I'm clenching up all my foot muscles maybe?

My latest equipment related discovery is that the bag I have for my gear is now too small since I got shoulder pads. It was already pretty tight with just the pants. So I'll be keeping my eye out for a bigger bag. My current bag is 36x14x15 IIRC. In the meantime, the helmet is just going to have to ride outside the bag. :-)

But all that stuff is pretty secondary to getting better at handling the puck and skating.

Mark

Edited by marka

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While not completely perfect, have you tried the pencil test? http://modsquadhockey.com/forums/index.php/topic/35455-the-pencil-test/page-6?hl=%2Bpencil+%2Btest#entry985824

It doesnt work for everyone, but if you say that the pain is in the part above your arch, could it be lace bite that you are experiencing?

I've had siimlar issues in the past with shallower skates (older model CCM, RBK, Eastons, and Bauer Vapors) where they felt like they were clamps on the upper part of the foot (4th or 5th eyelet from the top). After going to a deeper boot (Bauer Flexlite, Graf 709) I didnt feel as much pain anymore.

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Howdy,

The pencil test passed with the first two pair. I don't think I've done it with the Ribcors. All the pain is on the bottom of my foot, in the arches. I really don't think its lace bite, unless I don't know what lace bite is.

I'm just going to skate for now. I think as I get more comfortable that I'm not about to fall and die, I'll get more comfortable. Plus if I bought new skates at this point, I'd have to go live in the garage. :-)

So what do folks do to get better at handling the puck? Is that just a matter of lots of stick time practices?

Mark

Edited by marka

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to hell with the pain! get out there and skate with your kid! (no really, take some time to get your skate right... but then get out there)

im right there with you. but a year down in the notches on the belt. (me 45 my older 8, and younger 5.5) we get out for the learn to skate/play in my friend clinic (my friend was captain in HS) and i go out there with them and work one of the zones with stick handling or passing drills. the thing i LOVE about hockey is, everyone is welcome. but its still a very humbling experience at the same time. like when a 10yo rings the crossbar over your shoulder in warn ups at family hockey. i've dragged my boys out to "family hockey" (see if that available at your local rink) and the first time my boys felt like i threw them under the bus and ambushed them into a game. they've since learned (a little) how to roll with the punches and have had a great time while still sucking at the game. there was a great moment where my 5yo had the puck land on his stick, i encouraged him on to the net, and all the "really good kids" all held back and let the tots do their thing. it turned into a nice assist for him.

once you get your skates right, look for some adult open hockey. i'm playing once a week (looking for a second day to play that's not too late) and playing with kids HALF my age. as long as i dont get my stick into their skate (keeping everyone safe) i'll have a few good blocks and a couple good shots off every game. one of the guys i've been seeing at family and open has been doing the full clinic thing and he thinks its really brought his game play up. the next season they do it, i plan to do it as well. even still, having played only 6 time this season, ( and the first in 20 years) my game improves every time i go out. i actually said to a co-worker (who i play with) "is it Monday yet" because that how much i love playing at this age. like you i played pond and into house leagues into HS before a bad tryout for JV and breaking my femurs later that year (blessing in disguised)

side note on the open hockey: we had 3 kids show up with Hartford Wolf Pack unis (Rangers farm) they put on a clinic of their own, as humbling as it is, its also very inspiring. if you get one or two good shots or blocks its a good night.

get out there, keep it up and before you know it you'll be this guy: http://ftw.usatoday.com/2016/01/video-90-year-old-canadian-is-still-so-good-at-hockey and your kid will be 46 with great memories of himself and his dad out on the ice.

Edited by GreatestAmericanBeardo
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Howdy,

Next adult skills class tonight. Excited to go and do it again. We ended the last class with a brief scrimmage, and I'm hoping we do the same tonight as I want to do better at that. :-)

My wife is also getting in on the fun, just skating though. Swung by Total Hockey last night and got her a proper helmet, as she'd just been wearing a bike helmet. Really impressed with the new (I think) Bauer IMS 5.0. Much nicer padding and tool less adjustment as compared to my Bauer 4500. And its a good bit cheaper too. Of course, the one she REALLY liked was the IMS 11.0, but she wasn't going to spend anything like that much money. We went there primarily to return an Easton Stealth S13 helmet I got online on clearance that despite fitting squarely in the head circumference range was a decent bit too small for her.

Also checked out hockey bags... The one I really liked was the Warrior Pro Player carry bag. Looked to be pretty sturdy, big zippers, had skate pockets inside plus some smaller pockets to keep tape/whatever organized, etc. Any issues with these? Are there any other go to hockey bags that are less than $90 shipped? My current one is pretty small and even when quite jammed I can't fit my helmet in there.

All three of us went skating yesterday at a public skate. Had a great time. In a way, I think we're a little bit lucky that ice skating isn't as popular around here as it seems to be in Pittsburgh. That means no close hockey stores and just one rink close by, but it also isn't very crowded so we can sorta do our own thing at public skates and not be in other folks way. Had a bunch of fun playing tag, follow the leader, etc. Of course with me working on backwards skating, outside edges, etc. etc.

One thing is a little strange... We all skate with some gear, even at a public skate. My son likes to wear all his stuff, and my wife and I usually wear a helmet, gloves, elbow pads, volleyball knee pads, and impact shorts. Kids notice that stuff, and ask if I play hockey / want advice, etc. Makes me feel like a bit of an impostor since I just started as well. I suppose I could skip the gear, but I really don't want to set a bad example for my son and the concussion stats for hockey seem pretty grim and I think I'd feel like an idiot if I fell hard and broke something when I've got pads explicitly designed to prevent that.

Anyway... That's my update. I'd particularly be interested to hear if anyone has a bag they like and why!

Mark

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Also checked out hockey bags... The one I really liked was the Warrior Pro Player carry bag. Looked to be pretty sturdy, big zippers, had skate pockets inside plus some smaller pockets to keep tape/whatever organized, etc. Any issues with these? Are there any other go to hockey bags that are less than $90 shipped? My current one is pretty small and even when quite jammed I can't fit my helmet in there.

I got the Warrior Pro Player bag about a year and a half ago based on some reviews from people on this site. I've been extremely happy with it and would recommend it to anyone who needs a new bag.

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Welcome to the addiction. I started two years ago at 38, and followed my '03 into the sport. I skated 4-5 days a week that year, started playing C league spring of '14, got to be a draft captain fall of '14, got my coach cert, helped coach my '01 daughter's team(mostly chasing pucks and gathering cones/tires), started managing their team, entered my first adult tourney, got to be a C league draft captain, started an adult beginner program, played a bunch of off-season tourneys this spring/summer; signed up to be the MT 14U girls league commissioner, got drafted to B league last week, and ran a 14U girls tournament this weekend.

Freaking love it.

Make sure your skates fit, skate with your kids as much as possible, and share the love with someone new next year.

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Dont worry what others think. If you feel more comfortable wearing the gear, then go ahead and do it. I dont think the rinks will prevent you from doing so, and since you already spent the money to be safe, why not.

I go to the public skate with my knee braces, knee pads and helmet. I do have improvised elbows, and only just recently stopped wearing padded shorts. While I have had others ask me why I wear the gear during a public skate, I dont really care about the comments. At the end of the day, its my own safety.

Best thing you could do is spend time with your kids... and having the common activity just makes it more fun. I wish my knees would allow me to play more competitive soccer and hockey. I've coached my own son in soccer/futsal since he was 4, and yesterday he played his first game for the state team, scoring in a 4-1 win.

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Howdy,

So... Another newbie question...

Check vs. no check vs. whatever else... My understanding is that the adult leagues around here are "no check" or "no hitting" leagues.

And that sounds good to me.

But I wonder a little as to what's ok and what's not. At the scrimmage last night at the end of the adult skills program, there were two or three times when a guy would be skating along the boards behind the net. I'd move over to get into his path. I'd arrive first to the particular spot, then he'd mostly skate into me or maybe stop short. The puck would often get tied up on the boards and we'd both use sticks/feet to try and kick it along / get control of it. Generally we'd end up leaning on each other, but both upright (absent "fall because we suck" kinda stumbling), the puck would come out one way or the other, and then play on.

Is that kinda thing ok in a no check league? This was my second scrimmage type thing ever, so I have no real basis to know. The instructors didn't say anything, but I think we're all so awful that absent someone really intentionally laying someone out, they're not gonna worry about it.

Mark

(oh, and in terms of no hitting... The only time I "hit" someone was when I and another player on my team both went for the puck/attacker near our goal. I can't remember if we actually got the puck out, but we sure as heck got each other! Neither of us saw it coming until too late. No lasting bumps or bruises, but it was for sure a "holy crap! Wait... that didn't hurt" kinda thing. :-)

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Howdy,

Also one more newbie question... Last summer I bought a pair of inline skates before I knew much about skate fitting... Bauer Vapor X40R, 8.0R.

WAY too narrow. I think I've worn them a total of an hour and they're essentially new. Can I list them for sale here somewhere? I see there's a "Sell" forum, but it says I can't start a topic there. Is that based on post count or ??

edit: Ah sorry. Found the explanation in the How do I subforum.

Mark

Edited by marka

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Hey there, good write-up. I started a few years ago at age 42, and while not great, am one of the better players in my lower level leagues.

As for skating, you can get Grafs that were top of the line a few years ago for under $300 and as someone who has tried on several different brands - and skated in Bauers - there is no skate as comfortable as Graf. They may not be the lightest skate, nor the cheapest - but with skates you absolutely get what you pay for. At our age, having hurt or damaged feet or lower legs (from lacebite or other problems like tendinitis) from poorly made or uncomfortable skates is a huge problem; these injuries take an astoundingly long time to heal.

I STRONGLY recommend getting Graf skates (Hockey monkey is having major sales on them now) - if you cannot skate and be comfortable, you cannot play. I'd also recommend a good quality helmet, you can go cheap on everything else.


I got the Warrior Pro Player bag about a year and a half ago based on some reviews from people on this site. I've been extremely happy with it and would recommend it to anyone who needs a new bag.

i got a new Graf bag last week, very solid and high quality denier, at least 500 or more. Bag weighs a bit more than the Reebok I started out with but all of its zippers broke, but due to the heavier denier material. It is the biggest 40-inch I've seen and is very wide; a 36 inch version might be sufficient for many people.

This is the one:

http://www.hockeymonkey.com/graf-hockey-equipment-bag-g-pro-40in.html

Edited by nystromshairstylist

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Howdy,

So... Another newbie question...

Check vs. no check vs. whatever else... My understanding is that the adult leagues around here are "no check" or "no hitting" leagues.

And that sounds good to me.

But I wonder a little as to what's ok and what's not. At the scrimmage last night at the end of the adult skills program, there were two or three times when a guy would be skating along the boards behind the net. I'd move over to get into his path. I'd arrive first to the particular spot, then he'd mostly skate into me or maybe stop short. The puck would often get tied up on the boards and we'd both use sticks/feet to try and kick it along / get control of it. Generally we'd end up leaning on each other, but both upright (absent "fall because we suck" kinda stumbling), the puck would come out one way or the other, and then play on.

Is that kinda thing ok in a no check league? This was my second scrimmage type thing ever, so I have no real basis to know. The instructors didn't say anything, but I think we're all so awful that absent someone really intentionally laying someone out, they're not gonna worry about it.

Mark

(oh, and in terms of no hitting... The only time I "hit" someone was when I and another player on my team both went for the puck/attacker near our goal. I can't remember if we actually got the puck out, but we sure as heck got each other! Neither of us saw it coming until too late. No lasting bumps or bruises, but it was for sure a "holy crap! Wait... that didn't hurt" kinda thing. :-)

No checking doesn't mean no contact. You basically can't purposefully knock a guy over or hit him into the boards. You can use your body to protect the puck and your space on the ice, and lean a little bit on guys when playing the puck along the boards. You'll get a feel for it yourself after you play a while. I also think a "Sorry" goes a long way when you might knock someone around or trip them unintentionally.

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Howdy,

Ended up ordering that Warrior Pro Carry bag. Thanks for the recommendations.

Done some skating and also a stick time yesterday. I'm awful at stick handling the puck. And that whole "keep your head up" thing... Man. Hard to do. Guess I'll have to keep practicing. :-) Getting a little better at receiving passes and controlling the puck and slightly better at kicking the puck along when I miss it with my stick. Also tried some slapshots into the boards. No elevation of the puck at all (stick is a Warrior Burrows / W01, 85 flex). Next time I'll take along my other stick (Warrior Henrique / W03, 85 flex) and see if that's better. Looks like the face is more open / tipped up / whatever on that one.

It was a little interesting yesterday after the stick time to be changing in the locker room with a bunch of teenagers. Been a while for that! Worrying about how to get a ride somewhere, telling buddies not to tell Sarah that you like her, etc. :-)

Mark

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I'm starting this process also, except my kids are older, and I'm younger. After taking the kids to the rink and skating on rentals a few times I decided that I really want to get into this and learn to play (again). I used to play a little ice hockey way back in the day 20 years ago, and played roller hockey every day all day most summers. I'm really needing to get some skates, but there isn't much in the way of LHS's here in the land of oz. The local rink here has a "pro shop", and I went there to try on some skates, but the only thing they had anywhere close to my size was a pair of Supreme 140s, which hurt after just walking around in them for about 5 min, so I didn't get much accomplished there, except figure out I'm 7.5 wide, and there weren't any wide skates there. I'm kind of reluctant to buy skates online, try them and return them, then get another pair, etc. etc. In the meantime I keep going to public skate, renting ill fitting skates with 3 buckles instead of laces, and making the best of it, lol.

Anyways, where are you in Oz fatwabbit? I'm in Wichita.

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Howdy,

So, this week's update...

Continuing to improve but so S L O W L Y... Still though, last night at the adult skills class the instructor had us stopping on one foot using inside edges, and I was able to do that with both right and left foot forward. I get a little annoyed that I'm not skating as well as others, but a year ago I couldn't hockey stop in any form with a turn to the right / left foot forward, so being able to do that on one foot is a lot better, even if its not perfect yet.

Working on tight turns now. At the Learn to Play class I take with my son, the instructor frequently does a warm up where everyone tries to steal the puck off him. When you block him off and force him to go back where he came from, he makes this super tight turn with the ice chips flying and a great ripping sound... My firm goal is to be able to do that too. :-) I can do it a bit at this point, but I still frequently leave the puck behind me (maybe turning the puck / stick too much?) and I don't have that really loud RIIIPPPP on the ice.

Also working on backwards skating, particularly backwards crossovers. I find that I frequently end up with too much weight on my toes. Guessing that I'm bending my back too much and my knees not enough? Not sure. Like all of it, its better than it was, but I still feel like a duck that's been shot.

On the gear side... Learning to skate / play has been good for losing weight, but that also means that some of my gear doesn't fit as well now. Waist size has dropped 2 or 3 inches and now I'm having to really cinch up my pants or it feels like they're going to fall off. Using Warrior Bonafide pants now in size L and the waist seems too big. Also have Reebok 18k shoulders in an XL size and its starting to feel like I'm swimming in them a bit. My gloves are also pretty large... Winwell 14's that say "anatomical" on them. My hands end up getting a little tired after an hour or so from squeezing the stick or whatever. I did find some new Bauer Supreme One.8 14" gloves on craigslist for $40 though, so as long as its not a scammer shipping me rocks, I should have that one solved. Size-wise I'm 5'10", about 185 lbs right now, and probably a 34" to 36" waist in jeans.

In terms of actual hockey... I think I'm getting a little better about on-ice positioning at the scrimmages we have at the end of our adult skills class. Working on protecting the 'house' when we're defending our goal and working on getting to open space (and staying onsides) when attacking. As for positions... Still pretty incompetent there. I get where defensemen, center, and wingers should be when you're starting out but that seems to go all to hell pretty quickly with people everywhere. When that happens I just try to look around to see where teammates are and fill an open spot. Not sure if that's a product of "fast paced game and that's normal" or if its "its a rookie adult skills class so nobody knows what they're doing".

Last night during the scrimmage I did have my first "skate with the puck at the defender, toss it off the boards, go around him, and get the puck back"... That felt pretty good! Now if I could just skate fast with the puck and then get an actual shot on goal that wasn't some level of mostly missing the puck. :-)

Anyway.... this old guy is still having fun and still improving, though not as fast as I'd like! :-)

Mark

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Keep up the hard work. Skating and stick handling all come with time and hard practice. Defense positioning takes a long time to get right. If you don't have speed you need to learn the spots and angles. That is what makes older D-men hard to play against and how you keep the faster guy under control. One thing I have always suggested is watch as much high level hockey as possible on TV. It gives you a great insight on where to play, how to play and why. It is even better when you have a commentator who breaks it down for you. You can freeze the screen, go forward, back ward and slow mo and it helps you understand things. As you play more you will start to put the two together.

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Howdy,

Update again...

I've now played in two pickup games and have started helping out with my son's skills class. I'm now probably on the ice in some form four to five times a week, with two of those being pretty high intensity, one medium, and the others just sorta skating around a bit.

The pickup games are awesome. :-) I'm slowly getting some sense of where I should be on the ice in the various winger vs. center vs. defenseman roles. Its pickup so mostly I just go to whatever spot is open vs. us having assigned roles. Skills are also a pretty big range from me as the worst guy up to guys that seem pretty damn good, but I really have no frame of reference to judge.

2nd game I did a lot better than the first. Settled down when I got the puck and worked on controlling it and finding an open pass / moving to create an open pass. My first game a couple guys (very nicely) mentioned that I didn't need to hurry it along as much as I was. Also worked on stick checking or poke checking or whatever its called and was able to steal the puck a few times from players that were a lot better than me, which felt great. I love making other people say "Fuck!" :-)

I also scored, first time ever. At both pickups so far there has only been one goalie so on the other side the rule is that the puck has to be elevated off the ice and hit a post to score. I did a little give and go with another guy around a defender, controlled the pass that came back by kicking it up in front of my, caught up to the puck, and lifted it up to the post. Frankly... I mostly couldn't believe it. I bet I'm like 5 out of a 100 on doing that, but I'll take it. :-)

On the skating front, I'm getting more comfortable going from forwards to backwards in a clockwise direction (which is my weak direction). Also getting slightly more comfortable with backwards crossovers. I really need to get more speed backwards though, as right now I can't skate backwards fast enough to stay ahead of an oncoming forward when I'm defending. I can cut the angles to try and help, but I don't even have enough speed for that against some of the guys. Still, its a lot better than where I was a month or two ago, so I know the answer is just "keep working on it".

Last adult skills class of the current session is tomorrow night. Hoping my gear is at least kinda dry by then. Also hoping I still have some gas for it! :-)

Mark


ps. Also, I can hop over the boards getting onto the ice.

I still look like a fish out of water if I try it coming off the ice though. :-)

Edited by marka
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Howdy,

 
So... Got in with a private group that plays locally.  All guys over 40, some a good bit over 40.  I would say that outside of the goalies, I'm one of the younger guys.

Which is kinda cool.
 
Anyway, full range of skill sets from "me" to "used to play in the AHL" (I think anyway).  I at least didn't embarrass myself too bad I don't think, though certainly I flubbed 90% of my passes / whatever.  Still, had one good scoring chance and had one nice read / pass to one of our better folks in front of the net.  A couple ok defensive plays too.

The rest of the hour... Not really so much.  And holy crap was I tired at the end.  That might be the most tired I've been.
 
I really need to get better.  At everything.  Skating, stickhandling, making moves to get around a defender, knowing where to be / what each position is supposed to be doing, etc.  All of it.  I can sorta feel myself plateauing a bit, and its pissing me off.  I'm nowhere near good enough to slow down on improvements.  I particularly need to get better at skating w/the puck and receiving passes that aren't perfect I think.  If I could skate better with the puck, I think I could move more to find openings for better passes, without getting the puck taken away.  And receiving passes... Its SO FRUSTRATING to get a pass and then flub the damn reception of the thing.
 
But... Also still having fun.  I really have yet to meet an asshole doing this.  And I've met lots of people that have really gone out of their way to make me feel welcome.  That includes here... I've been really impressed with the hockey community.
 
On the physical side, I'm still losing a little weight.  So clothes don't really fit and I'm on like my 3rd set of most of the gear due to either me shrinking or just wanting something that works better (or that doesn't reek).  My endurance still isn't what it needs to be though.  We had eight guys tonight, which meant no full line changes.  By 1/2 way through, I was unable to go fast all the time (even at my level of "suck").  By 3/4 way through, I was able to go fast like once per two / three minute shift.  By the end, I was just hoping I didn't pass out.
 
Tonight was the first time I've really tried to play a particular position, because when guys would come off they'd tell you to play 'wing' or 'center' (the other guys were playing defender... I think my brain works better as a defender, but my skating ability isn't really there yet).  It all seems WAY more fluid in hockey vs. basically any other sport I've played.  I think some of that is me just not knowing enough, but some is just "its hockey" I think.  I need to learn more about how that's supposed to work.
 
Oh, on the physical side, I think I had my first injury a while back.  My right side hurts.  Doc thinks its likely that I strained the cartilage around my ribs or something?  I dunno.  I think that's what he said.  They did an xray and didn't see anything broken and drew blood to make sure it wasn't liver (though I'm not sure if those results are back).  Doesn't really hurt when I play and I can ignore it otherwise, so as long as its not "something is going to catastrophically fail if you ignore it".... I can ignore it.
 
Anyway, long enough I guess.  Short version... The old guy is still having fun.  :-)

Mark
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