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In order to play professional level hockey, you need great athleticism, stamina, courage, and skill.  The very foundation of a hockey player at any level is good skating technique, and this is true whether you are playing in a peewee city league or on the professional circuit.  This is a brief introduction to skates and warm-ups. Online Hockey Store

To put it briefly, skating is ultimately an alternating, one-legged balancing act.  Let’s begin with the equipment you are balancing on, the proper pair of skates.  If your feet are growing, a used pair that fits correctly is a much better choice than a larger, “top of the line” pair with room to grow.  Your heel should rest flat in the back of each skate, and your big toe should barely touch the front portion of the toe cap.  More room here is NOT beneficial.  Ankle support is important, especially for young skaters.  Either leather or man made material is fine, and depends upon the comfort level of the skater.  Get good high grade steel blades, dry them off after each use, use skate guards if you walk across other surfaces with your skates.  Keep a small sharpening stone in your hockey bag.  Sharpen your blades as you need to, or when you get a nick in your blade Hockey Doll

Your best skating posture varies slightly from person to person, but everyone should have the proper posture, which includes bent knees and ankles with a proper weight distribution over the balls of the feet.  LOOK FORWARD, not down at the ice, and keep proper alignment.  From a front view you toe, knee, and chin should be in a line, and from the side your ankle, hip, shoulder, and head should be aligned.  Many people admired Paul Coffey and his fluid style of skating, but Paul practiced this skating style for years.

Before you start any ice hockey practice, make sure you do warm-up exercises.  It is good to do these in full gear, as they improve balance and posture, as well as stretch out muscles.  Your first stretches should be upper body stretches, keeping leg lunges and groin stretches until the end of the warm-up.  Stretch out your upper body and shoulders with shoulder rolls and dips. Hold the hockey stick across your shoulders at the upper back, and turn at the waist for shoulder rolls, and dip to touch a right hand to a right knee (or left to left) for shoulder dips.   Another important area to stretch is the lower back, which gets a lot of strain in a regular hockey game.  Stretches that make your back curve strongly either concave (called seal stretches) or convex (where you bend forward with your chest near your thighs) will help this area of the body.  Hockey Stuff

Finally, do hamstring stretches and groin stretches (various leg lunges and sitting exercises) to complete your warm-up, and be ready to play ice hockey.  For a complete guide to stretches, confer with your coach, or get a good book with a lot of diagrams or pictures.  It is important to keep proper alignment when doing these stretches in order to protect your body, and have a great hockey match!

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