"How a Player gets that first taste of Hockey is crucial."
The FUNdamental stages of Hockey Canada’s Long-Term Player Development (LTPD) Model serves as the foundation upon which the entire minor hockey association is built. Youngsters at every level of play benefit from getting the “right start” in the game and it is crucial in building the skills of house league and competitive players alike.
" You have to be able to make plays in pretty small areas. The more you practice in small spaces the better off you are. "
-- Sidney Crosby
As kids get older, they will have lots of time to learn about offsides, icings, positions, and other rules.
How about young kids play the game for the sheer fun of it, and in smaller areas to ensure all kids are involved all the time. Kids want to PLAY, because that's the most FUN.
Let's create an environment to get as many kids involved and active as much as possible to help them cultivate a love for the game. While at the same time improving essential SKILLS, and not worrying about wins on the big sheet of ice like the NHL.
Do we put 7 year old kids on a full length golf course and have them tee off from the blues, follow every rule, keep score and then talk about who won? Not a lot of kids would stay involved in the game, so we do that sport a little differently too. As we do most sports for younger children, they don't play on adult size surfaces with adult equipment.
With cross ice and smaller areas, more kids will get more opportunities to have rewarding experiences. Period.
the puck touches
- SIX TIMES
the shots attempts (more work for goalies)
the shots on goal (even more work for goalies)
the pass attemps
- FIVE TIMES
When kids are younger it is a critical time period to teach them the right way to perform hockey skills. How to skate correctly, how to handle pucks correctly, how to shoot, and how to do fundamentals efficiently such as tight turns, starts & stops, body position, keeping your head up, etc.
Here is a great example of one of the best demonstrating some of these very skills
By committing to small-area games and cross-ice competition, we keep the focus rightly on those fundamentals – a decision that pays major dividends in the athlete’s long-term development.
In these short videos adults had to play hockey and soccer on surfaces that were proportionally
as large as a full surface is for an 8-year-old. Their comments give us a sense of how a young
child feels playing on a full-size ice sheet.
“The ice looks so big, it’s overwhelming,” one man says. “I barely got to touch the puck,” says
another. “The other players are so far away, you can’t catch them, I gave up,” one player admits.
And this revelation: “It’s no fun.”
CLICK HERE FOR THE IMPLEMENTATION GUIDE (PDF)