Your child comes home from school and says those fateful words, "I want to play hockey." Get ready for commitment and a whole lot of fun! You are about to meet some amazing people and an activity that brings families together and teaches much more than the game and skills required to play hockey. Your child (and you too) will grow as people learning to work together with others as a team, learn to cope with success and disappointment and how to work hard to get what you want.
There is much to learn and so many things to consider: teams, power skating lessons, dry-land training, tournaments and more, but slow down. Let's get you dressed and looking good first and start practicing our listening skills so your soon-to-be Coach will know you are ready to be a solid practice and team player.
You can shop online to compare prices and get lost in the varieties and brands of equipment but I strongly recommend to make friends with your local hockey store, expect to spend 3 hours in the store and have your child try on equipment to see what fits best. Parents often think first about protection and quality but your player also needs to be able to move freely and that's also a safety factor, so try the gear on at the store... all the gear at the same time to make sure the components fit well together. You may not actually need 3 hours but if you plan for that you won't be worried about getting to your next commitment. They have chairs and a TV for the tag-a-longs.
The hockey helmet and cage often come separately and I suggest you have the store assemble the parts for you at the store and have your child try it on assembled before you leave the store. I've had great customer care in my many years of hockey with Pure Hockey. They've been knowledgeable, patient and back up their products with a generous return policy. If you are not happy about your gear or skate sharpening, let them know. They want you to be happy!
Here's what you'll need for equipment at the Mite Development or beginner level
- Hockey Skates (get them fitted and sharped before you leave the store)
- Hockey Helmet with Cage
- Shoulder Pads
- Hockey Pants or Hockey Girdle with Shell
- Elbow Pads
- Shin Pads
- Shorts with built-in garter to hold up hockey socks and cup protector
- Hockey Socks
- Practice Hockey Jersey
- Hockey Stick
- Hockey Tape (Clear, Black & White)
- Water Bottle
So here you go! Rule #1 is look good. Rule #2 is have fun. Rule #3 is when you fall, get back up, and smile because you are now part of the hockey family!
If you are still looking for a place for your beginner hockey player to play, I happen to have the inside scoop on an excellent Mite Development Program with the Middlesex Islanders so check it out!
Have a fun hockey season, keep working hard, keep learning and don't be afraid to make mistakes... that's how you learn.