The ABCs of Learn­ing to Skate

Orleans Star - - SPORTS - Cour­tesy of News Canada

Nearly 570,000 kids play hockey in Canada and hockey con­tin­ues to be a defin­ing char­ac­ter­is­tic for Cana­di­ans.

Par­tic­i­pat­ing in some level of hockey is a big part of daily life in Cana­dian com­mu­ni­ties. For many fam­i­lies, week­ends are built around go­ing to games and prac­tices. Fol­low th­ese sim­ple ‘ABC’ tips to help im­prove your child’s earlystage skat­ing skills:

Agility: Ev­ery­one knows that learn­ing to skate in­volves at least a cou­ple spills on the ice, so it is im­por­tant to know how to get back up quickly! In­struct the skaters to prac­tice stand­ing up.

Have the par­tic­i­pants kneel on the ice and prac­tice get­ting back up into a stand­ing skat­ing stance.

You can in­crease the dif­fi­culty by hav­ing par­tic­i­pants start on t hei r stom­achs, pull i ng them­selves onto their knees with their el­bows, then stand­ing up.

Bal­ance: Bal­ance is another es­sen­tial skill to de­velop in the be­gin­ning stages of skat­ing.

Im­prove bal­ance by ask­ing the par­tic­i­pants to cross the ice with their hands on their hips, lift­ing their knees to waist height in a ‘march­ing’ fash­ion.

Co­or­di­na­tion: Once skaters have gained their foot­ing on the ice, it’s time to in­cor­po­rate more dif­fi­cult skills that re­quire co­or­di­na­tion.

Pair par­tic­i­pants up and pro­vide each pair with a ten­nis ball. Ask the skaters to roll the ball to each other, about three or four me­tres apart. Skaters should bend over to pick it up and stand back up once they have re­ceived it.

Th­ese Learn to Skate tips were pro­vided by RBC Play Hockey in part­ner­ship with Hockey Canada. RBC is proud to de­liver Learn to Skat e Pr o g r a ms i n com­mu­ni­ties across the coun­try to teach the fun­da­men­tals of skat­ing and is com­mit­ted to help­ing chil­dren de­velop the con­fi­dence and skills they need to be­come happy, healthy, and ac­tive for life.

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