The most important thing to do when getting new skates is to make sure you have them sized properly. Many of the skates today are not like the skates of years past. New skates usually have thermal gel in them or memory foam, some even have an air bladder. Make sure when you get your skates fitted that you are wearing a sock that you will wear when skating (it doesn’t have to be a thick sock) and that the sock is pulled tight with no wrinkles. New skates with the thermal gel can be taken to sport stores where they have special ovens to warm up the skates and then put them on to mold to your feet – this should be done by a professional. The memory foam skates can be worn out of the box as the skates’ inner padding takes the shape of the foot. The outer boot of skates today are very stiff, but the insides are made to be comfortable after minimal use. If the skate is hurting after four or five uses, then perhaps the skate has not been fitted properly. Always make sure you allow the skate to dry after use so that the foot moisture does not stay in skate and cause premature breakdown of the leather or promotion of bacteria.
Coach Robinson says:
“I’m a big believer in just letting a kid be a kid in the rink. Too many parents push their kids in hockey and don’t let them enjoy the game for what it is. I always wanted to model myself after my dad as a hockey parent. He sat there and clapped for both teams, and he always said “good game,” no matter how bad I played. Even when I was older and knew I stunk sometimes, he always seemed to find that one little thing I did right in the game and compliment me on it. I wish more parents were like that, because I often think it’s the parents that end up pushing kids out of hockey. Judge their enjoyment by the smile on their face.”