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Hockey Camps

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Learning
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The best way to learn to play hockey is at a hockey camp. You'll learn basic skills in a systematic fashion, the pace of lessons will be geared to your abilities, you won't be "in over your head" and thus discouraged as you would if tried to learn by joining games with more experienced and skillful players, and you'll learn numerous drills that you can practice on your own.

Most hockey camps are held during the summer. While some camps offer adult classes, younger players on school vacation are the bulk of the target market. Moreover, the instructors tend to be coaches and players (both pro and amateur) who are available for camps only during their "off season."

Key things to consider in choosing a camp:

  • Making sure that it is appropriate for your level of hockey skills (or lack thereof), degree of physical fitness, and amount of stamina.
  • The length of time that it lasts, to fit your schedule and level of interest.
  • Its intensity, in accordance with your degree of competitiveness.
  • The amount of ice time you'll get each day.
  • The amount of time devoted to off-ice drills or blackboard sessions. While ice time should predominate, these can be very valuable.
  • Who the instructors are. If they are famous coaches or players, determine how much time they'll really spend with you. Sometimes, pro coaches and players just make cameo appearances, and leave the day-to-day coaching to lesser lights. On the other hand, if you are a beginner, some of the best (and most patient) camp instructors often are relative unknowns. Ask other players and do some research.
  • If you're not that intense about hockey, you may want sufficient free time or time devoted to non-hockey activities such as sightseeing.
  • Understand the situation with accommodations and meals. For example, will you be sharing rooms? Communal meals are pretty much a given and quite appropriate when learning a team sport.
  • The location, whether in Canada or the U.S., can add or detract from the experience. If you are not going for an intensive camp,

    being in a remote scenic locale, a small town, or a city may be important to you.
  • For women and girls, consider whether a single-sex or coed camp would be most comfortable for you. Despite the macho image of hockey, coed teams and camps are increasingly common and accepted these days

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