Toolkit was created by expert group based on experience and implementation of the EU project Ice rinks for all accepted at the Erasmus+ sport program. Toolkit contains all part of implementation used in the project. Project Ice rinks for all is focus on average population not on professional athletes. Therefore the toolkit serves as guideline for mentors, helpers, sports organization on their way to reach goal in recruitment, activity and retaining. Additionally it helps increase good experience on the ice for everyone. This helps increase number of active members in sports club, since many of participants most likely come back after good experience on the ice. The toolkit also contains example of practices for each target group, all part for recruitment and steps of management for each group. Toolkit also offer suggestions for retaining activities for more sustainable work with each group and as it was mentioned that means more active members in clubs.
We all know that most facilities of ice rinks are mainly use by professionals or amateur clubs for organized sports activity such as ice hockey, curling, figure skating, short track etc. In the matter of fact no one ever try to reach full potential of recreation in ice rinks. In this project for the first time we try to develop quality model how to reach recreational potential of ice rinks. We establish group of expert that created model and target groups (who to invite, how to work with them). Goal of the project and therefore also goal of the toolkit, is positive and safe experience for EVERYONE ON ICE. We believe we were successful to reach this goal implementing project on ice and also creating the toolkit base on our experiences from implementation.
Further in the toolkit you will be able to see how we reached our goal not only trough organized practices but also simple fun as it is disco on ice. In this toolkit we successfully created model for people with special needs. People with special needs were not left out, they had fun and enjoyed all activities on ice as well. In the end we successfully invited general public to ice rinks and show them how to have fun without fear of injuries. It is commonly known that sports on ice are dangerous and has high risk of injuries. We were able to create methodology for safe environment on ice for all people. No matter of age or gender everyone had fun and enjoyed the time on practice. Many groups asked for more ice time with us and also for organized practices, so they can improve their skating and skills on ice.
Therefore the toolkit was created even for less experienced instructors and coaches to help them implement fun and skills for general public. Toolkit itself is also valid instrument for teaching beginners and children basics of skating. It is suitable for amateur clubs but also for professional organization to improve recruitment and community work and also retaining participants in the activity in their area. Whole methodology is created to meet basic needs of any kind of organization. It has not specific focus on developing one specific sport or skill, but to bring development for organizations as unit itself with all necessary aspect of sports organization or active people who want to meet regularly or improve their general skills or knowledge on the ice.
Groups were determinated by expert group on the beginning of the project in a way, that each group will cover general public as kids, adolescent and adult, etc. Expert group also focused on good experiences and joy from sports on ice, therefore groups were divided specifically to ensure this goal. Goal of dividing people to groups is that they feel welcomed in group with same or similar skills, age and goals. That way the participants of the group improve together and stay eager to come again.
General advice: Advice that apply for all groups and you should not forget about them.
- GDPR (the general data protection regulation), collect information
- list of participants
- equipment (helmets, gloves, sticks, pucks…)
- have fun on ice
- prepare equipment before practice
- feedback from participants if they liked it
Additionally you may use tools like: name tags, diplomas, flyers, and certificates for mentors etc.
Here are some examples:
Target: both men and women, mainly parents from clubs.
Promotion/recruitment: parents have to know that they may bring more adult friends outside of the club (promote it with bring a friend), put it on fb-focus on one age group (social media), mothers that spend a lot of time on ice rinks invite them (maybe create one special group only for mothers).
Preparation: recommended: group should contain 20 persons with 2 coaches (depend on a level of the group), prepare the equipment, release – GDPR
Activity itself: in the locker room we explain what we will do on ice (exercises, drills, game, other activities), divide it to groups upon their skills if you need it (if you have knowledge about their skating skills) otherwise do it on ice. Fun way to use ice-time is games between kids and parents. Club colored jerseys is something extra that help people to feel to be part of a club (this is how to promote a club).
Post activity/retaining: Contact information – GDPR approval procedure: collecting information from participants (if they liked time on ice, what they enjoyed most, get the information about their profession). If do not have enough people, bring more (see promotion). Encourage them to use sport apps during this activities, compete with apps results. You should also use local newspapers and local club for promotion of the activity.
Target: girls in age of 7 to 12 (women are included in adults group above 2.1)
Promotion/recruitment: social media, face to face (school, family member from sport clubs), bring a friend: encourage girls to bring friends, flyers only to invite girls, ice activity only for girls, photo session.
Preparation: recommended: female coaches, 1 coach per 10 girls. We advise additional animator, older female player/participant for example. Arrival 30 minutes before the practice, gloves and helmets are highly recommended for skating. You should bring lending jerseys, from the ice hockey club (it bings added value if they are pink).
Activity itself: In the locker room we explain what we will do (teach girls how to prepare for the ice practice). Divide girls to groups upon their skills if you need it (if you already have knowledge about their skating skills) otherwise do it on the ice. Use lady colored jerseys if possible. Personal contact – try to call them by names (important part especially for ladies). Water on the bench, additional animator has to check if someone went off the ice.
Post activity/retaining: Contact information – GDPR approval procedure: ask for feedback — did you like it, what did you like, what you did not like. Make sure there is opportunity to continue to train with girls, inform parents about that. Involve the media, make the clips, photos for youtube, fb, instagram. Encourage them to be involved. Be active on social medias, put # ice rinks for all, use stickers and similar motivation/rewards.
Primary school kids
Target: 6 to 14 years old kids, girls and boys
Promotion/recruitment: school visit, flyers, email with offer (activity, and practice, etc.), invitation to watch man professional team, bring a friend to schoolmate game.
Preparation: Recommended: 1 coach per 6 – 8 kids. You should make list of participants with sizes of the skates. Send the plan of the program and inform them what they need – information paper/email. We highly recommend helmets with cage (hockey helmets) and any gloves. Arrival is recommended 30 minutes before the practice. You should prepare lending jerseys. After practice you can give chocolate and diplomas as extra motivation. Names on the helmets are big help for coaches and helpers. Prepare equipment before practice, if it is possible.
Activity itself: In the locker room we explain what we will do, teach them how to prepare for the ice practice. Divide kids to groups upon their skills if you need it (if you have knowledge about their skating skills) otherwise do it on the ice. Personal contact – try to call them by names, water on the bench.
Post activity/retaining: Contact information – GDPR approval procedure, ask for feedback — did you like it, what did you like, what you did not like. Make sure there is an opportunity to continue to train with the group, inform parents about that. You should use stickers and others similar motivation.
Target: 14-18 years old, boys and girls
Promotion/recruitment: Use social media, “find a new friend” promotion. Invite to “disco on ice”. Go to school, email an offer with photo session (if it is possible), photo book. Cooperating with school – teenagers will be happy to go out of the school. Additional advice is to offer school skating courses.
Preparation: Recommended: 1 coach per 10 player/participants. List of participants with information about them: sizes of the skates. Send the plan of the program and inform them what they need -information paper: helmets with cages, any gloves, lending jerseys. Make sure you can lend them some additional equipment as well such as sticks, pucks, nets.
Extras: prepared equipment before practice, DJ, bubbles, NEO disco, selfie time.
Activity itself: get information about why are they doing it or why they came to the activity, coaches or volunteers must have questioner (document) to ask them. Safety first (explain how dangerous is to do not have any helmets, gloves). Music and speakers. “No man behind” (try to involve everyone in activity).
Post activity/retaining: Contact information – GDPR approval procedure. Ask for feedback — did you like it, what did you like, what you do not like. Check in on mobile apps (whenever you step in to the rink). Encourage them to use sport apps during this activities. Involve them as volunteers. Compete with apps results (sports apps). Plan future collaborations.
People with special needs
Target: People with mental disabilities.
Promotion/recruitment: Collect and contact the institutions with mental disabilities. Find the parents group that has kids with disabilities, hospitals. Promote activity together with parents to make the group with same interest.
Preparation: Recommended: 1-1 (one kid one coach-parents/family member). Invite adult /parent per participant. Go on the ice with shoes (without skates), invite qualified supervisors from the institution. Names on the helmets. Ice does not have to be necessary resurfaced by Zamboni. Helmets with cages. Arrival 30 minutes before practice. Any gloves, lending jerseys.
Extras: use tires, football ball, jerseys with their name on.
Activity itself/retaining: have all the instructors in the dressing room when participant arrive. The goal is to have fun on the ice, not develop skills. Regular time of activity (try to have always the at the same time, for example each Saturday at 10am). Include parents, inform parents about all possible aspects. Let them choose what drills they want to do (do not force participants). Water on the bench.
Post activity: Spreading information that more people know about it. Human interest story (media likes this stories). Visit the institution where they live. Share information with other sport clubs.
Basics on ice
One of the most important thing while skating is balance, therefore this photos describe how to develop good balance and how the good basic stance for skating looks like.
Basic position on both legs. Stability, step forward, step backward. Falling down does not matter on beginning, getting up with help. Explain a fall – in case of instability, start by bending the knees forward, hands in front of the body (falling forward), never on straight leg and slipping in place – threat of falling on back of a head, (pictures above).
Squat, both skates on the ice. Bend in the knees, back straight. When you master your balance you can continue with deep squat, (pictures above).
Stand on one leg continually. Body weight is one leg, gradually lifting the foot, first just above the ice. Stability for only a few seconds, only experienced will last longer. Superstructure: a small tramp on one leg, for more experienced low squat, for experienced and courageous running on place (bringing knees high), (pictures above).
Falling and standing on the ice. Falling is done by bending the legs on the knees, squatting, hands pointing forward towards the ice, making fall softer. First contact of the body with ice is realized through the knees. Lover squad we do = smaller impact with the ice. Drop from height (higher squad) = bigger impact, risk of being injured.
We get up in the following phases: a) get up on both knees, b) bending one knee and putting the leg in front of you, support, c) supporting the hands on the bent leg, stretching the leg up, the other leg is on ice to support balance (showed on six photos above). We switch the leg and repeat, if necessary we use help of coach or other tool (stick, cone…).
Exercises are designed for beginners who are on the ice for the first time or do not go very often on ice. The exercises are performed in a group, for example, around the circle, where the coach/instructor is in the middle of the circle and everyone can see the drill/him well (more in chapter example of the activity).
Always remember: demonstration, explanation, patience, help!!!
Following drills are more advance but still focus on beginners, for example if they coming regularly or absolve first few hours.
Crossing the stick sideways – leg to leg. The player/participant stands next to the stick on both legs. Shifts the body weight to the farther leg from the stick and the leg closer to the stick crosses the stick sideways. Keeping stability on one leg, then transfers weight to the farther leg and bring the other leg to the other side over the stick. Knees slightly bent, shoulders leaning forward (pictures above). A more demanding variant is front-to-back crossing.
Stepping over the stick, with crossovers. Player/participant stands next to the stick on both legs. Player/participant transfers the weight of the body to the closer leg to the stick. Leg that is farther away from stick is stepping over the closer leg, stepping on other side of the stick. Player/participant/participant transfers the weight of the body to the leg behind the stick. First leg is transferred next to the leg on which is the weight and then return to basic stance (pictures above). This drill is harder for coordination and range of movement.
Vertical jump. Player/participant starts in the basic stance, than he bends his knee (small squad), jump is realized by pushing from position with bend knees. Make sure you bend your knees on impact with ice after jump (pictures above). The jump is vertical; on place, more difficult variant is push from one leg or the impact on one leg.
Jump forward and backward through an obstacle. Player/participant makes the same movement as a vertical jump. Skate position is in the shape of a letter V, toes apart, heel towards each other. Jump is realized upwards, push is realized forward. Landing is softening by bending knees (picture above). More complicated variant is the implementation on one leg. (push, land)
All these exercises can be realized on the width or length of the ice rink. We can use various obstacles, tools, balls, etc. Methodical correction up to the age of 10 is irrelevant, as children under this age will not perform all the activities correctly. It is important to give them a large base of exercises and a variety of movement activity, ideally competitive or fun way. Children are learning faster and more effectively in the group, children are able to observe from each other and learn fast, they try to imitate or overtake other children.
Example of activity
In the adult category, we usually have people at different skill levels and abilities. Therefore, it is important to observe the level of ability and make a few (1-4) smaller groups, which we can work individually.
In the picture (pic. a) we have 2 groups: a) group with average abilities left side of the picture, b) group of beginners right side of the picture
A) A group with average abilities: basics of skating, single-leg push, slip, single-leg skating, pivot, small turn, kneeling and raising, backward skating. Instructors control methodically the practice of skating, it is necessary to follow the methodical advice and gradually add difficulty.
B) Beginners: most likely they will be people who rarely or never reach the ice. Therefore, it is necessary to start with the basics: kneeling on one knee, two knees, sit down, standing on one leg, turning around on place. All drills with explanation of the instructor. It is recommended that you do static exercises and after you have handled them, then start the transition to skating exercises/exercises in a movement.
After mastering 1.part-basics, we move on to more difficult exercises with the puck for A group, B group is continuing with basic skating drills (pic. b).
- Skating with the puck, basic carrying of the puck in the turns, turning with the puck in a movement, skating with the puck backwards. When we handle these drills we can also add a simple pass to static player/participant.
- Pushing with one leg around the circle, one leg ride, squat forward. We can repeat the A group exercises in the previous picture (pic. a), but in a smaller space.
Preparatory exercise, skating improvement (pic. c)
- In the advanced group we use simple puck control and shooting exercises, with passes, all without resistance because we need correct execution of the drills.
- In this group we improve skating by adding obstacles to circumvention, crossing, creep, pushing, pulling.
As with all ages, it is important that people on the ice have fun and enjoyment.
The same applies to adults. Guys are interested in hockey or games with puck, with ladies or less skilled skaters it can be a chase or a team skill competition on the ice.
Conclusion: It is important not to overestimate and appropriately choose exercises, skating, preparatory games/drills, but also games. Changes in quality and improvement can be seen after several hours on the ice. However, in this case, regularity and patiency are needed. Recommended: at least once per week, 8-12 weeks.
But the essence remains the same, to do something for health, to learn to skate, to have fun on the ice.
Example of more games (pic. e):
On the right side is a simple “chase” game. You may use this game as soon as participant/player master basics like: stopping, standing up from ice and simple skating forward. If you have more advance group you may combine it with squats jumps and or tools and drills. Do not be afraid to be creative.
In middle is game with the ball (football ball). This game is more for advance player/participants. They pass ball with hands, however if they have the ball they may not move, they have to pass to a teammate. That way you ensure that everybody is involve in the game. As goal you can use boxes or other tools where they have to put the ball to score. Again be creative change the rules, change goals. (example: you may skate with ball but pass only back, instead of the box, you can use small tires and the ball has to stand on them to count score).
Left game is a snake, all participants have to copy whatever is a first one doing. This game is usable for beginners as well as far as you have a similar level group. To make it harder use different tools and obstacles that participants have to go around, jump over etc.
Picture above (pic. f) is an example of games for kids but also for other groups. It is important to divide kids in groups with similar skating skills. Each group should have its own instructor. The essence is no to use drilling way of practice, but in a fun way, unconsciously, without forcing the children to move. Competitiveness and playfulness is the easiest way to work with kids. Picture above (pic.f) describes organization on the ice with multiple groups. You may use games from previous pictures or use your own games.
People with special need
On the beginning they just need to meet the ice and get use to on a new environment. First 2 or 3 hours you let participant just hang around on the ice. You may slide with them on tires, cones and similar type of fun. It is very important to make connection with kids on the ice so they will feel comfortable around/with you on the ice. Later on you may start adding few simple stations, however you have to always let them choose if they want to stay on station or move on next one. The examples of stations are on picture above (pic. g). In this case you may apply same drills for kids and adults as well.
Drills on the picture are only examples, do not be afraid to be more creative and use your own station as well. Use whatever you have for kids just make sure that they have fun and they are safe.
On the picture (on the left side) you can see simple station with passing, make sure you have enough helpers that will be with kids and will help them to move a puck and skate to a new position. In middle you have simple exercise with bringing a ball in and out from the box. Next to it is a drill where kids just shoot on a net, important is that they can score a bit to have fun. All the way on the right side are simple skating drills. Simple push around circle (make sure you do both side) and skating around cones. In this case technique is not important, goal of a station is fun and trying new things.
More skating exercises
On the left side of the picture (pic. h) there is an easy skating drill with transferring body weight form one leg to another. Both foot on the ice, low stance. Later you should start lift one foot of the ice (outside foot). When you do so, you will slowly train skating on inside edge of the skate.
In middle of the picture (pic. h) it is an example of stopping drill. On the beginning learn slowly, apply pressure on one skate in front of you till you don’t stop next to the cone (face to cone). Second option is a little hard when you have to stop exactly in between 3 cones so you are learning how to control your movement.
On the right side of the picture (pic. h) is the preparation for crossover. Facing board, hands on the board, low stance and slowly crossing over your skate. Make sure you go both directions.
On the left side of picture (pic. i) there is a drill for beginners “bubbles” low stance, push with both legs at same time around the cone. Be careful to not do move up or down with your body (stay low). For advanced level you use only one leg (half bubble).
In middle of the picture (pic. i) there is a drill of skating around cone (whole circle) with weigh shift on a one leg later you start moving inside leg forward so you lead movement with leg that is closer to a cone. You need to stay low and slowly learn how to make turns. Second drill is for maintaining balance. Start in a low stance (slowly skating forward) jumping over obstacles and get back to low stance.