If your little guy or gal is determined to lace up some skates and hit the rink, you’re going to need to know a few important things. Youth hockey isn’t like a classic baseball team or soccer tribe, there are major differences in this sport and a lot of us aren’t attuned to what it all means.
Below, we’ve compiled a list of 6 things you should know before ever taking the plunge and signing your kid up for hockey. From doing your homework to learning about the equipment, here’s the scoop.
6 Things You Should Know Before Signing Your Kid Up for Hockey
Sign Up For the “Learn to Play” Programs
If your area has one of these, go for it first. Instead of jumping right into the league, these programs will allow your child time to actually, well, learn how to play (and how to skate).
Not only will it be a nice “test run” before going head first into the commitment of an actual team, but you probably won’t even have to shell out all the money for all of the equipment just yet. Instead, a lot of these kinds of clubs will allow you to rent some pieces first.
The Equipment List is Long
You may be scared at first glance, but it’s necessary to know. The equipment list is long. Here’s what you’ll need for your first season out on the ice:
- Skates & Skate Socks
- A Stick (grab some stick tape & wax too)
- Mouth Guard
- Pads: Elbow & Shoulder
- Ice Hockey Pants & Socks
- Shin Guards
- Long Sleeve Dri Fits Shirts
- Hockey Jock with a Cup
- Hockey Bag
Check Out The Coach
Before you commit to a location, league, or a coach, do a bit of homework. You want to make sure whoever is coaching your little one has knowledge of this sport. With the amount of time and money that you’ll be putting into it, you’ll want some peace of mind that he/she is in good hands – especially when it comes to safety.
Go and check out a practice beforehand. Meet the coach and have a talk to see if you’re comfortable.
Commit To At Least Two Seasons
Once you’re on a team, make sure you and your child know that you should commit to at least two years before every deciding to quit.
This gives ample time and opportunity to learn how to skate, learn the game, and start to develop some skills. The more all of that takes shape, the more fun everyone starts having, and you (and your player) will have a better idea of how the experience will fare.
Learn How To Be Early
If you’re one to never be on time – or early – that will have to change. It’s necessary to allow extra minutes before practices and games to suit up. And it will take TIME because there’s so much to put on and you’ll need to help your little ones.
It Is High-Maintenance
There’s a lot of time involved, yes, just like any sport, but overall it’s one of the most high-maintenance on the list. Why?
The amount of equipment, the price tags, and learning how to use it – can be an issue, for both the kiddos and the parents. The little ones will need help suiting up and that’s a side note to the fact that most children will need to figure out how to skate before learning how to use their sticks. It takes patience and may get a little frustrating at times.