Our program has been developed with one thing in mind, the young hockey players! Many hockey programs in our country focus on skills and playing the traditional hockey game. We, like all other programs focus on skills and games but we put a unique twist on the children's development. As educators, we realize the importance of play based learning in young children and that is the approach we take with our program.
When dealing with children of a young age they need to be engaged to learn and remember. That is where our program takes flight because we teach the proper hockey skills through drills but more importantly incorporate them into fun games during our sessions. Traditional games with pucks are fantastic ways to engage young hockey players but until they learn how to stick handle a puck, keep their balance, skate with confidence and move freely around the ice that type of game can become frustrating for some players. We like to use a variety of equipment and co-operative games to help their skills. We use ringette rings, soccer balls, hockey balls, omnikin balls, large parachutes, nerf balls, mini nets and other unique pieces of equipment to motivate and increase the confidence in our young players. This approach has worked wonders for our Initiation and Novice players because they are getting a chance to do a variety of different activities and drills with nearly no wait time. During these activities they feel that they are successful without realizing they are learning the crucial skills of the wonderful game of hockey!
When it comes to our Atom and Pee Wee players we have a variety of different skill levels from All-Star to beginner players. Our All-star group will see a high tempo practice focusing on game situation drills, positional play, small area games that focus on position/skills and over all skill development. Our other groups will be introduced to game style drills, positional play, small area games and overall skill development. Our program will allow the players to learn the position they enjoy by having specialized drills, games and sections to help them become a better defence man, forward or goalie. We have been around the game for a long time and at various levels as coaches and players but we realize that children can learn and our goal is to prepare them and teach them the necessary skills to be successful and to have fun!
Why did we create a program like this? Well, we have over 40 years of combined experience as head instructors of hockey schools, coaches of provincial and minor hockey teams, scouting of major junior hockey and as our profession, we are teachers. We felt it was time that we created a unique and effective program to help a group that is sometimes left out and that is our young players from the ages of 4 - 11. Our goal for these players is to develop their hockey skills to the best of their ability and what better way to do that than having fun!!
We are committed to making our young hockey players the best they can be while enjoying the time they have on the ice. We believe with our experience, background and the great instructors we have with us this goal is a reality!
Thank you all for your support,
Pat Carroll and Chris Bartlett