Category Archives: In-Depth

Ice Hockey In-Depth #7/8

We are not too far away from In-Depth night and I have to say I have learned A LOT about ice hockey! It has been a fun yet challenging experience that has created many memories. I started off barely being able to stop on the ice, let alone skate. Now I have become a stronger skater who doesn’t rely on the boards (as much) to stop. I have learned a lot about the fundamentals of ice hockey (skating, stick handling, positioning, defending, attacking, passing patterns, etc.) and I hope to continue learning more about ice hockey in-depth as the fall season starts. My goal at the beginning of this process was to join a spring 3on3 team and learn as I played, but then I realized ice hockey is not nearly as easy as I thought it would be. I then joined multiple power skating lessons as well as a hockey academy (which allows me to play 3on3 games) instead and I think this benefitted me as I learned a lot more and got a lot more 1on1 attention than I probably would’ve with a team. I’ve decided that I am too far into my project to post videos, so I’ll save those for In-Depth night! I really noticed a difference in my skating and skill as the practices went on, but the videos really show my progress throughout the practices.

My first mentor (during my power skating lessons) and I had a conversation during one of my last lessons with him. We talked about how everything went and skills I was good at  and those I needed to improve on. I recall saying I was never going to be good enough to make a rep team, but he interrupted me as I was speaking and said that as long as I kept practicing and kept my confidence attitude, I would have no troubles making a team. He interrupted and then waited until later to elaborate on what he was saying. He told me that they are many levels of teams and even if I didn’t make the “highest” and “best” rep team the first time I tried out, that I shouldn’t give up. It was a reassuring conversation that really helped to motivate me during my academy lessons.

Most of my conversations with both my mentors had a fun attitude, because they always said that it’s more important to enjoy yourself and have fun than be harsh and think about the mistakes. During every conversation, no matter how serious or game-instructed it was, they always made sure to throw in a few jokes to keep the vibes good. I probably had a learner attitude during almost all the conversations as I was always trying to learn as much as I could at every opportunity I got. Whether it be learning a new move, new terminology, or just about the history of the sport, everything interested me!

I’m really sad in-depth is almost over, but I’m also really excited for In-Depth night and to see the accomplishments my peers have made!

amira brar



Ice Hockey In-Depth 6

In my most recent sessions with my mentor, some concepts we have discussed in recent sessions include skating, shooting, control, and speed. The concept of skating is based off of fear. If you are scared to fall or trip, you will be off balance and be skating very slow. Skating is not an easy skill to grasp concept of, but with a lot of practice it can come naturally. Shooting is a little more difficult as you need both power and accuracy to have a solid (good) shot. This concept of “shooting” is different for every sport, so if you understand it with one sport it doesn’t quite mean you’ll understand it for every sport. Next, control is a key concept in almost every sport, because in order to be successful and learn new skills, you must maintain control of yourself and what you are doing. I think the hardest part of this concept is that when you are learning a sport you want to try everything really fast, but you will never truly understand the concepts (skills) you are learning without control. Lastly, speed can be a controlling concept as many believe that in order to be the best you must be the fastest. This is not entirely true for many sports, because although you may need speed, this concept also has to do with speed of play, the speed you perform your moves, and the speed you grasp other concepts. One thing about this concept is that speed does not always mean “fast.” For example, when performing a move you want to approach the “defender” at a medium speed, perform your move at 75% pace, and then exit your move with an 100% burst of speed (this is what catches your defender off guard). I think my mentor has done a great job of teaching me these concepts as well as some others.

Now for the alternatives my mentor and I discussed throughout our sessions together. I have had a lot of issues trying to find a spring team to practice with, but once me and my mentor realized that no teams will accept someone who hasn’t played through the fall, we had to look for an alternatives. At first all we found were more power skating classes, but I wanted to actually play. So, we looked further away from home and found an ‘adult” hockey academy that includes power skating, but also has stick&puck, and spring 3 vs. 3. I was really excited about this at first, but then I was a little scared because I thought that everyone would be a lot better than me and I would just be terrible, but my mentor assured me that I’d do just fine and that this is all a learning experience. Another alternative my mentor and I discussed was what kind of equipment to buy. I could buy someones used equipment or buy brand new equipment. There are pros and cons to both, but in the end I felt more comfortable buying my own equipment. It took many hours in Sport Chek and a lot of money to get me all the proper equipment. An added bonus in the end was that all my equipment ended up matching!! 🙂 Overall, I think my mentor has been a huge help in helping me go forward with my ice hockey learning experience. But, I won’t be having anymore sessions with my power skating mentor until after the hockey academy is over in May. I had my first session with the hockey academy this past Monday and it was a workout. All the drills are really simple but help you learn all the fundamentals of hockey and make you really tired because of the intensity. The sessions will run once a week on Monday’s for 2 hours each. I am looking forward to my next session as we get to play a 3 on 3 game! 🙂


amira brar


P.S. Videos will be up soon! I’ve had some video editing difficulties, but will try my best to get the videos up asap! 🙂

Ice Hockey In-Depth 5

I know I’ve been saying I will post videos, but I have been way too busy to edit them. I’ve been working them lately and will upload a series of them as soon as I can!!

These past two weeks my mentor and I have really been focusing on trying to get my turns right, because I seem to struggle with them. My turns have improved a lot, but I still think I can work to make them better. We also kept practising my stick skills and I finally got to learn how to take shots! My mentor decided to start with a simple wrist shot because it’s better to learn the easier shots first. I did pretty well with shots and got them all on net, but something we will definitely be working on is the power of my shots. I asked my mentor how I could get more power, and he told me that I just need to make sure my weight transfer is in sync with my shot. During my next session I will work more on my shot as I really like to try my best to really understand each skill as I move forward with my project.

As for DeBono, here is a conversation I recently had with my mentor and a summary of the “hats” we used (I’ll try to recall it the best I can):
*end of a practice*
Mentor (Chris): Well done! You’ve really improved since our first sessions! Do you have any questions about today’s session or anything in general?
Amira: Umm, how can I improve my turns? The edge turns?
Chris: I think you’ve improved tremendously on those, but one thing to work on would be making sure to bend your knees. Bending your knees will give you more balance when you turn which will also reducing the risk of your fear of falling.
Amira: I’ve realized I sometimes struggle with bending my knees, but I will definitely work on that throughout the next training sessions. I was also wondering if it would be hard to play hockey while I’m playing soccer and field hockey?
Chris: As in soccer and field hockey, there are different levels in ice hockey for every age group. So, even if you are busy with other sports, you could play on a house team which doesn’t require as much commitment. And I’ve noticed that you are a really athletic and competitive person as you always work hard to improve so you’d definitely be able to move up from house really quick.
Amira: I’m worried that house will be. very slow.
Chris: I think you’ll be able to move up fast and pick up the game pretty quick, so I wouldn’t worry about staying at that level for too long.
Amira: I’ll probably end up staying at house because I have no time, but I would want to move up if I could.
Chris: Ya, definitely set goals to work to improve on your skills. I wish you all the best in finding a team!
Amira: Thank you so much! See you next week!
The hats used during this conversation were:
Blue hats were used when we started the conversation.
I was using a black hat a little while asking some of my questions.
My mentor was using his red hat and white hat while thoughtfully answering my questions.

I look forward to continuing to learn the game of ice hockey!

amira brar



Ice Hockey In-Depth 4

Another two weeks has flown by and I have definitely learned a lot more! I met with my mentor 3 times within the last two weeks (as my mentor was very busy teaching other classes) and I’ve started to learn more stick and puck skills. In the first lesson of the three lesson set I continued to learn how to do turns as well as acceleration and deceleration. I have improved a LOT on my speed and turning. During our first set of sessions I was very shaky while turning and was scared to fall. My mentor told me that in order to be more successful I must not be scared to make mistakes/fall. I’m happy to say that I haven’t fallen yet, but I have almost called numerous times. Now that I know not to be scared I am doing a lot better with my turns and turning with speed. Also, during this session I finally got to start using pucks. We just did basic stick to stick passing so I could get used to the weight of the puck. I found it very weird at first, but after I got the hang of it it was really fun! At my second lesson of this three lesson set I learned how to turn while keeping my stick on the puck. It was very hard and took me a while to get the hang of it, but in the end I got it and was able turn using both the front and back side dribbling. This is basically all we worked on this session (as well as a review of our previous sessions) as it was a difficult skill to grasp. At our final of these three sessions, I learned how to dribble with the stick and puck! I have been looking forward to this day as I have been practising with an ice hockey stick and field hockey ball at home. In ice hockey you use both sides of your stick to dribble, whereas in field hockey you use only one side. We started by dribbling in a straight line up the ice which was pretty simple. Then my mentor set up a row of cones for me to weave through. Now this was quite difficult and I never really went through the cones without knocking one over. It was a bit frustrating, but I know with practice I will get! We also worked on some stick to stick passing while moving up the ice! I really enjoyed this as it was was really fun and challenging at the same time! For our next session we will  basically review everything I’ve learned and fix up anything that I need a little work on.

My mentor has been a very good listener as he is always listening to my questions no matter how many I throw at him. As De Bono states, it is very important to be a good listener, and my mentor definitely knows how to be a good listener. Although I am usually listening to my mentor, he always take time to ask me questions and listen to what I have to say. I feel like this is a very good quality to have as it makes me feel like my mentor really cares and wants to help me improve. Most of the questions I ask my mentor are fishing questions as they usually have to do with techniques. There are many techniques for each skill learnt in ice hockey so I always try them all out and then stick with whichever techniques I feel most comfortable using. My mentor has been very helpful and helped me to improve as an ice hockey player by really pushing me to work hard. I am looking forward to continue to work with my mentor and improve!

I have been looking for a spring team for a while now and every local club requires previous ice hockey experience. I’ve done so much research for spring teams and I’ve finally come to the conclusion that if I wan’t to play on a spring team, I will have to go out a little farther to join a team. This will be difficult with all the other commitments I have going on throughout the spring such as field hockey and soccer, but I will make it work.

amira brar



Ice Hockey In-Depth 3

Each week with my power skating mentor, I continue to learn more and more! I find it really interesting how fast I can learn how to play ice hockey! My mentor said after a couple more lessons, we can start doing more stick and puck work. We’ll start off with the basics such as dribbling and simple stick to stick passing. Then I’ll learn more advanced skills such as passing on the move and shooting. I am very excited to learn more advanced skills as my lessons go on!

This past couple of weeks I’ve also been looking into teams to play on during the Spring season. So far, I have found quite a few teams that I’d be able to play on, but I’ll need to make sure I have all the required equipment. Ice hockey requires a lot more equipment than most of the sports I play and it can be pretty pricey. My mentor advised me that although the “name brands” can cost more, they will last way longer than a cheap “knock-off” brand. Since I’ve never played ice hockey before I have to buy all equipment from scratch. So far I have got skates, helmet, gloves, and a stick. This is what is required for power skating, but once I join a team I will need under armour, shin guards, chest protector, etc. My mentor has been a great help with telling me what to buy, but I have also been doing my research! 🙂

As soon as I finish editing my ice skating videos, I will upload them to my blog!

amira brar



Ice Hockey In-Depth 2

“I’ve been very busy this past week trying to get into power skating lessons, but unfortunately there are a lot of requirements. For my age group, you must have experience playing hockey in order to join power skating. I do not have any hockey experience (yet) so I couldn’t join that class. There are also other power skating lessons for beginners, but the age groups are 6-12 and older than 18. Once again I did not meet the requirements. So I decided to make a few calls to power skating instructors to see if they give private lessons to beginners. Most of them don’t offer that service, but they said they’d call me back after checking their schedules. I am hoping one of the instructors is available and I will most likely be starting next week! I will update this blog post as soon as I start!” -January 23rd, 2015

February 2, 2015 –  A couple days after I wrote the blog post above, I ended up finding a power skating mentor. My mentors name is Chris and is a hockey player and teaches power skating. So far I have had three lessons and have more planned for February before I start my spring ice hockey. Throughout these lessons I will learn how to properly skate on ice skates which includes turning, stopping, and skating with speed.

So far my mentor and I can agree with the fact that I am a very fast learner and can pick up new concepts easily. I may have not skated in hockey skates before, but I am easily picking up every new skill that is thrown my way. I have learned many different turning techniques (as you must be very agile on the ice) and many different stopping techniques as well. My mentor and I also agree that I will easily be able to pick up the stick handling required to play ice hockey. I asked my mentor if it’d be hard to learn how to stick handle (considering I play field hockey) and my mentor told me that I would easily pick it up.

Something my mentor and I disagree on would have to be how fast I’ll be able to start playing ice hockey. Originally I thought I would easily be able to a join a team by March, but then I started to doubt myself once I realized how many skating lessons I’ll need. So, I figured I would just join “Learn to Play” workshops. This would’ve ruined my original in-depth plans, but I thought it would be more suitable. My mentor disagrees with me and believes I will be able to join a hockey team by March, which actually boosted my confidence. Even though I disagree with my mentor, I am going to trust him and join a team in March. We also differed in this as I thought my mentor was wrong and he thought I was wrong as well. In the end, my mentor has played hockey and has more experience with hockey players than I have. In this case, I still don’t completely agree, but I have to agree with where he’s coming from.

Overall, I have been learning a lot and continue to learn as my power skating sessions continue. I have video recordings from all the lessons I’ve had so far and will include some in my next blog post!

amira brar

Ice Hockey In-Depth

I can’t believe it’s already time to start in-depth! With the strike happening at the beginning of the year, the days just seem to fly by. I’m very excited to get started with my in-depth this year as I will be learning how to play ice hockey! Most people who I tell don’t really believe me, but that’s okay because they’ll believe me one In-Depth night comes around.

In order to learn how to play hockey, I will start off by taking ice skating lessons for about a month and a half. Basically during these lessons I will learn how to become a stronger skater. My coach (mentor #1) will teach me how to improve my skating speed, learn different ways of stopping, turning, etc. I took skating lessons when I was in elementary school which was quite a while ago so I figured it’d be best to brush up on my skating skills starting on a team. Once I’ve finished my power skating training I will join either a spring 3 on 3 team or a spring 5 on 5 team and possibly a development camp. Here I will meet my coach (mentor #2) who will help me learn the skills and rules behind the game of ice hockey. Some skills I may learn are 1v1, positioning, game rules, tactics, stick and puck skill, etc.

I chose Ice Hockey as my in-depth because I’ve wanted to join a team since I was ten years old, but unfortunately I couldn’t join because I chose to do a lot of soccer and join a metro soccer team. I kept asking my parents if I could join even though I knew it would be too much. So my parents put my in field hockey so I could get my “hockey” fix. I love field hockey now and will continue to love it, but I just need to try hockey as it has been in the back of my mind for a while.

I will need to buy some hockey skates to start out with and then once I finish my lesson I will need to get some basic hockey equipment such as under armour, gloves, and a stick. Ice Hockey will cost a lot of money especially since ice time is expensive, but I think it will be very worth it in the end.

I don’t know the names of my skating mentor or ice hockey mentor yet as they will be my coaches. I will add my mentor information as soon as I know their names! I have a friend (Desmond Grewal) who has been playing ice hockey (Cloverdale Colts) since he was very young and is willing to help me out with any questions I have regarding ice hockey and the equipment I will need for it. Also, if I am unable to ever reach my mentors he is available to assist me at any time (unless of course he is playing hockey! :))

The main things I hope I will learn from my experience is the rules of hockey, basic stick and puck skills, positioning, and game sense. My final product will be a video of my progress from my first skating lesson to my final hockey game. I will then present my video on stage at the night of the notables! 🙂

I am very excited to get started and can’t wait t get onto the ice!

amira brar