See what people think of the Discover Hockey program, read this thread on Reddit. It will give you a bit of an idea of what people say and the kind of questions they have. Here are some selected comments.
I was following one of my fellow countrymen, Juris Graney, learning to play. He is a reporter with Edmonton Journal and summed it up well in a series of his experiences.
Really useful information. Thanks!
Yes! I’ve taken it 3 times actually. It has matured into a very good program but it’s targeted at, and at it’s best with, real beginners.
If you grew up playing hockey and you think you just need a tune up I’d say you’re better off just jumping on the NCHL facebook groups and looking to sub in on various teams in the lower divs. That’ll get you back into hockey in a much more cost effective way.
If you’re a real beginner who’s never played the game though this is a great program. The first half of the sessions are purly focused on skating skills, starting right from the most basic of standing on your skates and doing T-pushes. It progresses up though cross-overs and into forward/backward transitions and maybe into backward cross-overs but it depends on the overall skill level of the group you’re in. The second half of sessions focuses on hockey skills, breakout drills, stick handling, shooting, all that jazz.
The goal of the program, from the NCHL’s perspective, is to create more teams to feed into their league so everything leans that direction. At the end of the day this program is an intro to hockey, you won’t be a great (or likely even good) player at the end of it but you’ll be at the point where you can start playing in the lowest division in the NCHL.
Great advice. I am a novice, grew up in a place where the only hockey was on a field so I’m definitely a beginner! Started skating last winter and got ok at it, played some shinny briefly with a couple of friends but nothing very formal. Thinking this might be the program to take the next step. I know I won’t be fantastic at the end, I just want to be able to at least compete at even the lowest level. Thanks for the comment.
Sounds like this is the right place for you, good luck! It’s a blast.
So I took the program. It was really good entry for learning the rules and basics of hockey. I wouldn’t rely on the program to teach you to be a better skater or stick handler. You’ll only be better at skating by going out on your own to free skates.
The best thing about the program is the friends you make and the possibility that the group you’re learning with will make a brand new team together.
This is the other thing. My girlfriend and I want to both learn together (she grew up here but never played) and this seems like a great way to do that and make friends along the way!
It is probably the best way to get into especially as adults. I would highly recommend you both also do free skates around Edmonton to practice when you can. You’ll enjoy hockey much more when you’re comfortable moving around out there.
I’m currently in the program with my prior experience being playing at the ODR one or twice a year and sometimes renting out ice time with friends and family. I ‘m finding that the course really helps to give you a solid base to start to learn to play hockey, especially with skating. We just went over learning how to shoot the puck properly which I thought I knew, but apparently I was wrong. I’d definitely say it’s worth it if you want to get a start in hockey with your girlfriend. Having a good group in the locker room helps as well.