To be a great hockey player you first have to learn to be a great skater, this article will give you the building blocks necessary to become an amazing skater.
When you are first learning to skate it seems like a very daunting task, you are given two shoes with blades attached to them and asked to go onto a surface of ice, like it is no big deal. A lot of the trouble with learning how to skate is to get over the emotional and mental barriers first. Don't feel embarrassed to use a chair or any other tool. In fact using a chair or pylon is the best way to learn to skate as it will allow you to gradually add weight to your skates and feel more comfortable. After learning to push off with your skates, then you just need to learn muscle memory and practice a lot.
When you lace up those skates for the first time practice standing on them in the dressing room. Get used to the feel of the blades and the way it will affect your balance. Also practice using each edge of your blade. Remember when your skates are flat, you are standing on two edges.
Practice leaning your skates so you are only on one of the edges, inside or outside. Now practice leaining on both of your inside edges and both your outside edges.
Remember these key positions as they will be needed later.
Now for stepping on the ice there are a few key points you must remember:
I have seen it a 1000 times at rinks new skaters out on the ice standing like pencils and falling like dominoes. Make sure you have your knees bent and your skates shoulder width apart. This positon is known in a majority of sports as the ready position, it allows you to greatly improve your balance and it loads muscles which allows for better reaction times.
Know your edges:
When you first step on the ice you should use the ready position. If you do this you will feel weight on your legs that will want to push your legs apart. This may feel like you are about to do the splits, to stop this you must use your edges. If you have practiced moving from edge to edge off the ice as I have stated before it should not be to hard to do. Stay low and lean your skates to their inside edges. When you feel them digging in start applying more weight, this will be hard the first few times as your body will be telling you the opposite. Trust your skates, the edges will stop your legs from splitting.
Never give up:
No matter how many times you fall you have to get back up and go again, mental barriers are half the obstacle but are never talked about. You have to be ready to get a few bruises if you want to improve yourself. So don't give up on learning, and do not give up on yourself. A desire to learn and self confidence will be the greatest tools you can have when learning something new.