Volume 1 Issue 6                                                                        April 24, 2013

8U: They Call it Summer Vacation for a Reason

AHAI Mite ADM Program: A Unique Opportunity for '06 and '07 Birth Years!

Faribault Embracing Youth Hockey Renaissance

Lovejoy Credits NHL Success to Multi-Sport Versatility

Video: Don Lucia: Skill Development & Fun vs. Winning at All Costs

VIDEO: Generation Floorball - The Growth of Floorball in the USA

Just for Coaches: On- & Off-Ice Practice Plans

8U: They Call it Summer Vacation for a Reason

By Jessi Pierce


You'd be hard-pressed to find many professional hockey players who focused solely on hockey when they were children. Zach Parise, Meghan Duggan and Patrick Kane all looked forward to hanging up their skates at the end of the season.


Taking a break from hockey and transitioning into a variety of sports helped them become superstar athletes. And it kept their passion for hockey burning bright.


Playing multiple sports reduces injury risk, develops athleticism, and most importantly, is fun. It's a reason Dr. Doug Weiss, team physician for the United States Men's National Under-18 Team currently playing in the IIHF U18 Men's World Championship, recommends 8U parents and players opt for dirt, grass or court rather than ice during the hockey off-season.


New Sport, New Season


Baseball's hand-eye coordination can correlate with plenty of on-ice situations, like face-offs, tipping shots, swatting pucks out of the air and receiving passes. Soccer develops endurance that can be utilized in hockey, when a shift gets long or overtime becomes necessary. Lacrosse, as another "invasion sport" like hockey, helps develop attacking and defending strategies in addition to endurance.





 Registration Will Open June 1, 2014 - Stay Tuned!



This coming Fall season AHAI is offering the AHAI Mite American Development Model (ADM) Program as a unique opportunity for 7 and 8 year-old mite players. The AHAI Mite ADM Program will be administered by the four AAA Tier I Organizations (Fury, Chicago Young Americans, Mission and Team Illinois) and will offer a 25-week development program run by the Tier I coaches. Participants will be evaluated in late August and 44 players will be selected per Tier I organization. These skaters will be trained under a strict and fully compliant ADM development structure consisting of station-based skills practices, small-area games, and half-ice hockey games. Each player in the program will be tested before, during, and after the season. Players and parents choosing this Mite ADM option will agree not to participate in full-ice hockey games during the program. Each group of 44 players will be broken down into four teams and will play games each weekend against the other AAA organizations in Illinois. No full-ice games will be played or allowed by these skaters. If a skater does not make a team, they can return to their local association for September 1st tryouts or evaluations. 





Faribault Embracing Youth Hockey Renaissance


 By Jayson Hron - USA Hockey 


Situated 50 miles south of Minneapolis is the town of Faribault. Plenty of elite hockey players have skated there, but none were actually from there, making it an unusual dichotomy in Minnesota.


Only once has a Faribault boys high school team qualified for state-tournament play, that coming during the Minnesota State High School League's brief and ill-fated Tier II tournament experiment in 1993 (the Faribault girls also have one state tournament appearance to their credit, in 2010).


Conversely, the Faribault-based Shattuck-St. Mary's prep school has been competing in - and often winning - USA Hockey youth national championships since the 1960s. In fact, eight SSM hockey alumni participated in the XXII Olympic Winter Games, including Sidney Crosby (Canada), Zach Parise (United States) and the Lamoureux Twins (United States).






Lovejoy Credits NHL Success to Multi-Sport Versatility 


 By USA Hockey


When Ben Lovejoy began his professional hockey career, he thought about the player he wanted to be. After a successful campaign at Dartmouth College, Lovejoy, a Concord, N.H., native, expected to become the same type of player in the NHL that he was in college - a puck-moving defenseman featured on the power play.


During parts of three seasons in the American Hockey League, though, Lovejoy quickly learned his role would be a bit different than he thought. He had to adjust his game slightly. He had to become a more well-rounded defenseman to succeed in the National Hockey League.


"I thought when I got to the NHL, I was going to be kind of a skilled, puck-moving defenseman," said Lovejoy, now a six-year NHL veteran currently playing for the Anaheim Ducks. "That's what I always was growing up and in college. But, when it became clear that wouldn't be my role, I had to rely on my other skills to make it in the NHL."



Don Lucia: Skill Development and Fun vs. Winning at All Costs
Generation Floorball - The Growth of Floorball in the USA


Don Lucia, Head Coach of University of Minnesota, speaking to a group in Minnesota about what is most important from a coaching and parenting perspective. This video is from 2007, 2-3 years before the ADM program was introduced. Although lengthy, it is worth listening to in its entirety. He speaks as a coach and as a parent of a player (his son currently plays for Notre Dame).

Generation Floorball - The Growth of Floorball in the USA VideoFloorball, a type of hockey, is an indoor team sport that was developed in the 1970s in Sweden. In this video you will find interviews from Floorball equipment providers, players and coaches as well as in game videos to learn about Floorball and why it is one of the fastest growing sports in the world. Look for programs starting in Chicago area soon.

As we have learned over the course of implementing the ADM across the state, it is all about increased puck touches and constant activity on the ice for the 8U skater.  Good, quality station based practices vastly increase the amount of both for the player.  Having tracked players in both full-ice practices and ADM style practices, the amount of added touches and movement for any one skater is 4 fold.  So if we are to give the parents their moneys worth and the skater the development they deserve than station based practices is the best way to do both.



USA Hockey provides an abundance of material to help coaches design efficient and fun dryland training for the 8U age group. We will highlight some of those exercises here each month. 



Ask your coaching coordinator or hockey director where you can get the dryland deck of cards, or contact AHAI's Coach- in- Chief. 








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