What’s So Great About Campion’s Learn-to-Play Hockey Program?

Tonight, I feel like a kid on Christmas Eve… Tomorrow morning, I start my 6th season at the Dick Dodds Hockey Academy. I can hardly wait!

What’s so great about the adult Learn-to-Play Hockey program at Campion Rink, anyway? Just ask Rick Sayles, one of our group’s earliest skaters:

The Campion Rink Learn-To-Play group finishes the year with a 7 game series in April.

Campion’s 2012 Learn-To-Play Group (that’s Rick on my right, in the white DDHA jersey).

CCM: How long have you been with the Learn-to-Play program at Campion Rink?

Rick: “I hadn’t skated before the DDHA which I started when we moved to Hanover about 7 years ago (gosh how time flies)!”

CCM: What do you love about the Campion Learn-to-Play program with Coach Dodds?

Rick: “Coach Dodds brings his passion for the game of hockey and his enthusiasm for coaching to each and every class. When you mix that with the great game of hockey, you have a winning combo – great fun and a great workout!”

CCM: What would you say to someone considering starting hockey later in life?

Rick: “As Dick has said – just do it! The learning curve is steep which is wonderful. This means you get much better very quickly. How many other things can you get better at later in life that are this much fun?”

The Campion Rink Learn-To-Play group finishes the year with a 7 game series in April.

You don’t have to be crazy to play hockey (but it helps!)…

***The next Learn-to-Skate, Learn-to-Play and Intermediate Hockey sessions at Campion Rink run from January 3 to March 28, 2013. Find out more and sign up online!

Rock Your New Year at the Dick Dodds Hockey Academy for Adults

I love hockey. I wish everyone had some activity they enjoyed even a fraction as much. In fact, I’ve just finished my 5th year of adult hockey classes at Campion Rink.

Commemorative Dick Dodds Hockey Academy apple pie.

Apple pie celebrating my completion of 5 years at the Dick Dodds Hockey Academy.

But it’s not just me. Lots of adults have learned to play.

Take, for instance, Ceci, a retired kindergarten teacher who began skating with the Dick Dodds Hockey Academy 6 1/2 years ago and who graciously agreed to the following interview:

CCM: How long have you been with the Learn-to-Play program at Campion Rink?

Ceci: “I retired from teaching after the 05-06 academic year so I must have started hockey the fall of ’06. I think Rick Sayles was already there…”

CCM: What do you love about playing hockey?

Ceci: “The fun. The interesting mix of players. Being wowed by Dick’s and Chris’ skills. The intense workout followed by chocolate soymilk, stretches and locker room conversations!”

CCM: What do you love about the Campion Learn-to-Play program with Coach Dodds?

Ceci: “Dick is so mild mannered with us learn-to-play adults that to me he’s pretty much the antithesis of one’s general idea of “Hockey.” His ability to convey his love of the game and his patience as a coach/teacher make learning from him totally fun.

My favorite thing about Dick is that regardless of your ability, level of skill/fitness or age he makes you feel like you can be successful on the ice. All you need is the desire to keep at it, find the open ice and be ready for that puck!”

CCM: What would you say to someone considering starting hockey later in life?

Ceci: “Unfortunately we have a finite number of years during which to be wildly active so I think it’s important to make it last.

While starting hockey at age 5, 20 or even 40 would be better, later works too. If you love to skate and love the game of hockey, surely nothing would be finer than learning how to play.

We all know that keeping in shape is a good way to prolong personal agility/strength/cardio fitness and for me hockey is the only thing I do with such joyful, active intensity. So, Yes, go for it while everything (mostly) still works!”

Retired kindergarten teacher, Ceci takes onretired fireman, Dave for the puck at Learn-to-Play Hockey at Campion Rink.

Ceci takes on Dave for the puck at Learn-to-Play Hockey at Campion Rink.

***The next Learn-to-Skate, Learn-to-Play and Intermediate Hockey sessions at Campion Rink run from January 3 to March 28, 2013. Find out more and sign up online!

Interview With Legendary NH Hockey Coach, Dick Dodds

In honor of completing my 5th year of hockey class today, an interview with my Coach:

Hockey puck commemorating Coach Dick Dodds' recognition as a New Hampshire Legend of Hockey on October 28, 2012.

Dick Dodds was recognized as a Legend of New Hampshire Hockey on October 28, 2012.

CCM: You’ve recently been inducted into the NH Hockey Hall of Fame for your 30+ successful years coaching the Hanover High Boys Hockey program. Isn’t coaching adults hopeless by comparison?

Coach Dodds: “Oh, good god, no! Hockey is incredibly popular with adults. You might want to double check the stats, but I think adult beginner is the fastest growing segment of the US hockey population.”

CCM: How long have you coached the adult Learn-to-Play program at Campion Rink?

Coach Dodds: “Oh, 9 or 10 years? I still remember the names of the first players…”

CCM: What made you decide to start a beginner hockey program for adults?

Coach Dodds: “The demand was already there to start a program. Hockey is so much fun and it’s a fantastic workout. I just wanted to continue to spread passion for the sport.”

Coach Dick Dodds explains an on-ice hockey drill for the Learn-to-Play group at Campion Rink, NH

Learn-to-Play Hockey classes at Campion Rink are popular with a wide range of adults.

CCM: What would you say to an adult who’s considering hockey, but still unsure?

Coach Dodds:GO FOR IT! …But do it the right way. You do need a certain level of skating proficiency. Don’t come to the Intermediate class if you’re still learning to skate. Check out one of our Learn-to-skate*** programs first.”

CCM: What do you love most about playing hockey?

Coach Dodds: “I love the speed of the game and the sounds of the game… a crisp pass going tape to tape… the clang of the crossbar…”

CCM: What do you love most about coaching hockey?

Coach Dodds: “Too many joys to limit it to one: Putting together a good practice plan…watching as concepts click in a player’s mind…watching as players develop.”

Coach Dodds explains an on-ice hockey drill for the adult Learn-to-Play group.

Coaches Dodds & Pollard share their love of hockey with beginners in the Upper Valley.

***The next Learn-to-Skate, Learn-to-Play and Intermediate Hockey sessions at Campion Rink run from January 3 to March 28, 2013. Find out more and sign up online!