Week Three: The Pucks Came Out!

Week 2              Week 4

By Ashley Mielke

This is the session we’ve all been waiting for! The session where the pucks come out! 

As always I arrived early to give myself enough time to settle in and get dressed. To my surprise, a Discover Hockey Alumni and NCHL hockey player, Tracy Gibson, joined our group as a mentor!

Let me give you a bit of a back story about my connection to Tracy.

Tracy and I connected about six weeks ago in a women’s hockey Facebook group after I had registered for Discover Hockey. I was inquiring about opportunities for beginner players to join a women’s team and she was one of the first players to respond to my post.

Firstly, Tracy shared that she too went through the Discover Hockey program and had nothing but amazing things to say about it. She also invited me to join her NCHL team in the Spring/Summer of 2022, after I completed the program myself!

I felt even more excited about registering for this program and thrilled at the thought of joining her team in the future!

So when Tracy surprised us at our session, I was so excited! Of course the first thing I did was give her a big hug and tell her how much of an inspiration she has been for me.

You know that feeling when everything aligns and you feel like you’re exactly where you’re supposed to be? That is how I felt that night.

When it was time to hit the ice, we had our 3 minute warm-up and stretch, and then pucks upon pucks were poured onto the ice!

There was significantly less skating tonight but still an incredible amount of energy (and sweat) was expelled!

Our focus for the session was learning the fundamentals of stick handling and puck control. This is a significant skill to hone because when it comes to the speed and intensity of playing in an actual game, we will know how it should look and feel when we are moving the puck up the ice.

We spent quite a bit of time just getting comfortable stick handling with the puck in front of our bodies, on the side of our bodies, and between our legs.

I can’t believe how intense these exercises actually were!

The most challenging drill for me was dragging the puck to the back left side of my body (because I’m left-handed) and then hitting the puck through the back of my legs to the front of my body. Sounds confusing right?!

Can I just say, I have a whole new level of respect and admiration for hockey players? They make it look so easy! The talent, skill, and mindset this sport requires is incredible! 

After we got comfortable with stick handling on our own, we partnered up and practiced passing the puck back and forth. That was a lot of fun! I felt my confidence increase with every pass. The important take-away from this lesson was keeping our eye on the target of where we wanted the puck to go, and not down at the ice at the puck.

Although I haven’t played hockey before, I’ve played other competitive sports, including AA fastball and basketball. The crossover of my skill set from these other sports is definitely an advantage, having familiarity with the importance of skills like hand-eye coordination, balance, leg work, passing, and hitting targets.

The day after our session I went to a 2-hour “Stick and Puck” session at the local rink with my husband and 5-year-old son, where I continued to practice the skills I’ve been learning. I recognize that these fundamentals will be so important when it comes to game time and although I am anxious to get there, I know how important it is to go slow and not skip the steps that are fundamental to my progression as a hockey player.

I remember Jeff saying in our orientation session that “hockey players aren’t born, they’re made”. That really stuck with me. And that is the motivation that keeps me pushing forward with excitement and patience. 

I know that by showing up and pouring myself fully into this process, and trusting the guidance and direction of our coaches, I will be a great hockey player! 

One thing I’ve learned on my journey is that starting anything new can feel scary and even intimidating. We often question our worthiness and deservedness. It can even create feelings of “imposter syndrome” like “Who do I think I am?” or “I will never be good at this!” This is a very real thing! Even Beyonce admits having imposter syndrome and she is BEYONCE! I know I have felt that feeling many times throughout my career and I certainly felt that starting this program. 

But if you don’t try, how will you ever know what impact it may have on your life? How will you ever know what you’re capable of achieving?

One quote that I remind myself of anytime I try something new is by Dr. Brene Brown. She says, “fly the plane while you’re building it”.

You can’t become a hockey player without taking that first step and figuring it out as you go!

Discover Hockey is definitely the program that teaches you how to get there, one small step at a time.

I appreciate you following along on my journey and I look forward to sharing more next week!

With Gratitude,



If you are reading this and thinking to yourself that it is time for me too to try hockey, registration is open now in CalgaryEdmonton, and Richmond. Spots are limited though and many programs already have, or will sell out!


Discover Hockey is a beginner program for adult men and women who want to learn to skate and play hockey in a safe and fun environment. Learn all the basics of skating and game play without the fear of being judged, form life-changing bonds with your new teammates, and join a league as a team to play hockey in a real season!

Discover Hockey beginner adult hockey classes are currently offered in CalgaryEdmonton and Richmond, BC. If you and your friends want to take the program please visit the schedule pages. Save $50 per person when signing up with two or more friends with the Buddy Bonus!

If you think this program should be offered in your area, please contact us.

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