The Rinks offering up beginner programs for adult players
The continued success of the Anaheim Ducks has fueled not only Orange County residents’ hockey fandom, but their desire to play themselves.
While beginner programs are typically aimed towards children, adults are discovering there is a whole world of hockey programs available for them. Just like kids, adults can learn the basics of skating and hockey right here in Southern California.
The Rinks offers an Adult Learn to Play program, similar to the program offered to youth participants. The adult program allows adults to try either ice or inline hockey for free while borrowing all of the necessary equipment, including skates.
Adults of all ages can begin their hockey career with Learn to Play. The free three-week program gives adults an introduction to hockey and skating. Players learn the fundamentals of shooting, stickhandling, passing and skating.
“For most people in our market, hockey grew on them over time,” said The Rinks marketing coordinator Kirstie Bender. “When (Wayne) Gretzky came to Los Angeles and the Ducks came to Anaheim, people were intrigued and starting getting into the sport, but there was little set up for them to actually learn how to play. Today, there are dedicated hockey fans who want to play, but assume that there aren’t programs available.
“This program gives fans the chance to learn the basics and graduate to playing in hockey leagues. Since launching the program, we have seen a huge increase in our Adult Learn to Play participation and participants continuing on to our beginner leagues that we have actually had to expand our leagues to multiple nights for both inline and ice hockey.”
These leagues are just one of the many options that these new players can jump into at the conclusion of their free program. Each Rinks facility offers a 16-game Rookie League for new participants to play and develop with players at a similar level.
“What makes the Rookie Adult Leagues so fun is that the majority of the players in the league went through our Adult Learn to Play program together,” said The Rinks hockey director Rick Hutchinson. “The adult players start to create a friendship and bond while learning the fundamentals together, and then they get to play together in the same league, creating a friendly competition between the players before advancing further into higher leagues.”
These new participants have sparked demands for Women’s Rookie Leagues and clinics at The Rinks-Lakewood ICE and The Rinks-Huntington Beach Inline for women looking to play the sport at a beginner stage against each other.
After joining a league, players still have multiple clinic opportunities to continue their development starting with the Adult Pro Experience Camp being held at The Rinks-Anaheim ICE from Aug. 5-7. The camp is designed to give players a professional-like experience, and it consists of daily practice plans that will challenge and teach concepts that will set players apart from most.
Off the rink, participants get their own Rinks custom jersey with their name and number, daily awards, all camp supplies, off-site team building activities, video review, a camp photographer, and locker room refreshments after each ice session.
The Rinks-Lakewood ICE even hosts the Adult Development Program, designed for those players to continue their development similar to the popular Hockey Initiation program run for youth players.
For more information on The Rinks beginner adult programs for both Ice and Inline, visit www.therinks.com.
— Tanner Privia