NYHA’s Learn to Skate program is a 10-week course geared toward children ages 3 to 11 with little or no skating experience. Skaters are taught by the coaching staff of the Nashoba Youth Hockey Association, but the program is open both to skaters who wish to go on to play hockey and to those who are only interested in learning recreational skating.
Skaters are initially evaluated and grouped according to their skill level (Group A, B or C). Each group focuses on mastering specific skills deemed appropriate for their level of skating ability. Individual skaters within each group are continuously evaluated and reassigned when they are ready for the next group.
Group A – These skaters have mastered basic skating techniques and are working on more advanced skills – stopping, backwards, turns (glides and crossovers), edgework. Upon the completion of the ten-week LTS program, skaters in this group are ready for Learn to Play Hockey.
Group B – Skaters in Group B can move independently on the ice (without the support of crates or parents*). They are working on basic stance and stride with the introduction of more advanced skills, such as stopping and backwards skating. Skaters in this group may be ready for Learn to Play Hockey with the recommendation of the staff.
Group C – Skaters in Group C are true beginners. They have never been on skates before and cannot support themselves on the ice without the use of stacked crates or parental help*. The goal in this group is to create a comfort level for the skaters. They are afraid to fall and hesitate to give up their support. The coaches use positive reinforcement and gentle encouragement to gradually separate the skaters from their crates and help them develop the balance to stand and move on their own.
Required equipment – skates (hockey or figure skates), hockey helmet with facemask (bike or ski helmets will NOT be allowed on the ice), knee pads, elbow pads, thick protective gloves (hockey gloves recommended).
*Parents are welcome to assist their own children on the ice. They must wear skates and a hockey helmet (no facemask required). Any parent with skating experience who would like to volunteer for a more formal position as an on-ice assistant should contact Initiations Director, Amy Lowe.
NYHA’s Learn to Play Hockey program is a 10-week course geared toward children ages 3 to 11 who already know how to skate*. Skaters are taught the basic skills necessary to play the game of hockey – stickhandling, passing, shooting and teamwork – while continuing to develop more advanced skating techniques. NYHA follows USA Hockey’s American Development Model (ADM). The ADM curriculum uses stations and small area games to focus on drills that improve agility, balance and coordination. Cross-ice and half-ice scrimmages allow the skaters to use their developing skills in game situations.
Required equipment – hockey skates, hockey helmet with facemask, shin pads, hockey socks, athletic supporter with cup or pelvic protector, hockey pants, shoulder pads, elbow pads, hockey gloves, stick. A hockey jersey will be provided.
Any parent with hockey experience who would like to be an on-ice assistant should contact Initiations Director, Amy Lowe.
*Learn to Skate program