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Learn to Play / Learn to Skate



(Driscoll Skating and Skills)

Tim Driscoll is the founder of Driscoll Skating and Skills.   Tim has been teaching hockey players to skate for decades.  He is a four-year NCAA hockey player (Princeton) and played professional hockey with the Boston Bruins minor league affiliate the Maine Mariners (AHL).

Tim and his team will teach a progression of skating basics designed to make kids comfortable on the ice so they can learn to move freely and confidently on their skating edges.  The foundation of any hockey player’s skill set is their ability to skate.  Only then can we introduce other hockey skills along the way to develop young hockey players.  The Learn to Skate & Play program is a station-based program (small groups) and will feature drills that help our players with skating and puck handling, all while having fun as they are introduced to the game of hockey.  


  • 12-consecutive weeks at 2pm (Stoneham Arena).
  • First skate is Saturday, September 30, 2023
  • Last skate is Saturday December 16, 2023.
  • Boys and Girls born before 4/1/2020 (must be 3.5 years old – no exceptions).
  • Cost is $160. Fees are non-refundable and not prorated for time missed.




Each Session is limited to 60 Skaters. Preference is given to Stoneham residents first.  If we reach full capacity, we will prioritize non-Stoneham residents based on the time stamp of your registration.



  • The first two weeks is a little bit of organized chaos as kids are getting used to being on the ice.  Our experienced Coaching staff are subtly evaluating skaters while interacting with them, providing directions, and making it fun. Coaches are identifying the skill level of each skater and may place a color-coded sticker on the helmet of some kids.  These stickers are for the Coaches use only.  Coaches use the stickers to help organize kids into smaller groups based on age and skill.
  • In Subsequent weeks, skaters work in their smaller groups based on age, skill, and ability.  The goal is to group kids of a similar skill set into the same groups to get the most out of their time in the 10 remaining weeks.
  • Coaches and volunteers are assigned groups in subsequent weeks.  Coaches will teach a pre-set curriculum designed by USA Hockey and refined by Tim Driscoll to reflect the ability of the participants. We will draw upon the techniques developed over decades of skating and skills instruction.
  • The practice plans are progressive. Each week we will build upon the skills learned in prior weeks.  Not all groups will follow the same practice plans for the day.  More advanced groups will practice more advanced skills.
  • The Learn to Skate and Play staff will move kids from group to group as they progress through the program and new skills emerge to continuously challenge each participant to reach their full potential.



Stoneham Youth Hockey does not provide milkcrates or any other devices used to assist with skating. You are welcome to bring your own. Every kid is different, and some need the security of a device to stay on the ice. If that is what it takes to keep your skater on the ice, then bring those crates along. The quickest way to skate is to NOT use crates or assistive devices. If you pull that security blanket away, it will force them to figure it out faster. Kids are smart and will adapt when they need to. We will have fun, we will encourage them, and we will build their confidence, but some will struggle. This is all okay. Get them back to the Arena anyway you can so they can try again.



  • Helmet. A hockey helmet is required with full face cage / shield. Certified and non-expired.
  • Skates. Hockey skates are recommended.
  • Shin pads and elbow pads. Hockey shin and elbow are pads recommended.
  • Gloves. Anything to cover their hands. Hockey gloves are recommended.
  • Pants. No shorts. Something warm. Hockey pants and socks covering the shin pads are recommended. This will also require a jock/jill with Velcro to hold the hockey socks in place.


Sticks can be a distraction for kids learning to skate (particularly the youngest ones). Sticks also make it difficult for a new skater to stand up and / or grab onto things. Please leave your sticks at home for the first few weeks.  Coaches will identify skaters who should bring sticks to subsequent Saturdays. Refrain from bringing hockey sticks until you have been instructed by a Coach to do so.


Our program is run entirely by volunteers.  While we will have a Professional instructor on the ice for each hour, to plan, organize, and supervise the on-ice activity, we need parents / guardians / volunteers to help on the ice as well.  Kids need to be guided into groups and constantly re-directed to maintain focus.  This is also a great opportunity for new Coaches to learn some fantastic coaching skills from an experienced and knowledgeable crew.  If you are interested in helping on the ice, please Register as a Coach on the SYH website and in the comments field of your registration indicate Learn to Skate and Play.


All volunteers are required to be registered with USA Hockey, as well as Stoneham Youth Hockey.  You are required to complete the online USA Hockey National Background Screening.  You are required to complete the online USA Hockey SafeSport training. Volunteers are required to always wear a helmet while on the ice.  USA Hockey has an automatic 30-day suspension policy for first offense coaches who are caught on the ice without a helmet.