Learning a new sport can be a daunting activity. Then again, it can also be one of the most enjoyable. The trick is to figure out if playing a particular sport is appealing to you. Do you find a particular sport exciting? Are you physically able to improve your performance if you invest in the sport?
How Much Does Sporting Equipment Cost?
The X-factor in all of this discussion is whether or not the sport is affordable for you. Brand new hockey equipment can run you over $1,000. New golf clubs cost at a minimum $400 for a set that is halfway decent. If price is an object, try badminton or tennis! The bottom line is that learning to play a new sport is supposed to be fun, thrilling and recurrently stimulating.
Attending a Hockey Game
Learning how to play your sport of choice can be a mixture of fun and frustration. Your first step is to identify the sport you really want to learn. As a young boy I idolized the now defunct Hartford Whalers hockey team. My father, having been a team physician of sorts, introduced me to many of the players. As I watched from the front row Plexiglass seats I noticed the goaltender had the toughest and most unique role to play. I was almost instantly hooked and knew I wanted to be the goalie, the savior of the team. Watching basketball or hockey or football on television is not enough. To find out if you really want to be an athlete go visit a live contest and find out if the sport is really for you. Those crunch of those hits can be better experienced live and in person. Perhaps witnessing a skier slalom down a steep mountain at 20+ miles per hour may look fun on T.V. but in person it is more likely terrifying to observe.
For me, watching hockey was always a thrill. The speed of the game is what attracted me to the sport. The crowds roar at rinks and every shot on goal seems to have a chance of going in the net. Then again, once I strapped on hockey pads, those 90 mile an hour slapshots hurt more than they looked cool!
Where Can I Play Hockey?
Step two is finding out where you can play the sport. Basketball is likely to be an easy option because of local parks and gymnasiums in most communities. For me, finding a hockey rink required approaching the athletic directors at school. During the spring and summer seasons I played in leagues and attended hockey camps. The upside is the additional experience and opportunity to learn from experts. The downside is of course the cost of hockey camp. Check your local listings on Yahoo, Google, or even flyers posted at nearby schools and public bulletin boards for more information.
Step three is strapping on hockey pads, fastening the skate laces and going to work. Very few people are experts on day one. A sport such as hockey requires constant practice. First, I had to learn how to ice skate which is indeed a slippery slope. I then had to learn to skate with pads on. Afterward, I needed to learn how to control the puck, shoot wristers, slapshots, and pass at full speed. I learned the fundamentals of hockey while slipping and falling and finding a semblance of balance. There can be no greater fundamental than practice.
Finally, learning how to play hockey, or any other sport, can be significantly aided by superb coaching. Finding role models, peers and coaches willing to show you the ropes can make the difference between playing as a hobby or becoming a professional. The truly great coaches will establish an emotional rapport with you in order to provide that impetus for you to succeed. Just remember that in hockey, crossing the red line is a good thing, especially if it is on the opponent’s side!