Learn to Skate

learntoskate.jpgLearn to Skate programs are a great way to get your child involved and interested in hockey.  All of the local hockey organizations run a Learn to Skate program during the Fall/Winter.   It is an instructional program for beginning skaters and is designed to teach the fundamentals of hockey skating to boys and girls ages 3 and older, with no previous experience.    The coaches focus on fun, participation and basic skill development.   Beginners can even start out by pushing "walkers" across the ice in order to keep their balance.

    • One of the major requirements for Learn to Skate programs is patience!  Some kids go out on the ice for 5 or 10 minutes then cry or just want to stop.  Know that 5 minutes for the first few times out is an OK start!   As a parent, don't get frustrated or upset if your child doesn't take to the ice immediately.  It takes a lot of courage to get your balance on skates.   If you can stick with it, eventually they will love to skate!
    • All coaches on the ice are USA Hockey certified and must take age appropriate training modules . USA Hockey is the National Governing Body for the sport of ice hockey in the United States.   
    • You may be allowed to go out on the ice with your child, but check the rules for the organization you sign up with.   You will be required to wear skates and a helmet.   
    •  Most of the organizations have specific equipment requirements for their Learn to Skate program.   All children must wear a helmet.  Some organizations allow a bike helmet while others require a hockey helmet with a face cage.   Additional requirements are hockey skates(some ice rinks have rentals), neck guard and heavy gloves (thick snow gloves work well).   Recommended equipment include snow pants to cushion the falls, knee/shin pads and elbow pads. 
    • Plan to be at the Ice Rink 30 minutes before the program’s start time.  It takes a while to get the equipment on.
    • If you purchase new skates, keep in mind they make your child's feet sore for the first few times on the ice.  If you have the skates sharpened, let the pro shop know you are using them for Learn to Skate. They won't make them as sharp.
    • Some organizations offer a Learn to Play program.  Skaters learn additional skating skills and how to handle a hockey stick.  Full hockey equipment and stick are needed. 

How to register for a Learn to Skate Program

  1. You can find the registration form on the hockey organization’s web-site.  If you are new to the organization, you may need to include a copy of the skater's birth certificate. 
  2. Players and parents may be required to complete additional forms such as a Medical Release Form, a Waiver of Liability form, and a Code of Conduct form.
  3. Check the organization’s web-site for Learn to Skate equipment requirements.

Learn to Skate Programs in the Springfield/Holyoke Area

Springfield Capitals

Springfield Capitals
Rink: Cyr Arena, Forest Park Springfield
Contact: Brian Douville

Sundays 12:20pm-1:10pm

First session - October 14 through December 16
Second session - January through March
Cost: $99

Holy Name Stars

Holy Name Stars
Olympia Ice Center, West Springfield
Contact: Dan Haggarty 
Phone: 413-267-4835 

Learn to Skate
Sundays 10 am - 11:00 am 

Learn to Play
Sundays 11:00am -12:00am
Runs - September 9 through the end of March
Cost: $99

Ludlow Wildcats

Ludlow Wildcats
Smead Arena, Springfield
Contact: Jeremy Soja 
Phone: 413-244-8459

Saturdays 11:00 am -11:50am
Runs - October 13 through the end of March
Cost: $100

Pioneer Valley Lightning

Pioneer Valley Lightning
Fitzpatrick Rink, Holyoke
Contact: Lynn Robinson

Saturdays 10:30 am - 11:15 am

Learn to Play
Saturdays 11:15 am - 11:50 am

First Session
September 15 through December 15

Second Session
January through the end of March 
Cost: $45/session

Springfield Rifles

Springfield Rifles 
Olympia Ice Center, West Springfield
Contact: Barbara-Jean DeLoria
Phone: 413-427-6547

Sundays 11:00 am – 11:50 am

First Session
October 21 through December 17

Second Session
January 5 through March 3
Cost: $125


Ameila Park Ice, Arena Westfield
Contact: Bob Jacques
Phone: 413-568-6349

Learn to Skate – Saturdays 3:00 pm – 3:50pm
Learn to Play – Saturdays 4:00 pm – 4:50 pm 

Session 1 - September 22 through November 10
Session 2 - November 17 through January 12 
Session 3 - January 26 through March 16

Cost: $75/ session or $200 for 3 sessions paid in full


Olympia Ice Center, West Springfield
Contact: Jim McLaughlin 

Saturdays - 11:00 am – 11:50 am
Runs - October 20 through the end of March
Cost: $98