The Chicago Bruins are having an adult beginner hockey class at the Addison Ice Arena. I really like the ice there, and I've been thinking about joining a league that plays there and at Seven Bridges Ice Arena. I sort of assumed that some of the players in the league would be in this class. There are 8 classes over 4 weeks for $125, and we get the ice at about 9:00. You really can't go wrong.
I decided to do the league for multiple reasons. It would help me work on my skills of course, and if I can learn to stop, it is going to change my game dramatically. These types of classes are great conditioning when you're trying to come back from an injury, like I am. The price is right - about $15 a class. And I'm looking to be recruited onto one of the teams in that league.
This was the most fun I've had in months, on and off the ice. The drills were just the right difficulty for me, and fun at the same time. I could really see myself benefiting from these drills. Last night it was just skating and catching a pass or two, but I learned more in the 1 hour of drills than I did in the HNA class.
One area that I never thought about was how you hold your stick when you're turning. Now I've said in the past I believe you should learn to skate without your stick, then introduce your stick when you play for assistance. It'd just make you a better skater. It was brought to my attention that my blade should be on the inside of my turn, and not the outside. I thought about it, and it makes total sense. It'll help get you lower to the ground, and you can lean on it to help you turn faster, all while giving you better balance.
The other thing that was brought to my attention is how tightly I hold my stick. I usually keep it relatively loose, unless I'm actually battling with someone for the puck. When I receive my passes though, I need to tighten up on my stick, or else the puck will bounce, and not just lay flat. I'm not talking about having the puck hop over your stick, but when you do catch it, to keep it flat. It keeps you from having to settle it down, and then skating.
The scrimmage was a blast, and great for my conditioning, as it was on the Olympic ice and there were only two lines to a team. The skill level of everyone there is very balanced. No one is too outstanding, and no one is too raw, which makes it more enjoyable for me. To top it off, most of the people in the class had already taken it, so they know each other. They're very friendly and outgoing. It wasn't intense at all and there were people around my age, which is actually rare it seems.
It was a good workout the night before the game I have tonight with the Goaldiggers. I'm sore just enough to know that I played, but I'm rested enough that I feel I confident going into tonight.