Q&A: How Not to Get Hurt Playing Hockey
A: Making the switch from inline hockey can be a culture shock as you encounter parents and players who have become accustomed to checking over several years. Ice hockey players start checking at PeeWee (ages 10–11) and most take a checking clinic to learn how to safely give, take and avoid checks. This is an investment that inline hockey players transitioning to ice almost certainly need to make. Ask your coach or another parent for a checking clinic or hockey camp recommendation for this summer.
In the meantime, a local player shares these reminders about avoiding and powering through those big hits.
- Speed changes—skate at 90–95% of your full speed and save that last burst for when a check is coming your way.
- Keep your head up and your feet moving.
- Stay either along the boards or way off them.
- Stay low and bend your knees.
- Don’t turn your back at the last second to the hit.
I’ll never forget my son’s coach telling him he was so proud of him for making the good pass—rather than just dumping the puck—when he knew a hit was coming. Certainly a different mindset for mothers who spend years protecting their kids! Good luck!
Editor's Note: Thank you to Kelly Anton for this story.
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