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    PolyGlide Blog, News & Updates

    Why 2020 Is The Year Of The Artificial Ice Rink

    Why 2020 Is The Year Of The Artificial Ice Rink

    life 2020: A year of massive change

    Who would have thought that 2020 would be so challenging? For starters, the coronavirus pandemic has transformed the way we operate. Other social issues have transformed the lives of Americans overnight. And while some areas have reduced restrictions, millions of people are still self-quarantining. Quarantine has changed the way we shop, eat, work, and even entertain ourselves. At the same time, it has opened opportunities for innovative ways to flourish while at home. That’s why we think that this is the year of the artificial ice rink.

    What’s Artificial Ice Anyway?

    artificial ice

    What if there was a way to ice skate without going to an actual ice rink? Artificial ice or synthetic ice gives avid ice skaters that ability and much more. An artificial ice rink is made of synthetic polymer panels. These panels interlock to form a space that anyone can skate. The panels have evolved over the years to have a better skating experience.

     

    In some cases, there’s only a 10% difference between ice skating and artificial ice. Creating your ice rink has become more comfortable and more accessible. With that said, here are some reasons why this is the year to develop your arena using synthetic ice tiles.

    Ice skating enthusiasts are concerned about health and safety.

    covid hockey

    Unfortunately, the pandemic has created concern for the skating community. Throughout the pandemic, ice rinks have been unavailable, making skating nearly impossible. Even with the reopening of some areas, parents and ice skating enthusiasts alike are still concerned about health and safety. By choosing to set up an artificial ice rink in the backyard, spare room, or basement, skaters can still enjoy their passions in a safe space. Don’t worry, with tools like Zoom, ice-skaters, and hockey players can even connect with coaches and trainers!

    Pivoting to stay afloat

     The coaching and training profession has been struck, and not only in the ice skating field. Coaches can no longer host in-person group sessions, or open their training centers

    Even when things resume - at it has in many states - students will be skeptical to start back classes in the short term. This puts a financial strain on trainers. Technology helps trainers pivot and profit. Imagine a hockey trainer can give lessons from his home, demonstrating techniques to students on artificial ice panels. These teachers can not keep their current students. By building an online presence, it gives them incredible reach, exposing them to students out of state or in other countries. 

    Keeping kids engaged throughout the extended break.

    The lockdown has brought a list of challenges, with an added challenge for parents. Kids have been home for months. These kids don’t only need to keep up learning. They need to keep active, engaged, and try different activities. At the same time, parents still need time to adjust to working from home. No parent wants their kids in front of an I-pad for 9 hours a day. An artificial ice rink is a creative way to encourage play for the kids. The kids can enjoy skating while staying healthy and exploring a passion for sports like hockey or ice-skating. And parents can reclaim some time to navigate remote work. 

    A new way to stay active 

    Adults are home and need exciting yet creative ways to stay active. With the closure of gyms, many fitness enthusiasts are working out at home. Unfortunately, exercise equipment like weights, kettlebells, and bands are hard to find. The lockdown caused a boom that gym equipment businesses are unable to keep up. And while running on a treadmill works, it can get a bit boring! Persons who did not consider skating as a form of exercise are doing so now. Skating is an exciting way to build endurance, strengthen the legs, and core muscles. An artificial ice rink allows users to build up a sweat, learn a new skill, and have lots of fun! 

    Training during a pandemic

    The pandemic has put the sporting world on hold. Even professional sports are struggling to return with sports like Major League Baseball still on a knife’s edge. The NHL has also revealed their plans for a restart, with the season resuming sometime in July. Professional hockey players who aren’t part of the upcoming playoffs have an opportunity to come back stronger than ever. A great start is to get an artificial ice rink installed in their homes. One significant advantage of the rink is the increased resistance compared to natural ice. This means not only a prepared athlete but a stronger one.


    The figure skating season also had an abrupt end, with cancellations of the World Championships. While the season should resume July 1st, some events for the new season have already been canceled. Skaters will need space to train and may not have immediate access to facilities. This can bring an increased demand for artificial ice surfaces.

    We haven’t even talked about the persons at Junior levels. Organizers have canceled the next two stops of the Junior Grand Prix. They will need to stay fresh and passionate about their sport. And there’s no better way than having direct access to skating.

    Let your creativity shine.

    Quarantine has opened up a host of new hobbies, from gardening, jewelry making, to baking lots of banana bread. How about building out your very own ice rink? Feed that creativity, while setting up a space for family and friends to enjoy. It’s a gratifying experience, and who knows? You can even host a small skating party if the area is big enough (remember the pandemic rules that apply to your state). 

    Setting up your artificial ice rink

    Getting your ice rink down is a quick and easy process. However, it does take some initial planning. Follow these steps to start skating in no time:

    • Figure out the space for the synthetic ice (e.g., basement, driveway, garage, deck, or backyard)
    • Measure the space before purchasing your tiles. You can compare your area with the available tiles. This saves both time and money. In some cases, the panels can be custom cut to avoid too many interlocking tiles. 
    • Make sure the surface is level for a better skating experience. If needed, get some plywood. Plywood sets up a smooth foundation to lay the tiles.
    • If filling a room, leave a space at the edges to compensate for swelling during hot months.
    • Based on the type of tile, consider investing in a slip conditioner. This liquid helps condition the surface after cleaning and extends the life of the tiles.

    A brand-new way to connect

    curling artificial ice rink

    One thing we’ve recognized providing others with synthetic ice is the uncanny way it brings people together. An artificial ice rink brings families together. Brothers and sisters build bonds playing hockey, even when things get a bit competitive. It can help develop more reliable connections with couples learning to skate or help coaches and players achieve a common goal. You can even set up a Curling rink. Curling is a fun way to get the most out of your artificial panels. The sport has its detractors, but it’s great when friends and family come over to enjoy your company and get a bit competitive. We need to stay connected now more than ever.

    Getting your winter vacation fix

    artificial ice rink vacation

    Planes have been grounded for months and will slowly return to operation. The grounded planes brought leisure travel to a screeching halt. According to USJetCost.com, 23% of Americans prefer winter vacations. While it sounds strange, some persons just don’t have access to cold conditions. In some cases, they’ve done it all, so why not a winter getaway?

    Many go not just for the skiing and snowboarding, but for the opportunity to enjoy an ice skating experience. The pandemic derailed plans this past winter and also brings uncertainty for the rest of the year. While you won’t get your snow fix, you can still enjoy a bit of skating this year with an artificial ice rink. 


    Set up your artificial ice rink today

    There are several reasons to jump on the artificial ice rink train. For starters, it’s a great way to enjoy ice skating with limited spaces opened. The pandemic has been challenging, but it does not mean we can’t get to do the things we love. By setting up an artificial ice rink at home, professionals, amateurs, juniors can still learn and improve in their respective ice fields. 


    Kids also get incredible benefits from an artificial ice rink. If you want to start your kids with hockey or keep up their training, a dedicated space at home works best. It also brings some variety in an area that can turn frustrating during the quarantine.


    That aside, 2020 is still a year of growth and change. That means learning new things and having fun along the way. Some persons can even start a New Year’s resolution to ice skate, just in a different, yet fun way. This year will motivate others to try new things like synthetic ice skating. Are you ready to give it a shot, too? If you need help with choosing the right synthetic ice for your new rink, don’t hesitate to reach out to us for help. 




    Hockey on Synthetic Ice: A Foolproof Guide

    Hockey on Synthetic Ice: A Foolproof Guide

    Hockey Statistics/Hockey at home

    Hockey is one of the most amazing sports around. Not for the physicality, chirping, and raw emotion that comes out. Those things are cool. Hockey is also great for the skills, dedication from the players, and the pure joy you feel when that biscuit hits the back of the net.


    Hockey may not get it’s due like many of the other mainstream sports. But according to Statista, More than 5 million Americans picked up the sport in the last 10 years. That means kids and teens are still picking up the sport, raring to learn and to become great players. Of course, they’re going to need all the training they can get. Even adults and full professionals need to train. That’s why hockey on synthetic ice has been so important to the hockey industry.

    A little back story

    I’ve been a lover of hockey for decades. It’s this love for the game that made me try to replicate it when I was not by the rink.  I’m not talking about a tennis ball and roller blades in a cul-de-sac. That’s an amazing experience in itself. But I’m talking about a real (or as close to real) hockey experience. One with actual ice skates and a puck. For years, our company has been providing that experience. This guide will help you set up and play hockey on synthetic ice, the way it was meant to be played. 

    What is synthetic ice?

    Synthetic ice is made of durable sheets of polyethylene panels that emulate the slick, skating feeling of ice skating. These panels can be cut to fit a particular space. Others are available in a standard size for a small strip or space in the home. Once set up, you can use your actual ice skates on the surface, giving you a sweet skating experience. With these artificial panels, you don’t need expensive cooling equipment and maintenance. They’re portable, long-lasting, and, most of all, fun!

    Why set up synthetic ice?

    Now we can hear the gears turning in your head. You can use synthetic ice tiles for your favorite pastimes like ice skating, and even curling. But we’re all here for a hockey setup. When it comes to hockey, a synthetic ice setup will be best for the following reasons:

    • You want to get your kids into the sport: If you have kids who’ve expressed interest in hockey, this is a great opportunity to get them and keep them in the sport.
    • You need to fuel the fire: You may have some budding mites or squirts in your house that you want to help improve their skills - or burn off some extra energy.
    • For professional development: Are you a budding professional or high-performance athlete that needs their own space? A synthetic ice space allows training all through the year, without the added cost of a full ice setup. 
    • No access to facilities: With the recent COVID-19 pandemic, you don’t see yourself or your kids heading to the city rink or an ODR in the near future. So you need a space that’s not only accessible but safe.

    With one or more of these reasons in mind, it’s time to get your first set of synthetic ice panels.

    What to look for in your synthetic ice

    Before making that purchase it’s best to be clear on a few things:


  • Who’s it for?:  Think about how many persons would be using the ice panels. Would you have neighbors over? Is it just for your professional training? This will determine the number of panels you will need. It would suck if you need to get more panels because there are more users than expected.
    • How will it be used? : Is it for fun games in the afternoon? Or will it be for simple drills to improve speed, strength, or dexterity? This will determine the quality of artificial ice acquired. A high-density option that’s going to stay in a fixed space will work well for heavy use.
    • Where will it be installed?: Speaking of fixed space, it’s a good idea to earmark space for your hockey on synthetic ice. Will it be a garage, basement, or backyard? This will determine if you need additional equipment for walls or lubrication.

    With those particulars checked off, make sure to ask your provider about the panels themselves. 


    Coefficient of Friction

    The Coefficient of Friction is a good starting point. Friction determines the gliding ability as it opposes motion. Therefore if the coefficient of friction in your ice rink is low, then you will have a higher gliding power. 

    Ask about the materials

    Some material, like our infused Pro-Glide panels, work best for longterm, intense use. Make sure to choose the right material based on your needs. More importantly, make sure that every part of your panel contributes to a healthy, happy environment. Find out if the company uses environmentally friendly material and production practices.

    Set up and connection

    Look for a company that’s willing to work with you for setup. Once you give them the dimensions of your space, they should be able to tell you exactly what you need to fill the space. Consider getting larger, custom panels for larger spaces. This means there will be fewer seams made where the two panels connect. Panels should seamlessly link and feel as smooth as possible.


    Time to install

    With panels in hand, you can now set up for space for hockey. Before slapping together your artificial ice, make sure to check the space thoroughly. You’d want an even surface to get a great hockey experience. Clear any debris from the area before installation. 


    More importantly, the ground must be level, so that skating is smooth. This also minimizes the chances of injury. If the ground is not level, an underlayment or plywood subfloor is vital. This will help the artificial ice tiles lay better, keep level, reduce moisture and sound. 


    Once you install the subfloor, place the panels down in order, making sure each connects snugly. In an enclosed space like a garage or basement, leave some space between the walls. Flooring of any material tends to expand in hotter months. 

    Slap on those skates!

    We could assume at the same time that you were buying the panels, you had some skates ready! Conventional skates can be used on your new rink. Note that the skates may need to be sharpened more than on natural ice. However, the panels become smoother and more responsive with continued use. So this will reduce the number of sharpenings in the longterm. 


    Will this feel different from natural ice?


    Without a doubt, natural ice has a kind of gliding effect that has been a challenge to match.

    However, the manufacturers of the synthetic ice industry have started implementing specific lubricating products that are getting them closer to the feeling of skating. There will be some resistance, however, many hockey players find the resistance helps build strength and speed for the real ice.

     

    With that said, choose some of the best skates on the market. It’s better to make an investment in skates that will help you crush the competition! 

    You could try several skates such as:

    Don’t forget the rest of the equipment

    Of course, we will need some more equipment to make our hockey on synthetic ice at home dreams a reality. Chances are you would have some of these pieces of equipment already but just in case:


      • Hockey stick: Make sure to get more than one stick, if possible, for yourself or your hockey-playing family.
  • Puck a.k.a your buscuit: A plastic or rubber training biscuit helps you get faster, and silkier with the stick. More importantly, it can save broken windows and noses!
    • Goals: Pick up two lightweight, standard goals for some intense games! If there’s a goalie in the house, this can help with shot-stopping skills and flexibility. While you’re at it, some shooting targets can help with accuracy!
    • Training equipment: While you can use simple household items in place of cones, pick up some agility cones or other equipment to help with speed and change of direction.
    • Safety!: While it’s easy to go play without safety in mind, hockey at home can lead to injuries. Of course, it brings out the competitive nature of all involved! Make sure to get a helmet, elbow, and knee pads for protection, if you’re playing with others.    

    Time to play!

    Now it’s time to get some good use out of your space! If you’re playing with friends, or your little mites are raring to go, “friendly” games are a great way to start. Set a target - like the first to 5 goals - and start playing! Take some time to get accustomed to the ice. To make things more exciting, you can have penalty shootouts, giving each other the chance to practice some sweet goalie skills.


    Practice Drills

    Practice makes permanent. Most high-performance athletes get artificial rinks installed in their homes to hone specific skills. While it’s fun to keep playing games and penalty shootouts for the intense competition, getting some drills in can help you and your budding players.

    These simple drills below would get stronger, faster, and more intelligent in the sport.



    1. Cutting

    Learn how to navigate tight spaces with a simple cutting drill. First, get your cones or small items to  Label your cones A to E. Put A and E 10m apart. Cone B and D should be placed 10m from A and E and should be about 4m apart. Now, place cone C 3m away from B and D.

    Begin from cone A towards B while dribbling. Cut to C, then reduce your speed and pull your ball around D. Dribble to E and finish at A. Record the time spent.

    2. Pop and Burst

    Let cone A and E be 5m away from each other. Let C be 10m meter away from the duo. Place cone B and D at 4m from A and E. Let B and D have three cones each.

    Start at A, dribble to B. using elimination skill, pass through the cones, and sprint to C. Head for D and pass through the funnels using elimination skill again. Finish at the E point. Don't forget to record your time!

    3. Lateral Movement Drills

    Mount cone A, B, and D 5m away from each other. Place C and E 3m from B. Begin at A. Head for B and double pull to C and then to B. Burst forward around D and double pull again at B. Dribble back to A to finish. Record your time.

    Maintaining your artificial ice

    Cleaning and maintenance is the key to the long health of your hockey space. Skating on synthetic ice cause abrasions, dirt, and shavings. Shavings are a natural part of skating on the panels. Use a soft brush to clean shavings and a wet mop or cloth to clear dirt. Artificial ice panels last several years, going well past the warranty date. 


    Conclusion


    Hockey on synthetic ice is fun and can shape a hockey skill or career for years. It’s a great alternative for those with little access to facilities, training, and even playing time. Setup is a simple process as long as there is some planning beforehand. 


    Before starting, have a clear idea of the space and purpose of the ice. This can help you save time and money. Get home-friendly equipment like hockey sticks, pucks, and goals. These will ensure you get the best performance possible while being safe. 


    Over time, you will build your hockey skills and love for the game. If you need help with setting up your very first synthetic ice for hockey at home, reach out to us today. We’ll help you through the selection process so you can have a space to use for years to come.

    Synthetic ice Tiles: Expectations vs. Reality

    Synthetic ice Tiles: Expectations vs. Reality
    If you’ve been thinking about getting synthetic ice tiles, you’ve probably done some research. Based on the blogs and YouTube videos around, it’s easy to build up some ideas around skating on a different surface. We’re here to address some of those expectations and give you the reality.   

    Read more

    Polyglide Synthetic Ice On Shark Tank!

    Polyglide Synthetic Ice On Shark Tank!

    "So what was it like to appear on shark tank?"...The question I'm asked most often can be answered in one simple word....Incredible! From the day I submitted my email entry to the Shark Tank executive producers until my scheduled air date had to be...no doubt.... one of the shortest and longest years of my life. Longest because throughout the process I couldn't tell anybody and shortest because so much took place during that year it's all a blur but I can tell you it was truly a great experience! After submitting my December, 2015 email and not having heard back from anyone for over four months I honestly forgot all about it. Then the call this entreprenuer's been waiting for came in April, 2016 asking, "So tell me about your synthetic ice panels" and that's when it all began.

    Video Submission Deadline

    The phone interview lasted all of about fifteen minutes and at the end of the conversation I jim-loughran-synthetic-ice-tilewas told "congratulations you made it to the video submission round." This next step involved producing a five-minute video submission explaining my product in an effort to wow the producers with my story. I had only a few short minutes to tell how PolyGlide Ice became a manufacturer of the best artificial ice on the market. I had only two weeks to complete the production as there were deadlines they were facing on their end. After submitting my video a week later I got another call with saying "Congratulations the producers loved your video and you're being considered for the show" however nothing's ever guaranteed in the television world.

    Ice Skating Into "The Tank"

    ice-skating-ishark-tankAfter continuing through with the process I was lucky enough to get my break and get a chance to pitch to the sharks. Once I was assigned a producer I had to create the draft of my first pitch which I thought I nailed until I read it to my shark tank producer. Lets just say my opening sentence was great but it was back to the drawing board for the remainder of the pitch until I got it right. It was obvious the synthetic ice panels were going to provide the visual attraction and having youth hockey players skating into the tank only added to the visual.

    Time to Pitch to The Sharks

    Fast forward to to August and final preparations are underway involving all the final detailsshark-tank-pitch right down to the set design and travel arrangements. At this point it's finaly official.....I'm going to pitch to the SHARKS!! (or am I?). The simple fact is even though your given the opportunity to pitch only 40-50% of all Shark Tank pitches ever make it on air. In fact contestants have to wait until just a few weeks before their "air date" to even confirm if they have an air date ...and throughout the process you can tell NO ONE!

    Shark Tank Season 8 , Episode 11 

    shark-tank-hallwayMy pitch date was set for September 20th, 2016 (season 8, episode 11) and after going through the whole process trust me when I say I was beyond ready. The common question is always "Were you nervous?" and I can honestly say I was much more excited than nervous. As it turned out because of the large synthetic ice set design I was to be the first pitch of the day and the Sharks were wide awake waiting for their first "taste of the day". Once the countdown began there was no turning back 3, 2, 1.....ACTION! All in all the entire pitch lasted about 45 minutes from which was trimmed down to 8-1/2 minutes of non-stop air time. WIth the average 30 second prime commercial costing around $400,000.00 that would put me about 6.8 Million dollars ahead of the game......Deal or no Deal.

    Let the Pitch Begin

    After my opening pitch things started at a rapid fire pace with the Sharks often talking polyglide-synthetic-ice-panels-displayover each other with their questions. My engineer who traveled with me was in the green room and said it looked like I was watching a tennis match as my head spun on a swivel snapping back and forth addressing the fast pace of the questions. There were many comical moments and smiles that were edited out from the pitch which took on a more serious tone in the final cut but the feedback from the Sharks along with retaining 100% of my company and valuable exposure was much more than I could ever ask for.

    In the end I can tell you if you're an entrepreneur that is ready to take the next step and put it all out there.... try out for Shark Tank. Even though I didn't get a deal the experience can be life-changing and can help take your business to the next level. If by chance you don't make it on the show then I recommend you pitch your company to both your friends and strangers whenever you can get the chance. Their feedback will help steer you in the right direction and help you better understand your customers and make the best decisions for your company and product.

    By Jim Loughran, PolyGlide Ice

    For additional information call: 855-765-9423
     

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    The True Value of Synthetic Ice Home Training

    The True Value of Synthetic Ice Home Training

    Creating an environment to make home synthetic ice training a reality takes more thinking than money to make it happen. As with all modern-day sports physical fitness is the foundation for the potential of success one can achieve outside of genetics. Being a "gym rat" or in this case a "rink rat" can take a player with an average skill to the next level if the effort and desire is there. The challenge with ice hockey and figure skating is you need to spend an extensive amount of the ice time at the rink to excel at skating.

    There’s No Place Like Home

    Synthetic Ice Training

    With all of today’s modern day distractions (facebookinstagramtwitter) that unfortunately consume the bulk of any young athletes day, introducing home synthetic ice training is more acceptable today than ever before. Trying to find time between homework assignments and practices is difficult for any young athlete to continue self-training. Having a dedicated space in a home environment becomes even more valuable than ever especially for those athletes that need to master the art of ice skating.

    How to Start

    If you see you have a dedicated player or skater it's time to find a dedicated space to fit their needs. It's always best to optimize a minimal amount of space to maximize your overall training.  A bigger synthetic ice rink is not always better as a smaller space allows you to repeat the drill and correct the mistakes and limit the amount of wasted time. You'll only need enough space to work on your edges and skill sets.

    I know this is not what you’re used to hearing but can you see how this makes sense? The need when it comes to home ice training is to become a better skater or player.

    Get More for Less

    The goal is to utilize your synthetic ice surface to limit the amount of travel and maximize the amount of training.   The advantages you'll save on travel time and getting more workouts over the long term will only help you to maximize your abilities and become a better skater or player.

    This will put you on the fast track to accomplishing your goals and enable you to do it all in the comfort of your home by utilizing synthetic ice training.

    What is the ideal location for Your Rink?

    garage synthteic ice rink 

    This question doesn’t have just one answer. Synthetic Ice can be installed virtually anywhere, anyplace at anytime.

    Examples of Common Rink Project Locations for the Home:

    • Garage: Hands down, the family garage “takes the cake” as the most common indoor rink location in the home, A single car garage measures approximately 12ft. x 20ft whereas a 2-car a garage ice rink would measure closer to 20ft x 20ft. Both are ideal sizes and locations for your home training rink.
    • Basement: The basement has always been an ideal place for creating a playroom space for your kids to play. What better way to train AND have fun by converting this area into a home ice rink? (Something tells me the kids will not object.)
    • Deck: Home outdoor decks have grown tremendously over the last few decades and are now a commonplace in most homes. Decks provide the perfect flat, hard subsurface for any home synthetic ice rink project.
    • Driveway: When the weather starts to warm-up you can always move your garage rink out to the driveway for some fresh air (or just open the door)

    Advantages

    Utilizing home ice training is ideal because it can help you become an impact player or skater.  The additional resistance makes synthetic ice training ideal for any skater or player looking to strengthen their skating, improve on basic stickhandling drills and advance their skills and performance. Why not take advantage of a tool that can offer you maximum results?

    Find Your Ideal Rink

    synthetic ice rink

    Now that you’ve learned a little bit about synthetic ice, it’s time to find a rink that works within your budget. This can seem overwhelming—especially if you feel you don’t know enough about the product to make a decision. That’s okay. We can help.

    Worksheets

    First, there are a lot of products on the market that make claims to having the best synthetic ice. When you're researching about the different options and types of surfaces, you may want to have some paper handy. Browse through the different products and take notes as to what you may or may not like about each of them. Continue this process for each product you come across until you’re confident you’ve exhausted your search.

    Take your time to review this information and narrow your selection down to your top three (3) choices. Don’t be afraid to call the companies to discuss their product and allow yourself to get a feel of who you’re dealing with.

    Return on Investments (ROI)

    Owning your own home synthetic ice rink will certainly pay off in the long term when you consider less time spent traveling back-and-forth to the rink. Artificial ice is not meant to replace natural ice but only to enable athletes to advance their skills without relying on ice time at the local arena. Less time traveling in the car means more time training at home.

    The Road to Success

    Success

    I came up with a few quick questions you may also want to ask yourself about the player or skater you’re purchasing the rink for. You can add these few to your list:

    How would you best describe the Skater?

    When looking to purchase a synthetic ice rink try to evaluate where your child is on the development scale (beginner or advanced?). If you’re a parent this is often a subjective question as we are all a little biased when it comes to evaluating our own child…..but try to be honest.

    Think about how dedicated or committed your child is to their sport. If the rink is for you then fine but it’s probably not something you want to purchase to make your child enjoy it. That would not be a good start. Here’s some of the other things you may want to consider:

    Interests

    • Favorites: Does your child actively follow their favorite team, player or skater?
    • Games: Do they like to compete and play in other sports and games?
    • Hobbies: Have they shown an interest in other hobbies that they like….not influenced by anyone else?

    These are just a few examples of some different interests. What other ones may apply to their life?

    The Three “S’s”

    • Schooling: Will having a home ice rink allow your child to have some additional time to get their homework done?
    • Schedule: Are they being shuffled back-and-forth to the rink frequently with little “down time”?
    • Stress: How does your child handle stress? Children can easily be overwhelmed if they take on too much.

    Activities and Health

    • Exercise: Is your child involved in daily physical activities? Do you feel they get enough exercise throughout the week and in between meals?
    • Diet: Are you happy with your child eating habits and diet? Are they making good choices when eating on their own?
    • Passion: Is your child excited or passionate about Hockey or figure skating and ready to devote their time to the sport they love?

    These are just a few examples of some of the things you may want to take into consideration prior to purchasing your synthetic ice rink.

    Notice how this list contains a blend of specific talents that encompass both hobbies, schedules and specific skills. Not all of these apply to everyone—and they’re not meant to. Most players and skaters these days have busy schedules with limited time. There’s no better way to make use of that time than by synthetic ice training at home.

    By creating your own home training rink you can make the most of your valuable time and achieve maximum results. It’s a “win-win” for both the athlete AND the parent.

    Once you’ve decided which synthetic ice product to purchase and completed your installation the real fun begins. If you want to get the most out of your training you will need to create a workout program that will help you achieve your goals. Now it’s time to get real honest with yourself:

    What Are Your Weaknesses?

    Weaknesses

    While it is important to know your talents and focus on them, it is also a good idea to understand and admit your weaknesses. Knowing what they are and how to improve them will only put you on the fast track to achieving your goals.

    If you're great at making tight left turns, spend your time turning right. If you’re a skater that needs work on your spins, don’t waste time working on your crossovers. Once you can isolate and work on your weaknesses you can begin to improve your skills.

    Nicole Court Training

    (Nicole Court, @nicolecourttraining www.nicolecourttraining.com)

    Ice Hockey

    • Powerskating: Powerskating is designed to improve overall skating technique, speed and edgework. Starting, stopping, Pivoting, turning and acceleration drills are repeated at a high rate of speed until each skill is achieved.
    • Small-Area Games: Small-area games are game-like competitive drills that utilize a playing surface that has been reduced in size. Your home synthetic ice rink is the ideal space for your own small-area game drills. Be creative and have fun challenging yourself.
    • Basic Stickhandling Drills:  Practicing stickhandling at home with a simple shooting pad is one thing but doing it in your skates on synthetic ice brings it to another level. It's important to get your feet (skates) involved when practicing basic stickhandling drills.

    Figure Skating

    • Jumps: There are six kinds of jumps currently counted as jump elements in ISU Three are edge jumps—the Salchow, loop, and Axel—and three are toe jumps which use the toe picks on the front of the blade—the toe loop, flip, and Lutz. The Axel is the most difficult due to an extra half rotation.
    • Spins: There are many types of spins, identified by the position of the arms, legs, and torso, the foot on which the spin is performed, and the entrance to the spin. A combination spinis a spin where the skater would connect a spin with another separate spin. Spins are a required element in most figure skating competitions.

    Target your weaknesses and work hard on improving them.

    As you continue to train and address your weaknesses your overall skills will continue to improve until you reach your goals. Hard work, determination and dedication are the tools you’ll need to get you there.

    What Are You Passionate About?

    Passionate Skater

    These are the things that you are interested in that fuel your passion, and help build good character….it’s what makes you tick. The traits of many athletes are the core foundation for their success. Here are a few examples of Good Leadership and Character traits:

    Good Leadership Traits

    • Integrity & Honesty
    • Confidence
    • Inspire Others
    • Commitment and Passion
    • Good Communicator
    • Decision-Making Capabilities
    • Accountability
    • Delegation and Empowerment

    Good Character Traits

    • Respectfulness
    • Responsibility
    • Humility
    • Compassion
    • Fairness

    Other Examples

    Here’s some basic examples of Good Character and Leadership:

    • Helping others: Do you find it rewarding when you help someone other then yourself?
    • Showing Responsibility: Do you own-up to your mistakes or failures without blaming others?
    • Being Unafraid: Do you shy away from trying something new at the thought of failure or fear of being unaccepted by others?

    The Total Athlete – Mind & Body

    In today’s modern day of training it’s not all physical. If an athlete is not mentally tough they will fold at the first sign of failure. Building strong character traits will help build any athletes confidence and teach them how to pick themselves up after being knock-down.

      Next Step

      The next step is to look at your skills as the building blocks for you to achieve maximum performance. Find out how they fit into your passions. Feed off your character and use it to your own advantage because we’re all good at something.

      Progress Diary

      Now that you know what skills you need to work on be sure to chart your progress using your own notes. This way you can go back and see how you achieved success and continue to build confidence along the way. Measure each skill using your own scale (1-5) with 5 being the best.

      Video Tape

      The bottom line is if you can’t have fun doing the thing you love then you may need to reassess the situation or take a break. Getting rest and knowing when to take a break will only make the player or skater a stronger athlete in the end. Video-tape your progress, it’s the perfect way for you to allow yourself to look back and see the gains you have made.

      Reward

      There will be nothing more rewarding in the end than reaping the rewards of your hard work by winning that medal, trophy or team championship. Hard work and discipline will take any person or athlete a long way throughout their life in helping them achieve the goals they set out for themselves.

      The lessons you learned along the way are just as important as the accomplishments you achieved. They make us stronger and wiser. Life lessons, whether good or bad, make us who we are today. Learn how to work on your weaknesses and excel at your talents.

      Ready to get started?

      Get Started

      Follow each step we outlined and soon you’ll be on your way to owning your own synthetic ice rink. Understanding the benefits and "The True Value of Synthetic Ice Training" will help lead your Hockey Player or Figure Skater on their way to maximizing their full potential.

      Conclusion

      Now that you know more about the benefits of synthetic ice training you can map out a plan to get your rink project started. Remember, every person has different needs (and budgets), so you need to find out what’s best for you. Each new self-taught skill will provide you with the building blocks to achieving your goals!

      With synthetic ice, you’re provided with a new tool that can help you get an “edge” over the competition so why not take advantage of it? It’s time to “Bring the Rink Home”!