At What Age Should Kids Start Hockey? Answered!

When it comes to age, there’s really no set rule. I remember my brother, at just 5 years old, telling our dad he wanted to play hockey. That’s when Dad started teaching him. In my experience, the best time for kids to start playing hockey is when they show interest. It could be at 3, 4, or whenever they feel like it – you never know!

AT WHAT AGE SHOULD KIDS START HOCKEY

As mentioned earlier, there’s really no perfect age to kick off your kids playing hockey. One key thing we touched on is their eagerness to get into the game. If that spark is there, it’s best to get them started as soon as possible.

In Canada, most little ones dive into hockey around 4 or 5. You could even start showing them the ropes of skating as young as 2 or 3.

But, remember, hockey is hands down the toughest sport to pick up. You’ve got skating, stick handling, shooting – it’s no walk in the park, especially for the little ones.

So, if they show interest, go easy on them. No need to push if they’re not feeling it.

Did you know: At the age of two and a half, Wayne Gretzky started skating and taking lessons in hockey with his father.

Credit: Ontario Minor Hockey Association

HOW TO GET YOUR KIDS STARTED: ROAD-MAP (AGE-WISE)

So, now that we’ve discussed what the kids are into and you’re confident they’re eager to give it a go, it’s time to map out your plan.

We’ve put together this handy age-wise road map for you – it’s not a one-size-fits-all for every child, but it’ll give you a good starting point to work from.

AGE 3 TO 5

If your little one shows interest in the game, then around 3 years old is a great time to introduce them to skating. Start with a few sessions at that age. As they turn 4 and 5, gradually increase the skating time. This way, they’ll be ahead of the game when they join the 5-6 year old hockey tier!

At first, you’ll mostly be the one holding them up while you skate a lap or two with their skates touching the ice. Soon, they’ll start using those goal frame thingies, and before you know it, they’ll be skating on their own.

Bring in the stick and puck once they’ve got that down into the skating thing. It’s best to nail the basics before moving on to the more complex stuff.

So, around 3 years old is perfect for skating, getting into the game, handling the puck, grasping the stick – your kids will pick it up in a jiffy.

These early years will help them enjoy the environment, and they will soon love and seek the play when you take them back to the ice field.

AGE 5 TO 12

When they start playing hockey at three, two years will provide them with adequate exposure. And now, age 5 to 12 is a stage where the game’s competitive nature starts to build. Age 5 also makes kids eligible to play in junior hockey leagues.

At this stage, you’ll need to ensure your child is geared up with the necessary hockey equipment and protective gear to participate in matches alongside other teams without being left out. The child should begin learning the rules of hockey and obeying coaches and officials.

AGE 13 AND UP

As your teen matures, they can take their love of hockey to the next level! With so many opportunities available – from college and professional teams to local recreational leagues – they can cultivate their skills and compete with some of the best in the nation.

Or, if competitive play is not their thing, there are still plenty of ways to get their hockey fix – from joining adult leagues to playing pick-up games with friends. Whatever direction they choose, they can continue to hone their skills and show off their passion for the game!

BENEFITS OF STARTING HOCKEY AT A YOUNG AGE

kids hockey

Playing hockey offers many physical and mental benefits for kids. It helps build strength and cardiovascular health through running, skating and jumping. Additionally, the regular impact of skating strengthens bones and joints, reducing the chances of injuries later in life.

Hockey has a team-oriented nature that teaches teamwork, cooperation, communication, and conflict-resolution skills. It also helps to cultivate discipline and focus, as players must follow instructions and maintain concentration even under challenging situations.

Ultimately, hockey boosts self-confidence and self-esteem, as mastering the sport can provide a life-enriching feeling of accomplishment and pride.

Coaching & Training Program For Kids

For kids who show an interest in the game, there are a variety of coaching and training options available to help them get started and develop their skills.

Coaching programs can range from group lessons to one-on-one training, and may offer different levels of skill-building to accommodate kids of different ages and abilities.

Many programs also offer opportunities for kids to participate in clinics or camps, where they can practice and learn from experienced coaches and players in a fun, supportive environment.

With the right guidance and training, kids can build the skills, confidence, and teamwork abilities needed to succeed on the ice and enjoy all the fun and excitement that hockey has to offer.

Ensure Safety when playing Hockey

When your child starts playing hockey at a young age, it’s essential to keep a watchful eye on them, especially during practices and games.

Additionally, if you can provide them with the necessary gear and equipment required to play hockey, it would be a great step towards ensuring their safety from potential injuries. Proper gear, such as helmets, pads, gloves, and skates, is vital for protecting them on the ice.

FAQs

What Can I Expect From Ice Hockey?

Expect a physically demanding and exciting sport that fosters teamwork, discipline, and skill development. As you progress, there are opportunities for high school, college, and even professional play, as well as valuable life lessons.

How To Join a Hockey Team?

To join a hockey team, start with skating lessons if needed. Then, find local youth hockey programs or leagues. Attend tryouts if required, and ensure you have the necessary gear. Coaches and rinks can often provide guidance on team registration. If you are from Canada, checkout this helpful guide.

Is Hockey A Good Sport For Kids?

Yes, hockey is an excellent sport for kids. It promotes physical fitness, teamwork, and discipline. It also offers lifelong skills and opportunities, even if not pursued professionally, making it a valuable and enjoyable activity for children.

Encouraging your children to pick up ice hockey early can yield excellent results. If your kid is between three and four years of age, now is the perfect time to introduce them to the sport – even if it might seem intimidating.

Let them take charge with a hockey stick in their hands and see what wonders they produce with their natural talent! With the proper guidance, they can reach heights of greatness. So don’t wait – give them the chance to show what they’re capable of!

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