Mid-Season Classic a Huge Success!

Reduced Playing Surface: A Quick Look

ADM Has Kalamazoo Trending Up

Kobe Bryant on Skills & Why Europeans
Are Way Ahead

Videos: Joy of Outdoor Hockey & Mid-Season Classic 

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


Volume 3 Issue 2
January 29, 2015

Mid-Season Classic Mite Cross-Ice Tournament a Huge Success!

Twenty-four (24) Mite teams took to United Center ice for 39 games on Sunday, December 28 for the Mid-Season Classic Mite Cross-Ice Tournament. Nearly 330 mites battled it out on 3 cross-ice rinks spanning the Blackhawks home ice with three teams taking home the Championship in their respective divisions. The Kane Division saw the Joliet Jaguars defeat the Leafs, the Toews Division had the all ADM AHAI Mission squad defeat the Chicago Jets, and in the Keith Division the River Dogs outlasted Canlan Ice Arena's In-House Mites.


The day began with an opportunity to watch the Blackhawks practice; a few lucky skaters walked away with a stick or two from the Blackhawks players as they exited the ice from their morning skate. As the rink transformed from one large sheet to 3 smaller cross-ice sheets, the teams made their way to the locker rooms right down the hall from the Blackhawks. As one parent put it, "You created memories that will last a lifetime!" READ MORE>> 


As many of us know, one of the key principles of the American Development Model is the size of the ice surface for our youngest players. We see it in every other sport our children participate in from baseball (t-ball) to soccer. One area that we don't focus on much is the size of the net the goalie has to defend at the mite ages. Many times we play cross-ice or half-ice games on the reduced surface but we still use a regulation NHL net.


For comparison, the pictures below show a high school goalie at the recent High School Hockey Holiday Classic contrasted with a mite goalie playing at the Mite Mid-Season Classic at the United Center on December 28. The mite is using an intermediate net. Notice where the top bar of the net hits the goalie's back and compare it with the high school goalie. Additionally, look at the amount of space the high school goalie takes up in the net as compared to the mite using the intermediate net. The relationship of the goalie to the net are almost identical due to the reduced net size for the mite.


Now imagine that same mite using the regulation net and how much more difficult and unrealistic it is for them to try to cover a 6' by 4' opening. The ADM at the mite level is designed to create age-appropriate situations on age-appropriate surfaces, while providing the players a chance to succeed and grow.

High School Goalie - Regulation Net

Mite Goalie - Intermediate Net

ADM Has Kalamazoo Optimist Hockey Association Trending Up 


By Tom Robinson, USA Hockey


When opponents throughout Michigan have played teams from the Kalamazoo Optimist Hockey Association over the past two seasons, they've commonly mentioned the improvement among the KOHA's older, top-end players.


Ken Martel, technical director of USA Hockey's American Development Model, notices something else when he visits Kalamazoo. "I'm really impressed with their mite groups," Martel said. "When you get on the ice with some of their groups and it's all 40 players, you have to say to yourself, 'What's in the water here?'" Martel added. "Basically, they're doing good things." The top-to-bottom improvement can be traced to the ADM. READ MORE>>

Kobe Bryant on Skills & Why Europeans Are Way Ahead


Excerpt from LA Times


Although Kobe plays basketball, he expresses a sentiment that you could equate to hockey and is one of main goals of the ADM - skill development. Kobe Bryant believes European basketball players are more skillful than American basketball players, and says it's a growing trend. "I just think European players are just way more skillful," Bryant said. "They are just taught the game the right way at an early age. It's something we really have to fix. We really have to address that. We have to teach our kids to play the right way. You wind up having players that are big and they bring it up and they do all this fancy crap and they don't know how to post. They don't know the fundamentals of the game. It's stupid." READ MORE>>


Big 10 Network broadcasters talk about the benefits of kids playing outdoor and cross-ice hockey during the Minnesota-Wisconsin OfficeMax Outdoor City Classic game. 

The Chicago Blackhawks, the Amateur Hockey Association of Illinois, and USA Hockey came together to host a great day of mite cross ice hockey on Dec. 28, 2014.



This on-ice practice plan is a nine-station, three team practice. Each team is split into 3 groups of 4-5 players (depending on their numbers) for the first part of practice (9 stations at 5 minutes per station) followed by 3 stations of 11 minutes per station by team. Click HERE to download plan. 



8U Off Ice Agility & Balance - Dot Drill

8U Off Ice Agility & Balance - Hop Catch