There’s Plenty of Ice for All of Us

Ice skating is awesome. Whether you’re a newbie or an old pro, it’s a great way to spend your spare time, get some exercise, and have fun. A few weeks ago, I blogged about attending public skating sessions as a way to work on your skating skills between games. While an excellent idea (since I’m a genius), there are a few things hockey players should consider when sharing the ice with non-hockey folk.

“R E S P E C T, find out what it means to me!”

Public skates are designed for EVERYONE. As such, there are probably some skaters out there who aren’t as good as you. So, be patient and respectful. Don’t show off and skate full speed, weaving through the other skaters like a fool. All this does is frighten kids and intimidate people who are trying to learn how to skate. It’s also dangerous because you never know when a youngster may take a bad step in front of you causing a major collision and possibly some injuries.

How can I work on my game if I can’t skate like a psycho?

There are several skills you can focus on that won’t disturb those around you. For one, you can practice your stride. Your form can ALWAYS improve.

Look for open ice and practice your stops and pivots. Except for the newbies holding onto the wall for dear life, most skaters don’t skate near the boards. So you should be able to find some space there. The corners of the rink are great for this too.

While everyone else is circling the rink in the designated direction, the center tends to be vacant. If anything, it’s usually used by figure skaters practicing their own skills. Feel free to do the same! Jump in there and work on tight turns and crossovers, quick forward/backward transitions, and anything else you can think of within the space.

Summer Lovin’

It should be noted that not all public skates will be packed with people. In fact, summer is an especially great time to go! Many families are on vacation, at the community pool, or just out enjoying the weather. I went to the local public skate at Reisterstown Sportsplex this past weekend and there were a total of 10 people on the ice, including me! All that space allowed me plenty of freedom to skate “my way.” Of course, I was still respectful of those around me.

Just go already!

Seriously, just go. It’s fun, it’s cheap, and it beats the summer heat. Plus, skating without all that gear on is a bonus only a hockey player can truly appreciate!

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