Our Learn To Skate & Play program is an ideal way to introduce your child to ice skating. This program is primarily for non-skaters and offers the opportunity to learn the fundamentals of basic skating under the guidance of seasoned coaches. Come have fun on the ice and learn concepts such as balance, stability and confidence.
Our Learn To Skate & Play program is for children ages 4-7 years old. If you have a child older than 7 years old who is interested in learning to skate, please contact the board.
Our Learn to Skate & Play program begins the first weekend in December and ends the last weekend in February.
Lessons are taught on Saturdays and Sundays.
Learn to Skate & Play lessons are held at the Jackman L. Stewart Athletic Center on the Berkshire School campus.
What to expect
Please bring your skater dressed to play, with the exception of skates and helmet. If your skater can access it independently, you can also bring a water bottle.
We will provide crates for skaters who are not yet independent. Sticks are optional but should only be used for skaters who can stand and skate independently.
After skaters are assessed, we run a learn to skate section on one end and a learn to play section on the other end of the ice. Skaters can be moved between groups as their skills progress throughout the season. There is no pressure - this is purely for fun!
When watching from the bench and stands, please wave and encourage your skater to stay on the ice. They will fall down and hop up several times throughout practice - the pads really do help! It may take a few sessions before your skater is zooming around on the crate or skating independently, but once they catch on the fun really begins!
Q: Does my skater need all the hockey gear?
A: Yes! Since there will be pucks on the ice we require all skaters to be in proper protective hockey gear. Plus, falling down can hurt! Falling in pads is much better and your skater will have a more enjoyable experience.
Q: Where can we find all that gear?
A: The Rattlers run an equipment swap in September. If you missed the swap and still need gear, you can email us to see what is still available. Friends and family are also a great resource. Let people know you are joining LTS/LTP and you'll find they often have gear to pass on. You can also check out the hockey gear resources below.
Q: Do we have to attend every skate session?
A: The more sessions you attend the quicker your skater becomes independent and the more fun skating is! Saturday & Sunday ice times will be posted each week but we know families have commitments. Join us as often as you are able!
Q: Can I go out on the ice with my skater?
A: We are always looking for coaches. If you are interested in volunteering please contact us. We can help you with the certification process.
Q: I have an older child who skates with the Rattlers. Can they come out on the ice to help?
A: Unfortunately we can’t have siblings out on the ice, there will be a lot of skaters! Later in the season coaches will invite older players to help out with LTP. We also encourage past Rattlers (high school/college) to join our student coach program!
Q: Where can we get skates sharpened?
A: Skates can be sharpened right at Berkshire School! Just leave $7 in your skates and place them on the Rattlers rack. The amazing rink staff will sharpen them for you! (Usually you can leave them on Saturday after practice and pick them up Sunday.) Skate sharpening is also also available at local stores like Kenver.
resources for hockey gear
- Click here to read a Hockey Monkey article about buying used gear.
- You can find used gear at stores like Instant Replay in Pittsfield, Play It Again Sports or Wesco.
- New gear can be purchased through hockey stores like Pure Hockey, Hockey Monkey, or general sport’s stores like Dick’s.
- Some stores even sell hockey packages where you can order all gear together (Check specifics as helmet & skates are sometimes not included). Here are some options: Pure Hockey learn to skate video equipment and Sports etc.
- Some of the used children’s clothing stores also carry hockey equipment on consignment.
- Tip: Have your skater practice walking around on the living room carpet in their skates & guards to get used to the feel!
Learn to Skate & Play 2023-24
2023-2024 Season fee: $100
A jersey will be provided for first year players!
Welcome to the Berkshire Rattlers Youth Hockey Online Registration Database.
You will be required to enter a valid USA Hockey confirmation number during the process, which will confirm that the player is registered with USA Hockey.