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Charlie Delta 3: The Low Down

By Jen 1

Charlie Delta 3 is where you will learn the skills you need to skate safely in a hockey game. You’ll learn proper body positioning, hockey stance & how to hold your stick. How to stop, to fall down, to get back up, to turn tightly. You’ll learn how to find your edges and what to do with them. How to skate backwards! How to change direction quickly and start skating with power.

Are you ready?

What to bring with you:

  • Water Bottle
  • Skins style workout gear if you have it or general workout gear to go under your hockey gear
  • A towel for afterwards – hockey is sweaty work
  • Socks – at least quarter height, anklets are inconvenient for hockey.
  • Electrical tape or something to use as sock tape (or pick up a roll of sock tape when you pay)

It’s time.

You walk into the rink and the ice is covered in kids who don’t even come up to your waist and they are weaving and dekeing like heavily padded butterflies with sticks.

Take a deep breath, it’s alright, we’ve all been there.

See down the other end of the rink? Upstairs is the NHLA Pro Shop. On a Friday night you are most likely to find Tony behind the counter, sometimes Joey. Tell them it’s your first class, tell them if you need a hand with gear. (ladies – buy a waterbottle with a long straw, you’ll thank me later).

You got your gear, head on down to the change rooms. Now everyone get’s dressed differently but here’s the order I go in. If in doubt ask someone to help you. This is safety gear, not a test or a fashion show, ask for help. Safety First kids!

  1. Skins
  2. Jock or Jill (protective cup)
  3. Hockey Socks
  4. Skates
  5. Shin pads
  6. Tape the hockey socks over the shin pads
  7. Hockey pants (Mine have a zip on the inner thigh so I can get them over the skates)
  8. Chest Protector
  9. Elbow pads
  10. Jersey
  11. Helmet
  12. Gloves


Here’s a video from USA Hockey – Everyone gets dressed differently! Just don’t forget to take the guards off your skates!

Grab your water bottle, your stick & Let’s go….

You’ll hit the ice and do a few laps with everyone to warm up, if you are anything like me you are just a little bit nervous. Who am I kidding, my knees were weak, my palms were sweaty, there was vomit on my sweater already… no wait, that was Eminem.

Depending on when during term you start, you may find the drills feel a little advanced. Don’t worry, just give it a go. The coaches will take note and spend a little time going through the basics with you and don’t be afraid to ask your classmates as well. We are a friendly bunch!

Here’s my number 1 tip; Try Everything, followed closely by; Don’t be afraid to fall over.

It’s one of the weirdest parts of learning to play hockey; You need to fall over to learn.Those mythical things called hockey edges can only be found when you push yourself.

We all fall down a lot, don’t be frustrated, have a laugh at yourself, shake it off and get back up again.

The first few sessions will be hard, don’t give up, you won’t pick up hockey overnight, it takes time and practice.  If you want to read more about how I went for my first few weeks go check out

author: Jen

So You Want To Play Hockey? – NLHA- We Know Pro

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