Roller Hockey: the Secret is out….It’s GREAT for your Ice game!
With so little practice time spent on individual creativity and a lack of frozen ponds where the kids can play for hours on end, the local hockey player is left without much opportunity to improve their individual creativity on the ice.
One secret that is slowly emerging in North America to help you develop your puck skills and creativity is….ROLLER HOCKEY!
More and more players are using roller hockey as a complement to their ice hockey game. Many play in the spring roller hockey league during the off-season while others play in the local house league during their ice season.
Play is 4-on-4 with no offsides, no icing, and no body checking. These factors give the player more room to dangle!
The rules and style of play for roller hockey are conducive to skill development and confidence with the puck. There are no blue or red lines to restrict player movement on the surface, thereby providing the player with much more open space. In addition, the 4-on-4 nature of the game further opens up the rink allowing players extra time with the puck on their stick.
Body checking is not allowed which allows the player time to make a good decision with the puck or try a move that he may not have tried otherwise for fear of getting crushed.
These factors all give players more time to get open, more opportunities to handle the puck, better decision making when stick handling and extra room to skate with the puck. Creativity and confidence are allowed to develop in a fun and entertaining forum.
A player’s vision improves with the open space. They can now see more of the rink and are able to see plays develop that they may not have seen before. When heading back to the ice, the player is now ready to handle the puck and make good decisions that he wasn’t able to make before.
In addition to the rules of the game creating an atmosphere that promotes skill development, the roller hockey game is a possession game, very similar to basketball. If you’ve got the puck – the other team can’t score. Further, if your team uses a controlled attack you can catch the opposition out of position and find yourself with an excellent scoring chance.
This style of play helps develop a player’s stick handling and passing skills while developing a player’s confidence to make a smart play with the puck. Games tend to be much higher scoring than ice hockey which give all the players more scoring chances and confidence around the net. Translated to the ice where the average player has the puck for a split second before the opposition is on top of him, increased confidence in pressure situations will make you a better player.
Many times we’ve heard ice hockey coaches say roller hockey hurts your stride and is bad for your ice hockey game. These types of comments are starting to disappear as more and more players are reaching the highest levels of hockey while having background in roller hockey. Players and coaches at all levels are now seeing that roller hockey can benefit your game.
Has roller hockey helped anyone with their ice hockey? Check out this list of players that played ice and roller hockey:
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