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What would be better for hockey development

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Old
03-17-2014, 09:39 PM
  #1
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What would be better for hockey development

My nephew just finished his first year Atom and am wondering what would be best for hockey development wise?

A. Go through Atom Development (Atom Rep)

or

B. Play house league but pay for 1 on 1 training and power skating ect


It's either one or the other because Rep hockey is really expensive and if you get "invited" onto the Atom Development team then you have to pay $500 just to be on the team + tournament expenses which I have no clue what they are.

1 on 1 training is like 500 bucks for 10 classes at 30 mins a piece. Power skating is like 200 for 10 sessions.

Pros for option (A)
+ My nephew really wants to be a part of this team really bad. When he got cut from last years team he took it really hard
+ Tougher compeition
+Better coaches. Man it was frustrating having the coach he had this year. The guy had a son on the team and loved to double shift his kid and put my nephew on defence when he kept asking to go forward. Guy could barely skate himself

Cons for option (A)
- Expenses: Just to be on the team you have to pay the $500. I know if our family all pitch in then we can all pay for it. Tournament fees - I keep hearing those are very high. Cost of hotels,meals ect
- Travel

Pros for option (B)
+More cost effective
+Closer to home
+Padded stats
+Still be able to train with ex-professional hockey player

Cons for option (B)
-House league coaches
-Lesser competition

What are your thoughts? Should we wait for peewees before going Rep? I know he would still have to make the team but his development compared to last year is coming along very well and skates well for a kid his size. The team only signs 3 first year Atoms so there will be lots of openings and the kid can skate so I believe he will make the team. Gotta admit though, seeing him in the rep jersey in try-outs last year was very cool and would love to see him to play on the team


Not that it really matters but here is some insight on how he does statistically (league keeps track)
Stats
2011-12 (1st year Novice) GP- 18 G- 1 A- 0 PTS- 1 <- As a forward
2012-13 (2nd year Novice) GP- 20 G- 20 A- 8 PTS- 28 <- As a forward (Won award Most Improved)
2013-14 (1st year Atom) GP- 25 G- 8 A- 12 PTS- 20 <- As a defence


Last edited by NativeHockey77*: 03-17-2014 at 09:49 PM.
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03-18-2014, 03:32 AM
  #2
Lonny Bohonos
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Normally Id say go rep and there are a lot of benefits as you pointed out namely better competition. However at his age a lot depends on the coaching he will get. My experiences back in the day with minor hockey is rep is where the best players generally play though not always, and the coaching can often be better than in house but thats really hit or miss.

I see you noted favourtism in playing time. That also happens at the rep level.

His development at this age will largely depend on ice time. So do you think he will get more ice time playing in rep or playing in house plus extra tutoring?

The other thing is development of good habits. If hes playing rep and the coach is not so focused on development as opposed to say winning then that can hurt him later on. I knew many guys who played rep at the lower levels and when competition changed as they got older they could no longer hang.

Good habits are critical at his age.

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03-18-2014, 05:07 AM
  #3
CoachC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyh0rse View Post
My nephew just finished his first year Atom and am wondering what would be best for hockey development wise?

A. Go through Atom Development (Atom Rep)

or

B. Play house league but pay for 1 on 1 training and power skating ect


It's either one or the other because Rep hockey is really expensive and if you get "invited" onto the Atom Development team then you have to pay $500 just to be on the team + tournament expenses which I have no clue what they are.

1 on 1 training is like 500 bucks for 10 classes at 30 mins a piece. Power skating is like 200 for 10 sessions.

Pros for option (A)
+ My nephew really wants to be a part of this team really bad. When he got cut from last years team he took it really hard
+ Tougher compeition
+Better coaches. Man it was frustrating having the coach he had this year. The guy had a son on the team and loved to double shift his kid and put my nephew on defence when he kept asking to go forward. Guy could barely skate himself

Cons for option (A)
- Expenses: Just to be on the team you have to pay the $500. I know if our family all pitch in then we can all pay for it. Tournament fees - I keep hearing those are very high. Cost of hotels,meals ect
- Travel

Pros for option (B)
+More cost effective
+Closer to home
+Padded stats
+Still be able to train with ex-professional hockey player

Cons for option (B)
-House league coaches
-Lesser competition

What are your thoughts? Should we wait for peewees before going Rep? I know he would still have to make the team but his development compared to last year is coming along very well and skates well for a kid his size. The team only signs 3 first year Atoms so there will be lots of openings and the kid can skate so I believe he will make the team. Gotta admit though, seeing him in the rep jersey in try-outs last year was very cool and would love to see him to play on the team


Not that it really matters but here is some insight on how he does statistically (league keeps track)
Stats
2011-12 (1st year Novice) GP- 18 G- 1 A- 0 PTS- 1 <- As a forward
2012-13 (2nd year Novice) GP- 20 G- 20 A- 8 PTS- 28 <- As a forward (Won award Most Improved)
2013-14 (1st year Atom) GP- 25 G- 8 A- 12 PTS- 20 <- As a defence
Sure they do

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03-20-2014, 05:07 PM
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Originally Posted by CoachC View Post
Sure they do
Well partially true lol. They keep track of all Atoms and up. I kept track of his novice stats after he scored a hatty in his first game in his second year. I just remember his first year novice he scored 1 goal and didn't do much else lol.

This isn't even counting his 3 on 3 stats where he was averaging 7 pts a game but then again its 3 on 3 so scoring is higher


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03-25-2014, 07:26 AM
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Marotte Marauder
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I'd go for B. More reps and development. Games at a slower pace to perfect what he's learning in practice sessions.

IMO, the tougher competition at that age is way overrated. Many of those saying that use it as a defense mechanism, i.e. he'd be lighting up house league IF he played there. BULL, I've seen so many guys who prefer to be 3rd or 4 th liners at some higher level than actually be a go to guy.

Develop individual skills, systems do not take long to understand.

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03-29-2014, 11:43 AM
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The rep team practises 2 times a week
The house team practises 1 time a week

The house team plays 2 games on weekends
The rep team plays 2-4 games on weekends

There is 16 spots available on the team for next season since 16 kids are graduating to PeeWee's. 3 on 3 league is coming up soon and he will be up against the best Atom Rep players and will see how he does. Will be fun

btw does anyone know the costs for REP? Like cost just to be in the tournament? Are tournaments every weekend?


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03-30-2014, 10:21 AM
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Typically, rep teams designate a fundraising committee to organize things like bottle drives to lower costs for everybody. Having a fundraiser that really takes it seriously could save you some money.

Playing rep will create some great memories for him too. Even at the atom age, in 10 years he will still talk about his tournaments/traveling.

And lastly, if he plans on playing peewee rep/bantam rep/midget rep, it's best to get into that group early, cause politics could come into play(mod edit) in say peewee and jumping from house to rep.


Last edited by Canadiens1958: 03-30-2014 at 10:37 AM. Reason: phrasing
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03-31-2014, 03:46 PM
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Where is the state/province this is located?

I would definitely go with the A option. My son has had little benefit playing house with poorer hockey players. He is now on the cusp of AA hockey due to going to hockey academy and playing in the offseason with elite players.

Also, teams that go through selection process (Rightly or wrongly) in the future will take his previous rep experience into account.

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03-31-2014, 05:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Slats432 View Post
Where is the state/province this is located?

I would definitely go with the A option. My son has had little benefit playing house with poorer hockey players. He is now on the cusp of AA hockey due to going to hockey academy and playing in the offseason with elite players.

Also, teams that go through selection process (Rightly or wrongly) in the future will take his previous rep experience into account.
BC. We have him in private lessons and was top 10 in scoring for 1st year players so with 16-17 spots I think he has a good chance in making that team.

He is already 4''11 105 lbs

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04-01-2014, 11:27 AM
  #10
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Option A all the way. Atoms and Pee Wees are the most important years in the development window. The extra ice time, instruction, and competition is invaluable.

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04-01-2014, 05:36 PM
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HalifaxHockey61
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I would say go Rep. His experience will most likely be better. Also he will develop better habits playing tougher competition. Also as much as i hate to say it his name will be recognized for next year. It shouldn't matter but it does and i see it all the time around the rink as a AAA coach.

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04-01-2014, 06:30 PM
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Lots of good advice. Not to sound silly -- but have you asked him? Which does he want to do? Will he play with the same kids/friends? Is he a very competitive kid always chasing the puck -- or more reserved? How does he handle losing or being beat on the ice -- does it motivate him or make him back off? I think questions like this help inform what is best for his development.

My 2 cents is to go where he will have the most fun and have the most skating development. Not all that clear that more games and higher competition is the de-facto way to becoming a better skater -- esp at younger ages. It is for some, maybe not for others. I see plenty of kids on high level teams that look very impressive at the younger ages but their lack of skating skills are exposed when they start playing in older leagues where talent is more evenly distributed.

I find it great that you and your family are taking such an interest in his skating. I wish more families were like this!

Dan C.

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04-01-2014, 07:43 PM
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Lots of good advice. Not to sound silly -- but have you asked him?
Yes we have asked him. He said he wants to play for the Rep team because he knows they're a better team and I think he wants to be recognized as one of the league's best. Plus he really likes their jersey's lol

But when we were all awaiting the phone call to let us know if he had made the team or not he was so excited and he was sitting beside the phone the whole 2-3 hours we waited. But when he found out he took it really hard.

Quote:
Which does he want to do? Will he play with the same kids/friends?
All his friends are house league players who probably won't make Rep.

Quote:
Is he a very competitive kid always chasing the puck -- or more reserved?
Outside the rink he isn't competitive. Really reserved kid. Once he steps on the ice he changes and is a beast. He reminds be of Brent Burns out there with his size.

Quote:
How does he handle losing or being beat on the ice -- does it motivate him or make him back off?
Most of the time he is pretty relaxed about it but I noticed near the end of the season when his team lost he would be mad afterwards and once he slammed his stick against the ice.



After his last 1 on 1 training he said to me that he wants to go pro. I don't know how to respond to that one :S


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04-02-2014, 09:11 AM
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From what I am reading the kid should play rep. It sounds like he is competitive and wants the challenge. Playing house will not challenge him and he will end up becoming frustrated with his teammates. As far as friends, he'll make new friends on his new team. Not to sound cold about it but it is true. Kids that age bond pretty quickly. A couple of sleepovers and they are best buds.

As long as the rep team is about developing players over winning he should be ok. Hopefully the rep team has coaches that will challenge him, step up the intensity level in drills, work on skill development, and do it all in a fun yet challenging environment. Playing with better players also has a way of getting more out of kids when they get their competitive juices flowing. As long as they can keep up and are of similar talent level they'll be OK, it's when a kid is over his head that it is better he step down to a more appropraite level until he can get get more mature/grow/become more competitive/etc.

I coach youth hockey, and nothing bothers me more than wasted potential. I don't really care about wins and losses, but when I see kids not be challenged or playing to their potential it irks me. I'd definitely be irked if I see a kid with talent floating around out there playing house. Those are development years those kids can never make up.

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04-02-2014, 09:39 AM
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do not play house league lol...... that's for people with hockey careers over

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04-02-2014, 01:51 PM
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My son plays rep but because he is a goalie we send him to 1 on 1 private goalie lessons every week for the last 2 years.

At age 6 my son came to me and said he wanted to play WHL, make the world Jr team, make the NHL, and then the Olympic team. I told him that it was awesome that he came to me and told me of his plan. I told him he would have to work hard and that my wife and I would do all we could to make his dream happen. Now 4 years later he still has the same dream and works out everyday doing stretching, body weight exercises (like push ups, sit ups, pull ups, ect), practicing goalie techniques. We have made sure he goes to the 1 on 1 lessons and a goalie camp each summer. Through it all my son does know that it is a slim chance he will live out his dream but he is still trying his hardest. He is actually known through our association for his hard work and lateral movement.

So to answer your question about what to say to your nephew about wanting to play pro. Tell him to go for it and work hard and if he doesn't make the pros all his hard work will lead him somewhere.

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04-24-2014, 11:05 AM
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So he has been going through 1 on 1 training and I can't believe the improvement in his game that he has. This 1 on 1 training has done more for his game than any hockey school that he has ever been to before. He is actually using proper skating/shooting technique. He is not just shooting it and raising it, he is shooting it and when it misses the net it just keeps going and hits the glass. I think if he kept going through 1 on 1 it would be better for hockey development rather than the Rep team but I know how he really wants to make the rep team really bad so if he makes it he makes it. The Rep coach was watching him play and said he will make the team. Was pretty happy to hear good feedback about his game

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04-25-2014, 09:28 AM
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Originally Posted by crazyh0rse View Post
So he has been going through 1 on 1 training and I can't believe the improvement in his game that he has. This 1 on 1 training has done more for his game than any hockey school that he has ever been to before. He is actually using proper skating/shooting technique. He is not just shooting it and raising it, he is shooting it and when it misses the net it just keeps going and hits the glass. I think if he kept going through 1 on 1 it would be better for hockey development rather than the Rep team but I know how he really wants to make the rep team really bad so if he makes it he makes it. The Rep coach was watching him play and said he will make the team. Was pretty happy to hear good feedback about his game
Read through the entire thread and it sounds like you've come to the decision to play rep. I think that is likely the best approach. When you work out the numbers, there is still more ice time playing rep than house. I agree, the extra lessons are invaluable, but if you can work those into your budget on top of playing rep, then he will be that much better. The other two things to consider are these 1) depending where you are, if you aren't in the rep system at Atom when the slots opened up, the opportunities may be much more limited down the road. I coach my son's 05 travel A team in the US and it is likely 90% of these kids will be together for the next 10 yr until high school. So, that being said, each year at tryouts there will only be, in reality, a couple open slots. With only 60-80 min to evaluate several players, it's a crap shoot. 2) Although the competition is slower in house and there will be more time to practice development, the flip side is, that faster competition will be practicing in rep for the next year or two years. Making the jump to the faster speed and stiffer competition will be that much tougher down the road. So, to practice the things he is working on with his 1 on 1 coaches,... simply play pond hockey or pick up or even roller in the summer. Those informal sessions, play if you will, is where the creativity develops and this is invaluable. Regardless, if you don't play rep now, you make it difficult to get into the rep track down the road, by not getting in while the getting is good.

If you're in Canada, I know the ice time may be at more of a premium, but down here, once a week we do semi-private lessons and afterward, the coaching group has the ice open so that the kids play shinny for another 40-60 min. The shinny is 06 up to 02 level, so, a spectrum of abilities. That's probably the most valuable hour of ice all week for long term development. I know that's not an option for lots of people, but it is money very well spent in my view.

Good luck to your son, that is, unless we see him in tourney's since it sounds like he's an 05 Even if 04, ... we may see you. Seriously, good luck and have fun, both of you!

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04-26-2014, 01:04 PM
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Read through the entire thread and it sounds like you've come to the decision to play rep. I think that is likely the best approach. When you work out the numbers, there is still more ice time playing rep than house. I agree, the extra lessons are invaluable, but if you can work those into your budget on top of playing rep, then he will be that much better. The other two things to consider are these 1) depending where you are, if you aren't in the rep system at Atom when the slots opened up, the opportunities may be much more limited down the road. I coach my son's 05 travel A team in the US and it is likely 90% of these kids will be together for the next 10 yr until high school. So, that being said, each year at tryouts there will only be, in reality, a couple open slots. With only 60-80 min to evaluate several players, it's a crap shoot. 2) Although the competition is slower in house and there will be more time to practice development, the flip side is, that faster competition will be practicing in rep for the next year or two years. Making the jump to the faster speed and stiffer competition will be that much tougher down the road. So, to practice the things he is working on with his 1 on 1 coaches,... simply play pond hockey or pick up or even roller in the summer. Those informal sessions, play if you will, is where the creativity develops and this is invaluable. Regardless, if you don't play rep now, you make it difficult to get into the rep track down the road, by not getting in while the getting is good.

If you're in Canada, I know the ice time may be at more of a premium, but down here, once a week we do semi-private lessons and afterward, the coaching group has the ice open so that the kids play shinny for another 40-60 min. The shinny is 06 up to 02 level, so, a spectrum of abilities. That's probably the most valuable hour of ice all week for long term development. I know that's not an option for lots of people, but it is money very well spent in my view.

Good luck to your son, that is, unless we see him in tourney's since it sounds like he's an 05 Even if 04, ... we may see you. Seriously, good luck and have fun, both of you!
He's my nephew actually and is an 04 birth. The Atom Development coach told me that he will make the team from what he saw of him in the 1 on 1 training. When it came to the 3 on 3 league with mostly Atom Rep kids he plays way more passive and doesn't use the tools that we know he has. Plays really passive. But I notice if he has a coach that is pushing him then he does a total 180 and looks great out there. In my opinion it depends which side of him comes out in the try outs whether he will make the team or not. At the end of the Minor Hockey regular season he was playing intense, I kept saying he was playing like Brent Burns out there lol. But I think he might be intimidated by those older Rep players

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05-09-2014, 12:08 PM
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I talked to one lady that said she has a kid in the Pursuit of Excellence program and 2 others in the Rep system and said it is better for kids to have a break during the summer months and not play summer leagues or soccer. What do you guys think of this? My nephew played 30 atom league games and is scheduled for his 12 game season for 3 on 3. There is another 12 game season Summer league right after this spring league too. Is that too much hockey? Should a kid have rest before the start of next season which will be his last year for Atom Development try outs. Or is it better to have them in shape and just keep playing hockey

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05-09-2014, 12:44 PM
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Maybe ask him if he would like a little break. Does he play other sports? Seems like people are asking kids to choose 1 sport way to young now a day.Its easy to burn a child out.




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I talked to one lady that said she has a kid in the Pursuit of Excellence program and 2 others in the Rep system and said it is better for kids to have a break during the summer months and not play summer leagues or soccer. What do you guys think of this? My nephew played 30 atom league games and is scheduled for his 12 game season for 3 on 3. There is another 12 game season Summer league right after this spring league too. Is that too much hockey? Should a kid have rest before the start of next season which will be his last year for Atom Development try outs. Or is it better to have them in shape and just keep playing hockey

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05-09-2014, 12:54 PM
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Maybe ask him if he would like a little break. Does he play other sports? Seems like people are asking kids to choose 1 sport way to young now a day.Its easy to burn a child out.
He plays baseball once a week. He use to play soccer but doesn't want to play it anymore. I think he might have lost a little confidence in his game since he is playing against all the kids moving onto peewees and the best Rep players and is like the 2nd or 3rd youngest kid playing in the league. I think he is doing good considering

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05-09-2014, 01:13 PM
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i am sure he will find his way.

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05-09-2014, 01:15 PM
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Originally Posted by crazyh0rse View Post
I talked to one lady that said she has a kid in the Pursuit of Excellence program and 2 others in the Rep system and said it is better for kids to have a break during the summer months and not play summer leagues or soccer. What do you guys think of this? My nephew played 30 atom league games and is scheduled for his 12 game season for 3 on 3. There is another 12 game season Summer league right after this spring league too. Is that too much hockey? Should a kid have rest before the start of next season which will be his last year for Atom Development try outs. Or is it better to have them in shape and just keep playing hockey
Kids should play as many different sports before the age of 16 as possible as this stimulates muscle memory and nerve growth for all the major movements. The trap a lot of parents fall into is the 'Keeping up with the Joneseees' syndrome whereby your neighbours kid played 3on3 and 4on4 all summer and goes into tryouts looking better than last season and makes a team where another kid who just played tennis, didnt.


If they truly want to improve on hockey, regular ( power ) skating and skills is the best way to supplement. Skills, skills and more skills!

Truly Athetic and gifted kids find a way to the top and pretty much always play more than 1 or 2 sports growing up.


Last edited by PorkChopSandwiches: 05-09-2014 at 01:17 PM. Reason: missed sentence, grammar
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05-09-2014, 01:29 PM
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Very true


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Originally Posted by hockey2hockey View Post
Kids should play as many different sports before the age of 16 as possible as this stimulates muscle memory and nerve growth for all the major movements. The trap a lot of parents fall into is the 'Keeping up with the Joneseees' syndrome whereby your neighbours kid played 3on3 and 4on4 all summer and goes into tryouts looking better than last season and makes a team where another kid who just played tennis, didnt.


If they truly want to improve on hockey, regular ( power ) skating and skills is the best way to supplement. Skills, skills and more skills!

Truly Athetic and gifted kids find a way to the top and pretty much always play more than 1 or 2 sports growing up.

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